School assignment is based on the location of the family residence within a school boundary, and that school is called the "neighborhood school". Neighborhood elementary schools are grouped into "clusters" that feed into middle schools and high schools. If there is no space at the neighborhood school, the student will be "overflowed", or placed at school within the same cluster; the student will be placed on the neighborhood school's waitlist and parents will be notified when space becomes available.
Find your neighborhood school with School Finder.
Grade Placement: For details on which grade your child will be placed into, click here.
Placement Priority: Students are assigned to a school by the Registration Services office, located at the PAUSD district office at 25 Churchill Ave. Placement is prioritized as follows:
Round 1 Registrations:
- All Round 1 registration are assigned equal priority for school placements.
- Kindergarten: Notifications of school assignments are sent in early May. If there is not enough space for all Round 1 registrants, placement is determined by a reverse lottery in May.
- Grades 1 - 5: Notifications of school assignments are sent in mid- to late- May.
- Grades 6 - 12: Notifications of school assignments are sent in late March/Early April.
Post-Round 1 Registrations:
- Priority is based on the date registration is complete.
- If registration is completed before the school year starts, notification of school assignment is done within 1 week.
- If registration is completed after the school year has started, notification of school assignment is done within one week prior to student's first day of school.
Please contact Registration Services with any questions: RegistrationServices@pausd.org; (650) 329-3707.
PAUSD offers a limited number of Choice Programs (chosen by lottery) at the elementary (kindergarten) and middle school (6th grade) levels. For a detailed description of these programs and how to register, click here.
Transitional Kindergarten (TK)/Extended TK
Student who turn 5 between September 2 and December 2 of the academic calendar year are eligible to attend PAUSD's Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. Enrollment in this program is optional. Students who turn 5 between December 3 and the last day of the academic calendar year, and who meet the criteria for underrepresented/socioeconomically disadvantaged categories, are eligible to attend PAUSD's Extended TK (ETK) program on a space-available basis. Information on TK/ETK programs
Per Board Policy, students are assigned to attend their neighborhood school; school choice is limited to the Choice Program process listed above. Requests to transfer to a non-neighborhood school are considered only for special circumstances, and are subject to space availability.
- School transfers prior to new school year: Intradistrict transfer requests are accepted at the time of registration (new students) or during Round 1 Registration (current students) which for the 2020-2021 school year starts on January 8, 2020 and ends on February 12, 2020. Notifications of decisions are sent in April for grades 6 - 12, and sent late July for grades KN - 5.
- School transfers during the school-year: Parents must meet with the student's current school principal to discuss the reasons for the transfer request, and must work with the principal, or the principal's designee, to resolve any issues prior to submitting an Intradistrict Transfer Request. Download forms below.
Students who have received approval for an Intradistrict Transfer will attend the desired school through the last grade offered at that school level (5th for elementary, 8th for middle, and 12th for high). Students advancing to the next level (elementary to middle; middle to high), will be placed at their neighborhood school assigned to their home address, which can be determined by using the School Finder tool (pausd.org, Schools tab).
Use the following forms to apply for an Intradistrict Transfer and submit completed forms to Registration Services, located at the PAUSD District Office.
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - Elementary School
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - Middle School
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - High School
Transferring out of PAUSD:
- Students who live within the boundaries of PAUSD, and would like to attend school in another district, must first submit a PAUSD Interdistrict Transfer Request to the PAUSD Registration Services office. Transfers must be approved by PAUSD before submission to the district desired. Please note that proof of residence, in the form of a current property tax or lease agreement, is required in addition to the form; if neither of these documents exist, please call Registration Services at (650) 329-3707 to determine a document that will be acceptable.
- Gardner Bullis Elementary School: PAUSD has a joint arrangement with the Los Altos School District for PAUSD families living in Los Altos Hills to request 5-year transfers (additional 2 years if needed through 6th grade) to Gardner Bullis Elementary School. Gardner Bullis school is located at 25890 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills, CA. If you have a K-6 student and wish to consider this alternative, complete a PAUSD Gardner Bullis Interdistrict Transfer Request and submit it to the PAUSD Registration Services office.
Transferring in to PAUSD:
- California mandates that students attend the public school district in which the residency of the parent/guardian is located, called the District of Residence. Parent/guardian whose residence is outside of PAUSD boundaries, and desires their student to attend a school in PAUSD, must first obtain an Interdistrict Transfer approval from their District of Residence. If the District of Residence approves the Interdistrict Transfer, it will be sent to PAUSD for processing.
- PAUSD will begin accepting and processing Interdistrict Transfer requests for the 2019-2020 school year on January 9, 2019. Failure of the parent to meet any timelines established by this web site, Board Policy, and/or Administrative Regulation, is deemed to be an abandonment of the request.
- Due to continued high enrollment, PAUSD does not anticipate approving any Interdistrict Transfers other than those that qualify per Board Policy 5111.21 and accompanying Administrative Regulation, which include the Project Search program, PAUSD employee program (80% or more employed), Junior/Senior privilege, and Hardship.
- PAUSD will notify parent/guardian of its final decision within the following timeframes:
- Request for transfer during current year: within 30 calendar days from the date the Interdistrict Transfer request was received;
- Request for transfer for the coming year: as soon as possible, but no later than 14 calendar days after the beginning of instruction in the school year.
- Should it be determined, subsequent to a student’s enrollment, that the student demonstrates significant problems in attendance, performance, or behavior, the Interdistrict Transfer approval may be rescinded at any time during the term of the agreement.