Enrollment After School Expulsion: What Schools Accept Terminated Students?


school expulsion attendance

Last Updated on May 10, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

The worst has happened- your son or daughter has been expelled from school. Now the student can no longer enroll in or attend school in their school district. What now? Where will they attend school while expelled? Is their education ruined? What type of school will enroll them?

What Schools Can Accept An Expelled Student Depends on the Expulsion Basis

Under the California Education Code, what crime a student is expelled for matters. Some expulsion bases mean expelled students can enroll only in certain schools, such as continuation schools.

enrollment after expulsion may be limited to students
Doors may be closed to students out on expulsion

Expulsion Order Will List a School Student Can Attend

A student’s expulsion order or the agreement a parent signs (stipulated expulsion) consenting to the student’s expulsion must have a school listed where the student may attend. Usually the school the student can enroll in after expulsion is a continuation school either inside the school district or in the county office of education, depending on the offense.

School of Enrollment Can Be Negotiated Before Hearing

If a parent wants to try to get the student enrolled in a “normal” school, or even in a certain school district program, such as independent study, often this has to be negotiated prior to the expulsion hearing. The agreed school then specifically has to be put into the expulsion agreement negotiated with the school district.

It is never certain if a parent goes to an expulsion hearing, what school will be put into the expulsion order, but it is more likely to be a continuation school. Sometimes, for this reason, it may be a good thing to try to negotiate the expulsion outcome before the expulsion hearing.

Students Expelled for the Big Five Offenses (Ed Code 48915(c)

Students expelled under Education Code section 48915(c), for the “Big 5” offenses, which include:

  • Drug sales
  • Brandishing a knife
  • Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm
  • Possession of an explosive
  • Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault

cannot attend a comprehensive (aka regular) school after expulsion (unless negotiated pre-hearing). The program these students may attend has to be a discipline program and must be a county community school, juvenile court school, or a community day school (aka continuation schools).

enrollment after school expulsion can be limited
Students may have limited school enrollment options if expelled

Students Expelled For Lesser Offenses Under 48915(a)

Students expelled under Education Code section 48915(a) are also technically limited in where they can attend to continuation schools (county community school, juvenile court school, community day school).

The offenses listed in Education Code section 48915(a) include:

  • Causing serious physical injury
  • Possession of a knife or dangerous object
  • Possession of any controlled substance but for the first offense of possession one ounce or less of marijuana or possession of over the counter medicine or medication prescribed to the pupil
  • Robbery or extortion
  • Assault and battery.

Other School Districts May Admit Expelled Students Who Were Not Expelled Under Section 48915 (a)-(c)

A parent whose child was not expelled under Education Code section 48915 (a)-(c) may approach another school district and ask for the student to be accepted for enrollment on an interdistrict transfer. The new district may then conduct an admission hearing to see if the student presents a danger to their district. If the student is not a danger, the student may be allowed to enroll, even while under an expulsion order from a different school district.

Charter Schools May Still Take Expelled Students

Students may try to enroll after expulsion in a charter school, particularly an at-home charter school, as the student will have limited on-campus interaction.