The New School Open Enrollment, Palm Beach County, Florida

By
Real Estate Agent with Illustrated Properties

Worrying about where you are buying a home as it relates to the schools is becoming less challenging in the state of Florida.  The new school choice program rolls out for the 2017-18 school year.  Here are some answers to questions you may have and some helpful links.

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Choice, Reassignment and Controlled Open Enrollment

 

Can my child attend any school in Palm Beach County for the upcoming school year?

Florida Legislature passed a law that will allow students to attend any school in Florida that is not completely full. Controlled Open Enrollment, or COE, will start in 2017-18 and will allow students to attend any public school in the state that is not full, as long as the student has not been suspended or expelled. School capacity is defined in School Board Policy 5.018. The list of schools that will be available for enrollment through COE will be on the Department of Choice and Career Options website at www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms.

 

Do I go to the school to enroll for Controlled Open Enrollment?

No. All students wanting to attend an available school through Controlled Open Enrollment must submit an application at www.mypbchoiceapp.com. If there are more applicants than seats available at a school, a random computerized lottery will be held to assign students.

 

What other school choice options, other than Controlled Open Enrollment, do I have for my children within the School District of Palm Beach County?

There are many opportunities throughout the year to explore and apply for a specialized program or school through the process of: Choice Programs, Reassignment, Controlled Open Enrollment as discussed above, and Charter schools.

 

What is the difference between Choice Programs, Controlled Open Enrollment, Reassignment, and Charter Schools?

Descriptions of each option is below:

• Choice Programs: Students in Pre-K through 12th grade can participate in a careerthemed program that may be offered at their zoned school or at a school outside of their boundaried school. Students must meet the eligibility criteria for most programs at the high school level and some programs at the middle school level. Assignment is through a random lottery selection. Additional information can be viewed in District Policy 5.016.

• Controlled Open Enrollment: Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade may request school assignment through Controlled Open Enrollment, or COE. COE allows student school assignments using parents’ indicated preferential school choice as a significant factor in the process. Parents residing within the state of Florida may choose from a list of Palm Beach County schools available for student entry for the following school year. Additional information can be viewed in District Policy 5.018. • Reassignment: Assistance in providing a reassignment to a school other than a student’s zoned school in an effort to alleviate supervision hardships and other extenuating circumstances. Requests and approvals must support District Policy 5.015.

• Charter Schools: Charter schools are public schools that are a part of Florida’s program of public education. The School Board of Palm Beach County is the sponsor of the charter schools located in Palm Beach County, but they do not govern them.

 

When can I apply for a Choice Program, Reassignment, Controlled Open Enrollment or Charter School?

 

• Choice: The window to apply for a Choice program is between November and January* for the following school year. Application deadlines for Choice programs will vary, based on the selected program. Specific application dates and deadlines are posted on the Department of Choice and Career Options website: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms/.

• Reassignment: Reassignment applications will be accepted June of each year for the following school semester or school year. Specific application dates and the list of available schools will be posted on the Department of Choice and Career Options website: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms/.

• Controlled Open Enrollment: Controlled Open Enrollment applications will be accepted April through May of each year for the following school year. Specific application dates, the list of available schools, and additional information for each school year will be posted on the Department of Choice and Career Options website: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms/.

• Charter Schools: A charter school may enroll an eligible student who submits a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. In such case, all applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process. Contact the specific charter school for more information on their application process.

 

Are out-of-county residents eligible to apply for a Choice Program, Reassignment, Controlled Open Enrollment or a Charter School in Palm Beach County?

 

Only Palm Beach County residents are eligible to apply for a Choice program or a Reassignment, with the exception of out-of-county School District of Palm Beach County employees, who are eligible to apply for both options under the related policies. Families residing in any county within the state of Florida are eligible to apply for Controlled Open Enrollment. For charter schools, contact the specific charter school for more information on their application process for out-of-county residents.

 

Is transportation provided if my child gets accepted under one of these options?

 

Choice Program students may receive transportation regardless of how far they live from the Choice school. Parents must provide transportation to the closest bus stop in order to be eligible. Bus stops will only be available within the Choice Transportation Zone for each school and additional stops will not be created. Transportation is not provided for students who are assigned to a school through Reassignment* or Controlled Open Enrollment. (*Exception outlined in District policy 5.015) Contact the specific charter school for more information on charter school transportation.

 

If my child gets assigned to a school or program, can he/she remain until the last grade completed or do I have to reapply each year?

 

Students assigned to a Choice program do not have to reapply each year. The student may remain in the assigned school as long as the student continues to participate in the Choice program. If a student exits a Choice program, voluntarily or involuntarily, he/she must return to his/her zoned school for the next semester or whenever stipulated by the Choice contract and/or policies. Students who are assigned to a school through the reassignment process may remain at that school as long as the reason for reassignment is still valid and the student continues to meet the criteria outlined in School Board Policy 5.015. Students who are assigned to a school through Controlled Open Enrollment may remain at the school until the last grade completed, unless the student withdraws from that school. The student will have to reapply during the next application cycle.

 

Where can I learn more about my options?

 

To learn more about Choice programs, Reassignment and Controlled Open Enrollment, visit the Department of Choice and Career Options website at: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms/ or www.mypbchoiceapp.com. To learn more about charter schools in Palm Beach County, please visit the Department of Charter Schools website at www.palmbeachschools.org/charter.

 

What can I do now to prepare my child for next school year?

 

If you are still within the application window to apply for a Choice program, explore the hundreds of Choice and Career programs available to all students in Palm Beach County and apply before the deadline. Click here to view and download the Choice program booklet. If you have any questions, please send us an e-mail: choicequestions@palmbeachschools.org.

 

Help in finding a fabulous new home?

 

Just go to www.YourPalmBeachCountyHome.com

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