4 Questions About Open Enrollment in South Dakota


Question #1 - What is the “enrollment options program”?

In 1997, the South Dakota Legislature established the “enrollment options program,” commonly referred to as “open enrollment.” The law enables any South Dakota kindergarten through twelfth grade student to attend any public school that serves the student’s grade level in any South Dakota school district.

Question #2 - ​What is a school district’s responsibility in reviewing an open enrollment request?

A school district must grant a request for a transfer into the district or within the district unless the transfer would result in an inability to provide a quality educational program based on criteria established by the district under S.D.C.L. § 13-28-44.  

Question #3 -  Is a school district required to provide transportation to a student who transfers within the district?

No. If a student transfers from one school to another school within a school district at the request of the student’s parent or guardian, the school district is not required to provide transportation services to the student.  

Question #4 - Is a school district required to accept credits from a transfer student?

Yes. A school district must accept credits for any course completed in any other accredited school district under the open enrollment program. However, the nonresident district must award a diploma to a nonresident student only if the student satisfactorily meets its graduation requirements.

For more about open enrollment in South Dakota, read Chapter 20 of The South Dakota School Law Deskbook