PAUSD continues to experience high enrollment. Every effort is made to enroll students in the school closest to their residence based on the pre-assigned District boundary lines, called the "neighborhood school". However there is no guarantee that there will be space at the neighborhood school, and if not students may be "overflowed", or placed - by means of a reverse lottery - at the next-nearest school that has space within the district. The student will be placed on the neighborhood school's waitlist and parents will be notified when space becomes available; parents may choose to have their student return to the neighborhood school or remain in their current school for the duration of the school level (5th, 8th, or 12th grades).
Find your neighborhood school with our School Finder.
Grade Placement: For details on which grade your child will be placed into, click here.
Placement of all students in a Palo Alto Unified School District school is done by the Registration Services office, located at the PAUSD district office at 25 Churchill Ave. Placement is prioritized by the date that registration is complete.
Please contact Registration Services with any questions: RegistrationServices@pausd.org; (650) 329-3707.
PAUSD offers a limited number of Choice Programs (chosen by lottery) at the elementary and middle school levels. For a detailed description of these programs and how to register, click here.
Student born between September 2 and December 2 of the academic calendar year are eligible to attend PAUSD's Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. Enrollment in this program is optional. Information on TK program
Due to high enrollment, approval of Intradistrict Transfers is limited; all transfer requests must adhere to Board Policies on enrollment priority for neighborhood residents, class size, and consistency of program quality across all schools. Parents requesting mid-year transfers must meet with the student's current school principal to discuss the reasons for the transfer request, and must work with the principal, or the principal's designee, to resolve any issues prior to submitting an Intradistrict Transfer Request.
Students who are given approval to transfer will remain enrolled at the new school through the remaining grades at that school: elementary school transfers remain through 5th grade; middle school transfers remain through 8th grade; and high school transfers remain through 12th grade. Multiple transfers will not be considered.
When students have completed the last grade at their current school level and advance to the next school level (elementary to middle; middle to high), their placement assignment for that next level will revert back to their neighborhood schools for their home address, which can be determined by using the School Finder tool (pausd.org, Schools tab).
Use the following forms to apply for an Intradistrict Transfer and submit completed forms to Registration Services, located at the PAUSD District Office.
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - Elementary School
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - Middle School
- Intradistrict Transfer Request - High School
Transferring out of PAUSD: Students who live within the boundaries of PAUSD and would like to attend school in another district must first submit an Interdistrict Transfer Form to the PAUSD Registration Services office. Transfers must be approved by PAUSD before submission to the district desired.
Transferring in to PAUSD: Due to continued high enrollment, PAUSD does not anticipate accepting students who live outside the PAUSD boundaries for the current year or the upcoming school year.
Gardner Bullis Elementary School: PAUSD has a joint arrangement with the Los Altos School District for PAUSD families living in Los Altos Hills to request up to 7-year transfers to Gardner Bullis Elementary School. Gardner Bullis school is located at 25890 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills, CA. If you have a K-6 student and wish to consider this alternative, complete a PAUSD Interdistrict Transfer Form and submit it to the PAUSD Registration Services office.