• Interdistrict Open Enrollment (IOE) Guidelines

    Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is pleased to extend tuition-free enrollment opportunities to Ohio students who live outside the district’s 90-square-mile boundaries. With 65 schools, several magnet programs and dozens of career technical programs, the district can meet a wide range of interests and learning styles.

    General Eligibility for Open Enrollment

    • Ohio students who want to enroll full time in grades PreK-12 in Cincinnati Public Schools are eligible to apply for IOE. 
    • Students must be at least 5 years of age by September 30 to apply to kindergarten.
    • The residence of the custodial parent/guardian must be located outside of the boundaries of the CPS district but within the state of Ohio.
    • Students who were suspended or expelled for 10 or more consecutive days during the previous school year are ineligible to apply for admission through IOE for the upcoming school year.

    Cincinnati Public School District residents receive enrollment priority.

    CPS must always give enrollment priority to students who live within the Cincinnati Public School District.

    The open enrollment period to submit applications will be held each year in the spring. Most IOE placements will occur in July.

    Students registering through IOE must pay any fees owed to the district before the application will be considered.

    A student’s IOE placement in a CPS school will be reviewed each school year for space considerations.

    If the number of students applying for open enrollment exceeds the number of seats available, placement into the school will be made according to the following priorities:

    • Students with a parent who is employed by the district and with a sibling who will be attending the same school;
    • Students with a parent who is employed by the district and without a sibling who will be attending the same school;
    • Students currently open-enrolled into the district without a parent who is employed by the district;
    • Students with siblings who will be open-enrolled into the same school without a parent who is employed by the district.
    • Students who have applied to open enroll into the district without a parent who is employed by the district.


    Cincinnati Public Schools does not provide transportation for students enrolled through IOE.

    Extracurricular Athletic Eligibility

    IOE students may participate in athletic and extracurricular programs as long as they meet both CPS and Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) eligibility requirements. Those entering the 9th grade for the first time can establish eligibility on the 5th day of their 9th grade year or at the high school in which they participate in a game or scrimmage, whichever comes first. Unless custodial parents or guardians change their residence from one public school district to another public school district at least 50 miles from their former address, any student attempting to transfer to another school once the school year has begun will be ruled ineligible for one calendar year from the date of enrollment at the new school. Students and parents should check with the school’s Athletic Director prior to any attempt to transfer schools even if they are seeking to become eligible due to change of legal residence. The general rule regarding transfers is that once eligibility is established at a high school, any transfer to another school inside or outside the school district of residence will result in the student becoming ineligible for one year from the date of enrollment in the new school. If a student does transfer, parents or guardians should contact the Athletic Director at the new school to see if the student qualifies for restoration of athletic eligibility under any existing exceptions to the transfer rule.

    —(Source: Ohio High School Athletic Association, Constitution, Bylaws & Sports Regulations, Transfers)

    Special Education, English as a Second Language (ESL) and Other Special Services

    If a student requires special education services, or other special services, enrollment consideration must be arranged through the special education departments of both CPS and the student’s home district to ensure compliance with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

    For more information:

    • Call CPS' Customer Care Center: (513) 363-0123
    • CPS' Early Childhood Education Department (513) 363-0240
    • CPS' Student Services (special education) Department: (513) 363-0280