Petition Process Overview
The Petition Process is for Portland Public School District residents only.
- Families residing outside of the PPS boundaries should use the Interdistrict Lottery Process, which opens each May.
Generally, students new to PPS are expected to enroll at their neighborhood schools, and do not need to complete transfer requests. PPS families use the hardship petition process to request transfer out of a child’s current/assigned school and into:
- A different neighborhood school, including schools available through Board Approved Guarantees. For a complete list of guarantees see the Lottery Logic PDF
- Focus option grade levels not available during the lottery cycle and all focus option grade levels after the lottery cycle has closed.
Petitions are available year round. For the best chance of placement in the next school year, apply during the annual transfer cycle. Dates are posted at the Lottery and Transfer Information Page.
The petition system is an opportunity for problem solving:
- Families explain why their child's needs are not met at the neighborhood or current PPS school and how transferring to a different school would improve the situation.
- Common transfer reasons include childcare, physical risk to a child at a school, and sibling considerations. PPS staff will consider any reason for transfer. See this list of transfer reasons and follow-up steps.
- You will need to provide evidence that you have worked with the administrator at your current/neighborhood school to address your enrollment concerns before your transfer request will be considered.
- Staff in the Enrollment and Transfer Center will seek input from the student’s neighborhood/current school about whether the school can address the family's concerns and meet the child's needs.
- Petition transfer requests are processed in the order received. Decisions for requests received during the lottery transfer cycle will be made approximately six-eight weeks after the transfer cycle closes. Following the transfer cycle, decisions generally take between one and three weeks, depending on volume.
- A child should continue to attend the current/assigned school while a petition transfer request is under consideration.
- The director of the PPS Enrollment & Transfer Center grants or denies each petition.
- The petition is granted when there is confirmed evidence that a student's health, safety or educational development would be better served at another school, and when space is available at that school.
- Approved transfers are in effect through the highest grade of the approved school or program. Transportation will generally be the responsibility of the family.
- If space is not available at any of the requested schools, ETC staff may suggest other schools where the transfer can be accommodated.
- If a transfer is not granted, a family can appeal by submitting a letter with additional information or documentation.
- An appeal committee composed of 3 or more Area Assistant Superintendents in the Office of School Performance reviews the information and conducts interviews as needed before issuing a final decision.