School Choice

  • smiling childen in the classroom

    2022-2023 School Choice is December 1 - December 31, 2021.

    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; Dual Language; the Arts; and Career Academies in areas such as Medical, Design and Engineering, Business and International Studies and more.

    Please be aware that school bus transportation will not be available for school choice students in 2022-2023 with the exception of Johnson K-8 (IB), Palmetto High (AICE), and Southeast High (IB). Transportation to all other choice schools will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.


    How it Works
    School Choice is not first-come, first-served. School Choice applications are collected throughout December for a lottery that takes place in January. The lottery results are emailed to applicants in February.

    Approval of school choice applications is subject to class size allocation capacities.


    How to Apply
    During the application window December 1 - 31, 2021, School Choice applications must be completed/signed by the ENROLLING parent/guardian in FOCUS.

    Student must be activated/linked to the ENROLLING parent's FOCUS account for the enrolling parent to access the School Choice application.

    Please select your enrollment status 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.
    If 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. They must contact the Office of Student Assignment to activate the student in FOCUS.

    Students New to the School District
    If the student has NEVER enrolled in the School District of Manatee County, the parent/guardian must create a FOCUS account and Register their student, BEFORE they can apply for School Choice. Go to Student 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 will not be 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 to arrange 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 will be 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. Families may apply for AICE or IB school programs using the applications available on this page under "Special Programs".

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

Special Programs/ Programas Especiales