How does school choice work in Florida

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by elf, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. elf

    elf DIS Veteran

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    Can someone explain school choice in Florida.

    Collier and Lee county have school choice. What are chances you don't get in them? So if I move close to the school I really want that doesn't make any difference as to what school my kids go too?

    I'm looking and Middle and High Schools.
     
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  3. Fruto76

    Fruto76 DIS Veteran

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    School choice is when you put in a request to attend a different school then the one you are zoned for. You would have to check which school the neighborhood you like is zoned for. If its not the school you want our kids to go to you submit a request. I think it will depend on the school capacity levels and the reasoning you want that school as to whether or not you get it. We live in FL and I know a few people that school choice for one reason or another and most of them get the requests they want. Hope it helps.
     
  4. rumrunnergirl

    rumrunnergirl DIS Veteran

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    You go to the School Board location in your area, fill out a form, and number the schools in your zone from first choice to last. You get preference for schools that are within 2 miles of your house. If one sibling attends a school, other siblings get preference for that school.

    If you want your child to attend a school outside your zone, and there is room, they can go there but you don't get the school bus. I think that's how it works.

    Main website: http://www.leeschools.net/

    Student assignment: http://studentassignment.leeschools.net/
     
  5. elf

    elf DIS Veteran

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    O.K thank you, so it is worth it making an effort to move near the school for preference. Thank you. Since my kids might move midyear I just want to move them once and make sure I get the school we want.

    Thank you.
     
  6. marius97

    marius97 DIS Veteran

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    I don't know how it is here in Florida, but here in Michigan, the superintendant in the district you want out of has to approve the transfer. I've heard stories of some districts saying no to all requests unless there is a VERY good reason. They are not required to okay them and some choose not to give up the funding form that kid.
     
  7. jgreco

    jgreco Mouseketeer

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    Your first option is to look at the boundaries for your school district and find your "home school". The choice programs are for people who for whatever reason do not want to attend their "home school" for special programs only available at another school (IB program, technology, agriculture, etc).

    In Palm Beach County, you must submit a form by December 31st to enter into any choice programs/magnet programs. Some schools require an audition (if its music, dance, art, communications) or teacher/guidance counselor recommendation. Choice schools are determined by: 1) Space Available 2)Sibling Preference, meaning they get to the front of the line if a sibling is already attending the school. The popular schools always had too many enter and were determined by lottery.

    But, a word of caution if you have more than one that will be trying to enter. I had DS get in and DD did not due to class size restrictions. I had to drive to two different high schools (3 schools including my elementary DS) for two years until DS graduated. It was hell in a nutshell.
     
  8. tenaseewalker

    tenaseewalker Mouseketeer

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    I live in Michigan and my DS goes to a school of choice. I didnt have to go through the superintendant for any approval. All I had to do is go to the school I wanted, get the enrollment forms, fill them out, submit the paperwork with the previous schools transcripts and if there was an opennings available then my son was accepted. I would have an answer a month before the start of the school year.
     
  9. Claire&TheBoys

    Claire&TheBoys The Queen of the Castle!

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    If you check the website for the school district, you should be able to find maps of the school zones, or be able to type in an address and see what schools that location is zoned for. That's the best way to ensure that your kids go to the school you prefer. If you can't move into that zone (cost prohibitive, for example), you can do "school choice." You still have to register at the school for which you are zoned, but you can list first choice as a different school on the registration form. If the school you prefer is not at maximum enrollment, they will allow students from out-of-zone, but you have to provide transportation.

    We were zoned for the schools we prefer, but when we wanted to move to a larger home, I automatically vetoed anything outside of our district. I checked online to be sure of what schools a particular house was zoned for.
     
  10. elf

    elf DIS Veteran

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    OK thank you. Now I know it's pretty important to get a house/rental in my zone. One dd wants to pursue art, the other marine science (she's young could change). So I should find out which school is best for those subjects and move near them.

    I would rather not take things to chance if it's a school that we really wanted.

    I was nervous that if the school we happen to want and are zoned for is the most popular we wouldn't get in because of the choice/lottery thing and the school being too full, especially if we come mid year.
     
  11. reginaastralis

    reginaastralis DIS Veteran

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    This is my understanding, and I have a kid here ... so I might be a little misinformed, but it works.

    I live in Hillsborough County, the first year of school that your child is in the district, you have to complete the form by mail (I think you can hand deliver it) and from then on it's done on the computer. There are open dates when you can apply. The first is in late December (I think) then March, then in the summer. If your child is going to go to a magnet school, this is the same opening period. From what I understand, and this is something we have to figure out this year, but once your child is placed in their school of choice you don't have to reapply each year (this is our first year in our choice school, so I have to double check)

    Now, I don't know if this differs from district to district, but this is how it works in our district. You can go to the district website and type in the address you're going to have. (There are also maps available that have the different districts as well http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/schools/Map2009 - Map Side.pdf is our districts) From there is gives you your home school. You also have two "choice" schools in your area, and if your child goes to one of those three schools, you can get bus service (I think!) I don't know how to find out this information, and again, this could be different in each county.

    Now, in our county, as long as the school of your choice has an opening, your child can go there. For example, our home school is Y and our two choice schools are S and D. However, we have her at R. You have to have your own to and from transportation to go to a school outside of your "choice area"

    Wow, I hope that makes sense. lol. It's kinda a PITA, but it works, I guess. You usually get three choices each application period, and I don't know how it would work if you were moving after the application period is over.
     
  12. PrincessV

    PrincessV DIS Veteran

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    Every district is different, so make sure you're looking at the district you'll be in! Here in Pinellas, they eliminated the choice program and went back to neighborhood schools... unless you want to go with a charter, magnet, fundamental or other specialized option. Then you have to list your requests and/or apply to charter schools (they enroll separately from the district) and hope for the best; the waiting list for my son's charter school is hundreds long.
     
  13. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

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    My Sis changed the school for her DD due to where she worked and where they live in Collier, as a single parent and recent fires they approved it(last year). This year because she went last year it was automatic, I believe. But check on that.
     

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