topleft >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

San Francisco USD |  BP  5111  Students


arrow Previous bar Next arrow

The Board of Education encourages the enrollment and appropriate placement of all school-aged children in school. The Superintendent or designee shall inform parents/guardians of children entering a District school at any grade level about admission requirements and shall assist them with enrollment procedures.

Before enrolling any child in a District school, the Superintendent or designee shall verify the child's age, residency, immunization, and other applicable eligibility criteria specified in law, the accompanying administrative regulation, or other applicable Board policy or administrative regulation.


Students who are residents of San Francisco have priority in school assignment above all students who live outside of San Francisco. On March 9, 2010, the Board of Education adopted a Student Assignment Redesign Policy that offers certain priorities in school assignment that are based on a student's residential address. Residence fraud has the potential to undermine the fairness of the student assignment process and to defeat the goals of the Student Assignment Redesign policy. Additionally, San Francisco voters have authorized over $60 million annually in operating funds as well as over $800 million in bond initiatives that are meant to serve San Francisco residents. This policy seeks to preserve and prioritize the use of these funds for San Francisco residents.


A minor's residence is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the minor. In order to be enrolled in SFUSD, the student's parent/legal guardian must continually reside in San Francisco at the time of application and for the entire period of enrollment in SFUSD.

This residency policy does not apply to homeless students.

Definition of Residency

For the purpose of this policy, a resident is an individual who is a full time occupant of a dwelling located in San Francisco and who, on any given day, is likely to be at their stated address when not at work or school. In determining the place of residence the following rules shall be observed:

1. It is the place where one remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose, and to which he/she returns in seasons of repose.

2. There can only be one residence.

3. A residence cannot be lost until another is gained.

4. The residence of the parent/guardian with whom an unmarried minor child maintains his/her place of abode is the residence of such unmarried minor child.

5. The residence can be changed only by the union of act and intent.

If the parents are separated and live at different addresses, the pupil must physically reside with the parent in San Francisco for at least 50% of the time during the regular school year.

Temporary residence in San Francisco, solely for the purpose of attending a SFUSD school, shall not be considered residency. A person who owns property in San Francisco, but does not reside in San Francisco, is not considered a resident.

Required Documents

The Superintendent is directed to develop an Administrative Regulation to outline the documents necessary to establish residency to apply for or enroll in a San Francisco public school.

These documents also will be required for any change of address and may be requested for transitional students entering 6th or 9th grade.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the enrollment of a homeless or foster child or a child of military family is not delayed because of outstanding fees or fines owed to the child's last school or for his/her inability to produce previous academic, medical or other records normally required for enrollment.

Special Situations

A student may also establish residency by providing official documentation deemed sufficient to the District to show that s/he is an emancipated minor living in SF; is in the court-appointed care of a licensed foster home, family home or licensed children's institution within SF; is confined to a hospital or residential care in SF for treatment of a temporary disability; lives with a caregiving adult; has obtained an interdistrict permit; or has a parent or legal guardian who resides outside the boundaries of the school district but is employed and lives with the student at the place of his or her employment within the boundaries of the school district for a minimum of three days during the school week. Enrollment in a particular school may be denied if District staff determine that the student resides with a caregiver rather than the parent solely for the purpose of attending a particular school.

The Superintendent is directed to outline the types of documentation that will be considered sufficient in an Administrative Regulation.

In addition, no child shall be denied enrollment in a district school solely on the basis of his/her arrest, adjudication by a juvenile court, formal or informal supervision by a probation officer, detention in a juvenile facility, enrollment in a juvenile court school, or other contact with the juvenile justice system.

Undocumented Students

Any child whose family resides in San Francisco is guaranteed access to a free public education in SFUSD. No family will be denied access to school because of their immigration status.

Verification of Residency

The Superintendent or designee may annually verify, at the Superintendent's discretion, the student's residency and retain a copy of the document(s) offered as verification of residency in the student's mandatory permanent record.

If the Superintendent or designee reasonably believes or has a reasonable suspicion that the parent/guardian of a student has provided false or unreliable evidence of residency, the Superintendent or designee is authorized to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the student meets District residency requirements.

In order to verify residency, SFUSD reserves the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation. Because residency can change for students and their families during the school year, SFUSD may verify residency at any time, or may require proof of continued residency at such intervals (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually) as may be deemed appropriate, including in transitional grades.

The Director of the Education Placement Center is the designee charged with overseeing residency fraud investigations. The EPC Director may utilize District staff or private investigators to conduct residency investigations as the EPC Director and/or designee deems reasonably appropriate.


1. Circumstances upon which the District may initiate an investigation

A residency investigation may be conducted in instances where the Superintendent or designee is able to identify specific, articulable facts supporting the belief that the parent or legal guardian of the pupil has provided false or unreliable evidence of residency. Such circumstances may include but is not limited to the following situations:

a. Families reported through the District's Residency Fraud tip line;

b. Families who have submitted incomplete, suspicious or contradictory information, including without limitation proofs of address;

c. Families whose District correspondence has been returned by postal authorities due to invalid address and/or expired forwarding orders;

d. Families whose information is found to be inconsistent after a residency audit. Residency audits will be conducted at random as workload and resources permit with priority for such audits to be for oversubscribed schools.

