Enrollment Priorities

  • Students who apply on-time are assigned to schools through a lottery, based on the school choices indicated on their enrollment application and taking into account OUSD enrollment priorities. The process is designed to provide each student equitable access to the range of opportunities available throughout the District. Students are placed in their highest ranked school if there are openings at that school.  

    If there are more requests for a school than openings, the student placement process uses a series of priorities to determine the assignment the student will receive. These enrollment priorities are governed by OUSD Board Policy 5116.1 (available online here).

    Enrollment Priorities

    • 1. Sibling of Current Student: If the student applying to this school already has a brother or sister attending the school, their application will get first priority for school assignment.
    • 2. Opportunity Ticket: Students from schools that are closing or physically moving in order to be merged are placed next, for up to 51% of the remaining seats. The Opportunity Ticket does not apply for students applying to grade K, grade 6, or grade 9. Typically, few students will be eligible to receive an Opportunity Ticket priority each year.
    • 3. Neighborhood: If the student applying to this school lives in the neighborhood in which the school is located, their application will get priority next.
    • 4. OUSD Staff: Children of OUSD staff who work at the school (or at a school on the same campus) will get priority next.
    • 5. General Lottery: All other applications from Oakland residents will be put into a random lottery and students will get assigned to the school based on the number of available seats.
    • 6. Non-Oakland Residents: All applications from non-Oakland residents will be considered after applications from Oakland residents have been accommodated, even if the student is a non-Oakland resident who falls into one of the other categories (such as sibling or child of OUSD staff).

    Parents are encouraged to select six schools they wish their child to attend to help ensure that their child receives one of their selections.



    Siblings are sisters or brothers who live at the same address and have the same parent/guardian. Applicants will receive priority to be assigned to their brother's or sister’s school if the current student will be attending the school for the following school year and there is space in the school at the required grade level.

    Siblings who are applying for school at the same time for different grades cannot be guaranteed placement into the same school and are not granted sibling priority in the lottery.


    Neighborhood refers to the geographic boundaries drawn around the school. Geographic boundaries for each school in OUSD are approved by the Board of Education. Your permanent residence falls within the geographic boundaries of an elementary, middle, and high school within your residential area. Those are considered your neighborhood schools. Families applying to their neighborhood school are given priority in the assignment process behind those students that have siblings in the specific school.

    You can determine which school is your neighborhood school by visiting the SchoolFinder website (https://oaklandfinder.schoolmint.net/school-finder/home). By choosing the type of school (elementary, middle or high school) and entering your address, your neighborhood school will be identified. You can also contact the Student Welcome Center at 510-879-4600.