Again for 2017-2018 – all traditional elementary and Middle schools are now Choice Schools. This means that these schools will offer one or more “special programs” designed to attract students to the school.
CHOICE APPLICATIONS ARE DUE MAY 15, 2017
The teachers and administrators of Duval County Public Schools work hard to provide outstanding educational opportunities for students in all schools. However, sometimes parents and students seek opportunities at a public school other than the one in the student’s attendance area. That’s why Duval County Public School Choice was created. It offers options for students to transfer from their assigned schools to different ones.
This option is available to a student who wishes to attend a school other than the one in his or her attendance area. Transfers are made through application only during the Choice Option period and are determined by lottery based on space availability. Transportation to the new school is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Applications that are received after the deadline are filed according to the date they are received. If space becomes available in the requested school, parents will be notified during the summer. Students on waiting lists are placed before late applications.
About Magnet Programs
What are magnet programs?
Magnet programs offer a theme or focus that is designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill. A magnet school may feature one or more magnet programs.
Do I have to apply for a magnet program?
No. It’s up to each family to decide whether to go to their neighborhood school, apply for one of the District’s many magnet program offerings or opt for another of Duval County’s Choice programs.
Why do we have magnet programs?
Magnet programs were started during the 1991–1992 school year as a voluntary desegregation plan. Today, Duval County’s magnet programs are the centerpiece of the District’s School Choice Program and promote diversity in our schools.
What is a dedicated magnet school?
A dedicated magnet school does not have a set boundary. All students who attend the school apply for acceptance through the magnet lottery. Students who live in the former attendance area of a dedicated magnet school receive first preference for admission.
When do I have to decide?
The application season is January and February, with applications due in the office or postmarked by February 28 for the 2018-2019 school year. Applications received by the deadline are processed in the magnet lottery. Applications received after the deadline are placed if and when space becomes available. You do not receive special consideration for submission of an application before the deadline.
How do I apply?
You may submit an electronic application to the Magnet Programs office through a parent Focus account on or before February 28 for the 2018-2019 school year.
How do I get an application?
Each student currently enrolled in a Duval County Public School in Grades Pre-K–11 will be able to access the magnet application for 2018-2019 by logging into the FOCUS Parent Portal beginning January 2, 2018. Additionally, applications are available on the forms link to the left of the page, or the Magnet Office, located in the School Board Administration Building on Prudential Drive (beginning January 2, 2018) for out of county students and students applying for the Pre-K programs at J. Allen Axson and John E. Ford Elementary Montessory Schools.
Does a magnet student give up the chance to get a traditional education?
No. Every student receives instruction in all subject areas that are required for promotion and/or graduation. In fact, in many cases, the magnet theme is integrated into the core curriculum.
Is a magnet school better than the non-magnet school that is close to my home?
No. Magnet Programs offer something different, but they are not designed to be better than any other school in the District.
Am I guaranteed to get in if I apply?
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Admission is determined by a lottery that is based on the number of openings and the number of applications received for a school or program.
What is the advantage of attending a magnet school?
Students are able to participate in the program theme and meet other students from different areas of the city.
Can anyone apply to a magnet school?
Yes! With very few exceptions, all of Duval County’s magnet programs are “open admissions.” This means that all students may apply and have a chance to be selected through the magnet lottery. Applicants from out of county are not processed through the lottery but may be placed after the lottery runs if seats are still available.
About Choice Programs
What is a Choice School?
DCPS is beginning a new initiative known as Reinventing School Choice. This means that all schools will offer one or more “special programs” designed to attract students to the school.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes. Dedicated magnet schools are still known as magnet schools.
What about the elementary magnet schools and programs?
There is no change for the elementary magnet schools and programs.
Do the Choice Schools offer a special program or theme?
Yes. Each Choice School will offer something special. There are Choice Schools with a Career Academy; Choice Schools with an Acceleration Program; Choice Schools with a Special Program; and there are Choice Schools with a Magnet Program.
How do I apply for a Choice Program?
A Choice Option application is used for most non-magnet “Choice Programs.” The exceptions include charter schools and the High School Acceleration Programs. You may submit a Choice Option application for the 2018-2019 school year to the School Choice Office beginning April 2, 2018through May 15, 2018 by 4:30.
Am I guaranteed to get in if I apply?
No. Just like the magnet programs, there is a lottery that is based on the number of openings versus the number of applicants for each grade level. Schools that are over utilized cannot open seats for applicants from outside the school’s attendance area.
Is there transportation to a Choice School?
No. Parents are responsible for transportation to and from a Choice School for a student who does not live within the attendance boundary of the Choice School.
How do I apply for a High School Acceleration Program?
High School Acceleration Programs are designed to serve their own neighborhood students first. Schools that have space after serving the neighborhood population may open seats for students from outside the attendance area. High School Acceleration Programs have admissions criteria, and applications are submitted to the Office of School Choice. Applications are rank ordered, and placement is offered to the most highly qualified students. Students accepted into a High School Acceleration Program from outside the attendance area must also submit a Special Transfer Option application. The deadline to apply for Acceleration programs is January 26, 2018.
What is a Charter School?
Charter Schools are public schools that operate on a performance contract or "Charter" with the Duval County School Board and are intended to expand school choice options for students. Charter Schools are freed from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools, but they are held accountable for academic results and financial solvency.
How do I apply for a Charter School?
Each Charter School manages its own application process at the school. If a Charter School receives more applications than can be accommodated, a lottery is conducted at the school to determine which students may attend. Click on the charter school link to the left for a complete listing of Charter Schools for the 2017-2018 school year.
What is a Career Academy?
A Career Academy is a “school within a school” program that features a family-like atmosphere, integration of academic and career-related curricula, and the involvement of employers in a variety of roles. The academic course work is coordinated with a career focus, and normally there is a small group of teachers who work as a team to plan and manage the program.
What is a Middle School Acceleration Program?
A Middle School Acceleration Program is a middle school version of the High School Acceleration Programs—such as International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP),Cambridge Secondary 1 or Early High School.
What is a Choice School with a Magnet Theme?
A Choice School with magnet theme is the new way of referring to a non-dedicated magnet middle school or magnet high school. The magnet theme is still in place at these schools.