2. Investigatory Methods

Investigatory methods may include home visits, to/from home or school surveillance, verification of enrollment information, review of student and public records, including available social media, interviews, and collection of images with technology used in open and public view. Surreptitious photographing or video-recording of pupils who are being investigation is prohibited.

3. Investigators

Investigations may be conducted by District employees and/or licensed private investigators. District employees and licensed private investigators will truthfully identify themselves as such during the course of the investigation.

Before hiring a licensed private investigator, the District will make reasonable efforts to determine whether the pupil resides in the District.

Students Who Move

If the parent/guardian who has physical custody of the student(s) moves to a new address at any time after submitting the application for enrollment, s/he must submit a Change of Address form to the Education Placement Center within 14 days following the move. Students who move out of San Francisco but wish to remain in a SFUSD school shall apply for an interdistrict permit from the new district of residence. Interdistrict permits shall be processed in accordance with District procedure.

If the parent/guardian fails to submit a Change of Address form within 14 days of their move, the student's enrollment may be revoked.

The Superintendent is directed to create an Administrative Regulation to describe the enrollment consequences for families who notify EPC of a move out of San Francisco.

Revocation of Enrollment

If the Superintendent or designee reasonably determines in their discretion that a student's enrollment and/or school placement is based on a false claim of residency, address, guardianship/caregiver, or any other false information, the student's enrollment will be revoked.


If the District finds that the student is not a resident of San Francisco, the student will be dropped from enrollment in the District and required to enroll in school in the student's actual district of residence. The student may remain at the assigned school for the duration of the school year if his/her family lost residency due to a no-fault eviction.

For one year after the revocation, the student will not be eligible to apply for an interdistrict permit to any oversubscribed school. However, the student will be immediately eligible to apply for an interdistrict permit to attend an undersubscribed school that has space at the time of application, including their original school if it is undersubscribed. Such applications will be processed in accordance with District procedures.


If the District finds that the student is a San Francisco resident, but has obtained a particular school assignment based on other false information or moved to San Francisco after the District's discovery of their non-residency, the student will be dropped from the assigned school that was obtained with false information and will be re-enrolled in an undersubscribed school that has space at the time of re-enrollment.* Residents who have had their enrollment revoked due to violation of this policy shall not be eligible to participate in any choice placement process into an oversubscribed school for one year after revocation.

*One exception to this rule is that residents found to be in violation of this policy may remain in their assigned school if (1) it is an undersubscribed school, (2) there is space and no outstanding choice requests at the time of revocation.

Undersubscribed school is defined as a school that was not full and did not have outstanding choice requests at the beginning of the current school year. Oversubscribed school is defined as a school that was full and had outstanding choice requests at the beginning of the current school year.

Families who are determined to have violated this policy shall be charged for the time and expenses that the District incurs to complete its investigation. If enrollment has been revoked, an interdistrict permit to attend school in San Francisco will not be granted for one year after revocation.

In addition to recovering investigation costs, the District reserves the right to pursue additional civil and criminal legal action against individuals who have submitted false information to the District to obtain enrollment in an SFUSD school, including without limitation prosecution of a claim for violation of Government Code 12650 et seq. for false claims violations. The Board delegates to the General Counsel the authority to settle false residency claims.

The Education Placement Center shall send the parent/guardian a letter notifying them of the District's determination that the student does not meet the residency requirements for attendance; shall list the suspected address outside of San Francisco; and will notify the parent/guardian of their right to appeal this determination within 7 days. The District's letter and all other related correspondence will be provided in the family's home language.

Appeal of Revocation of Enrollment

If the parent/guardian feels that the District's determination regarding residency was made in error, s/he may submit a letter and supporting evidence to the Educational Placement Center Director within 7 days to appeal the decision. The parent/guardian will receive a meeting with the EPC Director or other Superintendent's designee to discuss the parent's appeal.

The meeting is the parent/guardian's opportunity to present their evidence of residency, and to respond to the District's questions and evidence regarding the student's residency. The EPC Director or other Superintendent's designee may request that the parents submit additional information and residency documentation after the meeting to substantiate their claim.

The EPC Director or other Superintendent's designee will respond within a reasonable amount of time to notify the parent/guardian of whether the appeal results in a decision to sustain or reverse the enrollment revocation. The appeal decision shall be final.

In enforcing this policy, the EPC Director acts under the discretion of the Superintendent.

The student may remain in school until the appeal is completed.

If the parent/guardian fails to submit an appeal within 7 days after receipt of the notification letter, the student's enrollment shall be terminated on the 8th day after receipt of the notice. This decision shall be final.


adopted: March 22, 2011 San Francisco, California

revised: December 8, 2015