School Choice

  • smiling children in the classroom

    2024-2025 School Choice application Open Enrollment session is Closed.

    School Choice allows a parent/guardian to request enrollment for their child(ren) in a School District of Manatee County K-12 public school that has not reached capacity.

    Parents may use school choice to enroll their children in innovative programs like International Baccalaureate (IB),  Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), WOZ-Ed Pathways, Visual & Performing Arts, Dual Language, and Career Academies in areas such as Design & Engineering, Business & International Studies, Medical and more.

    Please note, students enrolled in school choice are not eligible for school bus transportation with the exception of Johnson K-8 (IB), Palmetto High (AICE), and Southeast High (IB). Transportation of students to/from all other choice schools is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.


    How it Works
    School Choice is not first-come/first-placed. Approval of applications is subject to class size allocation capacities.

    School Choice applications are collected during the Open Enrollment session 11/27/23 through 12/20/23. Applications are run through a programmatic choice lottery. The lottery results are emailed to applicants in Spring 2024 for Fall 2024 enrollment.


    How to Apply
    During the application window (November 27- December 20, 2023), school choice applications must be completed/signed by the ENROLLING parent/guardian via their FOCUS account. The student applicant must be active, linked and enabled to the ENROLLING parent's FOCUS account for the enrolling parent to access the school choice application.

    Please select your enrollment status below for instructions:

    Current SDMC Students
    For students currently attending a public school in the School District of Manatee County, the ENROLLING parent/guardian may access the School Choice application by logging in to their FOCUS account during the choice application window (November 27- December 20,2023).

    If the enrolling parent does not have a FOCUS account, please create a FOCUS account.

    INACTIVE (Previously Enrolled) SDMC Student
    Former SDMC students already have a Student ID# assigned. Parents must contact the Office of Student Assignment to activate the student as an applicant in FOCUS.

    NEW Students to the School District of Manatee County

    If the student has NEVER enrolled in the School District of Manatee County, the parent/guardian must create a FOCUS account and register their child in the district's FOCUS student information system between November 27th - December 20th BEFORE accessing the application for school choice. Go to Registration and select: “Click to enroll *NEW* K-12 Student for the first time.” Parents/guardians are encouraged to review the "Registration Checklist" as soon as possible, and allow extra time to gather and upload official documents that are required (such as a certified birth certificate, Florida Immunization Form, etc.).


    Transportation
    Students enrolled in School Choice are not eligible for school bus transportation with the exception of Johnson K-8 (IB), Palmetto High (AICE), and Southeast High (IB).

    A hub bus stop (central location) will be designated at a school site for these three programs. Pursuant to Florida Administrative Code, parents/guardians will be responsible for arranging transportation to/from the hub bus stop, to ensure the safety of their student(s) while traveling to/from the hub stop, and to supervise their student(s) while waiting for the school bus at the hub stop.

    Transportation of students to/from all other choice schools is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.


    What about the current school year?
    School Choice applications for the CURRENT school year, with the exception of AICE or IB programs, are not being accepted at this time. The enrolling parent may apply for AICE or IB school programs using the "Special Program Choice - AICE / IB Application" available in FOCUS under the applicant child's name.

    For Hardship Transfer request details, please visit the Hardship Transfers page or contact the Office of Student Assignment.

School Choice Events