Each school district in Lamorinda is made up of elementary schools and a middle school. The three high schools in Lamorinda, Acalanes in Lafayette, Campolindo in Moraga and Miramonte in Orinda, are a part of the Acalanes High School District, which also includes a fourth high school in Walnut Creek, Los Lomas. The high school attendance boundaries often cross city lines, so a middle schooler from one city might be designated to go to high school in another city. It’s important to check in with the high school district to see which high school will be your child’s ‘school of residence’ because it may not be in the city within which you reside.
There are a variety of reasons for which a student and/or a student’s family may decide to request an intra-district transfer. This is a request to transfer from a student’s school of residence to another school within the district. In some cases, the majority of middle school students will be designated to attend one high school and a small population designated to another school. Therefore, a student and their family may request an intra-district transfer in order to stay with friends or to be at a high school where he/she knows more of the freshman population. On the flip side of that scenario might be a student that wants a fresh start and chooses to go to another local high school for that opportunity. Some students choose a high school based on course offerings, which vary slightly by high school, so it’s important to study the course catalogue on the district or high school websites.
This decision is sometimes easy for eighth grade students and their families, and the student does not apply for a transfer and simply goes to his/her home school. However, the choice can also be challenging, especially if a student has friends attending both schools. Or another scenario might be a student does not know anyone well at the home high school. One challenge is that eighth grade students can feel like they are choosing between different friends that are attending different schools the next year. Some students are influenced by where older siblings are attending, or even where their parents attended, since there are so many second generation Lamorinda students. Families have to decide how they want to handle this decision and they need to do so by November of their child’s eighth grade year because that is when the applications begin to be accepted.
There are also some students that start school at one high school and, for a variety of reasons, decide that they would like to request a transfer to another high school within the district. In this case, if the student is an athlete, it’s important to research the impact this may have on athletic eligibility as there are restrictions on the timing or athletic participation after a transfer.
In order to request an intra-district transfer, there is short form to be downloaded and completed and returned to the Acalanes Unified High School District Office, either by mail or in person. On any given year, one or more high schools may be impacted and closed for transfer requests. The application becomes available to download at www.acalanes.k12.ca.us in November and is due in December, but be sure to research this as this can change on any given year. All applicants are notified via mail in January for the following school year. There is a number to call on the website for intra-district transfers that are being requested after this deadline or part way through the year. The website notes that transfers are granted on a space availability basis.
Requesting an intra-district transfer is something that takes some research and thought. There is often a lot of chatter about this throughout a child’s middle school years. With the ebbs and flows of friendships and academic needs, most families decide to start to think about this in eighth grade. Sometimes a child or the parents decide, but in most cases, it is a family decision. If an intra-district transfer is something that is the right decision for your child, be sure to mark your calendar for early November to get in your application!