Optional attendance (transferring schools) is the process where students can apply to attend a school other than the school designated for their area of residence.
The Halton District School Board encourages students to attend their designated school but students can apply to a school outside of their home school if there is enough space to accommodate them.
Schools look at eligible students, before class size is determined.
Students who transfer to another school are not eligible for Board provided transportation.
Elementary optional attendance process:
contact the Principal of your designated school
school of choice is designated as “open school”
Primary class size is complied with
Ministry Early Learning Plan is complied with
availability of space
there is no need to create a new class
there is no need to hire more staff or increase resources
no need to displace students to other classes
no extra cost to Board
babysitting/daycare is not a reason for granting a request
The Halton District School Board must meet parameters set out by the Ministry of Education. The Board must ensure 90% of primary classes (JK-Grade 3 inclusive) are at a ratio of 20:1 or less. The remaining 10% of primary classes would have an average maximum class size of 23:1. Principals may not consider optional attendance in primary classes that have reached or are approaching primary class size cap.
Optional attendance documents for elementary students
Secondary School optional attendance process
Second week in January:
Elementary schools communicate to parents of Grade 8 students, optional attendance information
Applications are given out by the designated home secondary school (refer to Appendix B in the Secondary Optional Attendance administrative procedure below)
Prior to 2nd Friday in February:
completed applications are returned to home secondary school
Last week of February:
area meetings are held by Superintendent are returned to home secondary school
decisions about all applications are made and communicated by March 1
Prior to end of June
Appeal decision letter sent to parents by Superintendent of requested school (refer to Appendix C in the Secondary Optional Attendance administrative procedure below)
Optional attendance documents for secondary school students
Optional Attendance Health form
Secondary Optional Attendance administrative procedure
Appeals to reconsider an application are permitted in situations where “extraordinary circumstances” need to be assessed. Appeals are to be submitted by parents, in writing, to the Superintendent(s) of Education of the requested school, copied to the home school and requested school Principal within 10 days of notification of application denied. The Superintendent(s) of Education makes decisions regarding appeals in consultation with the Principals involved, and communicates decisions in writing to the applicant and the schools. The decision of the Superintendent is final.
Parents do not need to reapply each year after approval but all optional attendance requests granted are subject to renewal annually.