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Some good first steps are:

  1. Visit to explore and understand ALL of your options with the easy-to-use school locator.  
  2. Ask your friends and family.  Word of mouth can be a very helpful tool. 
  3. Take a school tour or visit school fairs/events when possible. 
  4. Email us at and someone from our Family and School Engagement Team can help you with bilingual support.

YES, Arizona state law allows students to apply for admission to any public school, based on available classroom space (A.R.S. § 15-816.01). Students in Arizona have the opportunity to apply for admission to ANY public school – regardless of whether you live within or outside the district/school boundaries. However, most districts have open enrollment applications and deadlines which can begin as early as November.

MANY schools DO require an application and may have a FALL application deadline. This is even true for some public district schools.  We recommend that you check early in the Fall with the schools you are interested in applying to. Here are some “general guidelines”:


Public District Schools (Neighborhood School)

  • Enroll online at the district’s website
  • DEADLINE TO CONSIDER: Apply by early spring


Public Schools VIA “Open Enrollment”

  • A limited number of open enrollment seats are available – be mindful of enrollment deadlines
  • Application is required to attend a school that is NOT your neighborhood school
  • DEADLINE TO CONSIDER:  Apply by early November


Public Charter Schools

  • Although charter schools in AZ are also public schools, you are NOT guaranteed admission
  • Space is limited and schools fill up quickly (which is why there are often waiting lists)
  • DEADLINE TO CONSIDER: Apply by early November


Private Schools

  • Applications can take some time and can include an admissions test, interviews, and letters of recommendation
  • State tax-credit programs and ESA scholarships have separate applications and deadlines 
  • DEADLINE TO CONSIDER:  Apply by Early November 

YES, there are two primary programs within the State of Arizona that help families customize their child’s education.  Families can drastically reduce the cost of tuition (or in some cases completely cover the cost of tuition) for private schools in the State of Arizona through:

  • Arizona Empowerment Scholarship (ESA)
  • Arizona Tax Credit Scholarships

Both programs are intended to expand educational opportunities outside of the public school system.  The programs provide public funding for a wide range of personalized education expenses, including private school tuition, tutoring services, textbooks and more. 

For more information about Arizona Tax Credit opportunities for your family click here.

For more information about the Arizona Universal ESA click here.

Click here for more detailed information on how to fund a private education

School ratings are an attempt to help families evaluate and review schools.  Each year, ALL Arizona public schools (district and charter) are measured and assigned an “A-F” letter grade.  The Arizona Department of Education has established a set of metrics to determine the letter grade.

These letter grades give you a snapshot of the school, which allows you to compare schools in a more understandable way.  However, the AZ Letter Grades may not give you the whole picture of a school.  Many aspects of a school’s culture and climate may be left out.  Ratings should be just one of many tools families use when researching schools! 

For more information please visit How Arizona’s  A-F letter grades for schools work
To access AZ public school report cards  AZ Dept. of Ed. K-12 School Report Cards (State Letter Grades A-F)

Absolutely, positively, YES.   School tours are perhaps the best tool you have to truly assess whether the school is a good fit for your child/family.   You will gain a perspective that you simply cannot obtain from a website, email, or phone call.

WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR TOUR… be prepared to ask some good questions.  Click Here for questions to ask on a school tour. We have broken them down for you by school type, grade level, and topic.

IF YOU CANNOT TAKE A TOUR… the next best thing is to attend any district or city-wide school fairs or events to talk with and meet schools. Please visit our School Enrollment Event Calendar and stay up to date with Tucson enrollment events. 

  • Looking for the “perfect” or “forever” school – no school will have everything you are looking for.
  • Choosing a school based on reputation, prestige, or name.
  • Picking a school without actually visiting or touring the school.
  • Not being aware of admissions and enrollment deadlines (this includes public District and public Charter schools).

For more tips like these download our Step-by-Step Family Guidebook.  

We are here to help make this process easier!  Email our Family and School Engagement Team at