Parents of school age kids who live anywhere within the Cupertino Union School District, can choose to apply for open enrollment or alternative education at any of the schools within the district via a lottery system.
"Alternative Education" refers to the four special schools within the district: Meyerholz Chinese (Mandarin) Language Immersion Program (CLIP), Murdoch-Portal, Faria A+, or McAuliffe.
"Open Enrollment" refers to any of the "regular" schools within the district.
Each family is only allowed to apply to ONE single open enrollment school or alternative education program. If the school district sees that you have applied to the lottery at more than one school, you will lose priority at ALL the schools you have requested. Therefore, you need to carefully weigh how desireable each school is, how suitable each school is for your particular child, how likely your child will get in through the lottery, and how much you think your child wil like that particular school.
If your child has a current or pending IEP, you must get approval from Pupil Services Department based on whether the special program your child needs is available at your requested site. If your request is approved, you give up your space in the school your child is currently registered.
The lottery for school registration priority typically takes place in late February. However, To be even eligible for the lottery, you need to complete and return transfer request forms to the school/program you desire during the open enrollment period in early February. If you are interested in applying for a special school, you will have to prepare even earlier than that. All of the four special schools require that at least one parent attend one of their mandatory information sessions before you are allowed to apply. This makes sense because parents need to decide whether schools fit their child's learning style. For example, Faria is a strict academic elementary school. If your child likes to explore and be creative, Faria may not be a great choice. Instead, McAuliffe would give your child more opportunity to flourish.