Moving Into, Out of, Within Palo Alto
- Palo Alto continues to experience high enrollment. As a result, many families who come to Palo Alto in the middle of the school year may find that the school closest to their residence has no room for their student. We will do our best to enroll your student in a school close to your home that has space.
Many parents want to know which schools have space available so they can find a house near that school. PAUSD does not provide that information as it can change significantly within a week or two; instead, we advise parents to find the home that is best for your family, and you are guaranteed a spot at a PAUSD school right away, and we will work with parents to bring the students back to the neighborhood school as soon as possible.
Palo Alto Unified does not provide school buses or other transportation the general student population. Make sure you have a transportation plan in case you are faced with the situation where your child is placed in a school not within walking distance of your home. It is essential that parents are equipped to provide transportation for their students including driving, biking along a City of Palo Alto "Safe Route To School", or taking City of Palo Alto transit (check route and duration here).
- The PAUSD Registration process requires three (3) proof of residency documents, one primary (lease or ownership proof) and two secondary documents. There are many acceptable documents that can be used; check the list on the Required Documents web page.
It is important for parents to plan ahead and establish accounts with your name and address: utilities, cable, DMV, insurance, etc. These accounts and corresponding documents must be in place before coming to register your student.
- Countries differ in their immunization requirements. California law requires students to meet all health requirements before they can enter school grounds; please check the requirements here and make sure your student has met them all before you register them for school.
- Grade placement for International Students: The Palo Alto Unified school year is mid-August to early June. If your child has completed a year from a school with a significantly different timeframe (Jan - Dec, April - March), or your student is entering a PAUSD school in the middle of the PAUSD school year, the student will be placed in the grade just completed. This provides the student with a low-pressure academic English-language environment while the student adjusts to their new social setting.
To remain enrolled at a PAUSD school, the student must remain living (sleeping) in Palo Alto.
Permanent Address Change
When the student's address changes because of a move to a new Palo Alto dwelling, parents MUST SUBMIT a Change of Address, with accompanying documents (listed in the form) to the Registration Services office: email preferred due to COVID-19; or bring documents to 25 Churchill Ave between 8am-4pm.
A Change of Address must be submitted to the Registration Services office within 2 weeks of the date that the family becomes residents in the new dwelling.
Temporary housing should remain within PAUSD boundaries to ensure the student can continue at their current PAUSD school.
Many families leave Palo Alto temporarily (travel resulting from job or leisure opportunities) or permanently (moved to house outside of PAUSD). Per California's Residency Laws, a student whose family no longer resides within PAUSD boundaries (or RCSD boundaries for Tinsley(VTP) students) will be dis-enrolled from the PAUSD school. For more information, read PAUSD's Interdistrict Transfer Request process in the "Transfers Into PAUSD" section of the School Placement & Transfers web page. During COVID-19 distance learning: families who maintain the PAUSD address as their primary residence will qualify for continued enrollment.
Student enrolled in a school outside PAUSD: student will be dis-enrolled from PAUSD and re-enrolled upon their return to Palo Alto (exception: Middle College program).