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School Choice Begins January 7, 2019

Parents who would like to send their child to a school other than the one to which they are assigned for the 2019-2020 school year, need to apply during the School Choice Open Enrollment Period during the respective school-level session time periods outlined below.


·       The 2019 High School Choice Session runs from Monday, January 7, 2019 through Friday, January 18, 2019.


·       The Middle School Choice Session runs from Monday, February 4, 2019 through Friday, February 15, 2019.


·       The Elementary School Choice Session runs from Monday, March 4, 2019 through Friday, March 15, 2019.


The School Choice Open Enrollment Period is the only time during the year when parents can apply to request their child attend another school without a reason.


School Choice applications are available during each school choice session at the Office of Student Assignment located at 1400 1st Avenue East, Palmetto, all school sites, or online at by clicking “School Choice” under the “Parents and Students” tab.


It is important to note that students new to the School District of Manatee County school system will need to present a certified birth certificate and the social security number will be requested at the time they apply for school choice.  In addition, Choice applications must be completed/signed by the enrolling parent of record.  Emailed submissions verified for Enrolling Parent by the email address entered in the Student Information System (Focus Parent Portal). In person or postal submissions, require notary.


School Choice decisions may be of particular interest to parents of students moving from elementary to middle school, and from middle to high school because of the variety of magnet themes and academy programs offered at district schools. In addition, parents may use School Choice to enroll their child in the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) programs offered at Wakeland/Johnson IB, Southeast IB, Buffalo Creek AICE, and Palmetto AICE.


Approval of School Choice applications are subject to enrollment capacities and four race-neutral demographic criteria (ESOL, Free/Reduced Lunch Status, ESE Gifted, ESE Non-Gifted).


Choice options for elementary students are limited to schools within a specific geographical cluster and Choice options for middle school students are limited to specific geographical regions. Choice transportation may be provided within elementary clusters and middle school regions provided the student lives more than two miles from the Choice Approved School.  Hub transportation is offered countywide for the International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education programs.


Choice transportation is not available at the High School level.  High school students entering 9th and 10th grade can use School Choice to apply for any public high school; however, students entering 11th and 12th grade must apply through the hardship process to attend a school other than their assigned school.


For further information on school choice options available through the School District of Manatee County, please contact the Office of Student Assignment at 941-708-4971 or via email: