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Student Reassignment

In Howard County, students attend the school in their school attendance area based on their family’s bona fide residence, as defined by Policy 9000 Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment.

Student Reassignment is the process by which a parent/guardian can request enrollment at a school that is not located in the school attendance area for their bona fide residence.

A student must be enrolled and attending school in HCPSS before requesting reassignment.

Student Reassignment requests will be accepted after July 1st for the upcoming school year.

Questions regarding student’s bona fide residency must be resolved before reassignment can be considered.

Please allow 2–4 weeks for processing of student reassignment applications.

Required Conditions

All students approved for reassignment are expected to meet the following conditions:

1. Transportation

Transportation will not be provided by HCPSS and parents will agree to provide transportation unless transportation is included in a student’s IEP or 504 plan.

2. Interscholastic Athletics Eligibility

Students reassigned under approved categories (primarily Relocation and Buy/Build/Lease listed below) are eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics.

3. School Level Reassignment

Approval for reassignment applies to the student’s current school level (elementary, middle and high) only. A student who is reassigned to a school need not reapply for reassignment for that same school on a yearly basis, unless otherwise indicated in the approval letter. However, reassignment decisions will be subject to annual review if conditions of reassignment are not met.

4. Behavior

A student who is reassigned at the request of parents, and who does not meet expectations described in the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct (including, but not limited to, attending school regularly and on time, showing academic commitment, and following behavioral expectations), may be returned to the student’s designated school at any time during the school year.

Reasons for Reassignment

Option 1: Relocation

Reassignment requests based on relocation are accepted and processed after the first day of school.

All families are required to report a change of address to their child(ren)’s school(s), regardless of whether the move is in the same school attendance area, into a new school attendance area, or out of the county. Every family has an option to complete the current school year at the school in which they are enrolled or to transfer to the next school.

Once you have moved, please reach out to your child’s current school to share your new residency documents.

Families who move in the summer prior to the start of the school year are not eligible for reassignment in this category, unless a student has achieved Junior status.

If you move within Howard County:

Students who have a change of bona fide residence within the county during the school year may complete the current school year at the school in which they are enrolled. Students must enroll the next school year at the school in their new attendance area. Exceptions are granted to students who have achieved Junior status; they may remain at their current school through graduation.

If you move out of Howard County:

A student who becomes a nonresident, because the parent(s) with whom the student resides moves out of Howard County during the school year, must submit a request in order to complete the current school year at the school in which the student is enrolled. Tuition will be assessed for days in attendance, or from the date of a family’s move out of the county through the end of the current school year.

Required documentation:

  • Student Reassignment Request Form (SRRF)
  • Change of Address form (provided by school secretary/registrar) and updated residency documents provided to the school office for residency verification.
  • Residency information signed off by school secretary/registrar. The school will send the SRRF to the Student Reassignment Office on behalf of the family.

Option 2: Buy/Build/Lease

Reassignment requests based on contracts to buy, build, or lease a home in a different school attendance area are accepted and processed after July 1st.

Families are able to enroll in a new school attendance area if they will be moving into a new home within 90 calendar days from the first day of attendance (e.g., first day of school). If the student is not in the projected home within 90 calendar days of the student’s attendance, an extension may be granted and/or tuition may be assessed. (Only nonresident students are required to pay tuition under this circumstance).

For the 2021–2022 School Year, the first day of attendance is scheduled to be 8/30/21 and 90 calendar days later will be 11/28/21.

Required documentation:

  • Student Reassignment Request Form
  • Maryland Contract of Sale/Purchase Agreement or signed original, complete lease with address, valid dates and signatures.
  • Letter from builder (on letterhead) with building permit number and anticipated move-in date (new build only).
  • Proof of residence at current housing location while awaiting a move into new home and documentation of the upcoming move (e.g., current house under contract or intent to terminate current lease, hotel receipts, short-term lease, etc.)
  • Please scan and email all documentation to student_reassignment@hcpss.org and allow 2–4 weeks for processing.

Option 3: Other

Under rare circumstances, outlined below, families may request individual exceptions to the student reassignment standards. Note that requests for reassignment under these circumstances are very often denied. Parents may wish to visit the Parent Advocacy Page to determine if reassignment is the appropriate process to address their concern, as all concerns should begin as a school-level discussion with documented attempts to reach resolution there.

Learn More

Reassignment requests based on reasons other than those noted above are only accepted and processed after July 1st.

In rare circumstances, the Superintendent/Designee, in consultation with school-based administrators, may grant parent requests to the student reassignment standards based on documented unique hardship situations, described below.

Decisions to grant reassignment in this category are made through consultation with school-based administration, school counselors, Pupil Personnel Workers, as well as any office relevant to the request (e.g., Office of Health Services, Office of Psychological Services).

Capacity and proximity to designated school attendance areas are considered. When a student is reassigned in this category, the student will be reassigned, when appropriate, to another school that is under capacity in geographic proximity to the designated school.

Required documentation:

  • Student Reassignment Request Form
  • Supporting information or documentation that supports a family’s claim of unique hardship. For example:
    • Documentation of a student’s work with a mental health or medical professional (e.g., should include information about the diagnosis, treatment and expected outcomes).
    • Documentation that demonstrates a link between a student’s mental health and/or medical condition and necessity for transfer to requested school.
    • Documentation that staff/health professionals at the designated school cannot support a student’s mental health needs and/or medical condition.
    • Documentation such as completion of a Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form.
    • Documentation of unique family hardship. Examples of family hardship that may warrant reassignment include, but are not limited to, the following: death or serious illness of a parent, incarceration or substance abuse of a parent, diagnosed mental health/medical issues with demonstrated academic or social impact, eviction/homelessness. (Note that there are many reasons that do not qualify as unique family hardships.)

Additional information about student reassignment can be found on the HCPSS Help Site.

Contact Us

Inquiries about student reassignment should be sent to student_reassignment@hcpss.org.