Out-of-Zone Transfers

  • Out-of-zone Transfers allow a student to enroll in a public school other than their zone-assigned school in the School District of Manatee County (SDMC). Families who have moved out-of-zone and want their child(ren) to remain enrolled at their current school, or experiencing a change such as listed here may apply for an Out-of-zone Transfer.

    Out-of-zone Transfer approval is based on class size and/or school capacity, demonstration of genuine need, and student history (attendance, discipline, and academic).

    Out-of-zone Transfer applications are reviewed in the order they are received. To avoid delays, make sure the student's address and enrolling parent email is correct in Focus BEFORE you submit the application.

    Results are emailed to the enrolling parent listed in FOCUS.

      May Apply

      • Parents may apply for an immediate Out-of-zone Transfer for the following situations: 

        • Change in military orders

        • Court-ordered change of custody

        • Foster Care placement

        • Sibling is currently enrolled at the requested school

        • New SDMC employee would like their child(ren) to attend the school work site

        • Change of address, but student wants to remain at current school

        • New home construction

      Not Eligible

      • Situations that are NOT ELIGIBLE for an Out-of-zone Transfer request include, but are not limited to, the following: 

        • Student does not like change

        • Dislike of teacher(s) or administration

        • Friends/social groups go elsewhere

        • Siblings had a bad experience

        • Thought house was in another school zone 

        • Teachers and staff at the assigned school are not familiar with the student

        • Student changed schools last year

        • School is closer to parents' workplace (secondary)

        • Parents/siblings went to requested school

        • Athletic preference

        • Already applied for School Choice controlled open enrollment, but denied and currently on wait-list

      Review Criteria

      • Out-of-zone Transfer applications are considered based on class size allocation capacity, demonstration of genuine need, and student history (attendance, discipline, and academic). Additional review criteria include the following:

        • Out-of-zone transfer applications for schools at 90% capacity or maximum class size will be denied. These are the current Available Seats by School/Grade.

        • Incomplete applications that are missing required documentation will not be reviewed.

        • Student may not have more than 9 unexcused absences.

        • Student must be in good discipline standing with less than 4 referrals.

        • Secondary school students must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

      Required Supporting Documentation

      • A description of the circumstances AND supporting documentation are required. Supporting documents may include, but are not limited to:

        • Military orders

        • Court-filed legal documentation

        • Medical documentation

        • Home purchase documentation

        • New Home Construction 30-day Certificate of Occupancy


      • The ENROLLING PARENT may submit an Appeal for denied Out-of-zone Transfer applications and wait-listed School Choice controlled open enrollment applications.

        Using the form titled ‘APPEAL’ in their FOCUS parent portal account, the ENROLLING PARENT must submit a written statement that explains why they feel the denial would pose a serious and continuing hardship that cannot reasonably be eliminated or reduced by means other than reassignment.

        The Appeal MUST INCLUDE a written statement and supporting documentation such as, but not limited to:

          • Legal documentation
          • Medical documentation

        The District Appeals Committee will review Appeals in order of submission.  Decisions by the District Appeals Committee are final.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      • What if I changed my mind and want to return to my zone-assigned school?

      • I never got an answer to my request. What can I do?

      • We moved to a new address in a different school zone. I don't want my child to change schools. What can I do?

      • We were placed on the School Choice wait-list. Can I request an Out-of-zone Transfer?

      How to Apply