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FLORIDA NEW SCHOOL CHOICE LAW FACTS....

The School Board shall establish residential attendance zones for each school.  All students, unless otherwise provided by School Board rule or authorized by the School Board’s order, shall attend the school serving the student’s residential attendance zone.  A student’s residence is the residence of his/her parents(s), as defined by Florida Statutes.  Any student residing in the School District shall be assigned to a school for attendance by the Superintendent or his designee.  

Gadsden County Schools has open enrollment options for parents to choose a school outside their residential attendance zone school. Gadsden County School District allows parents from any school district in the state, whose child is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension, to enroll his or her child in and transport his or her child to any public school in the district, including charter schools, that have not reached capacity subject to the maximum class size pursuant to Florida Statutes and the Controlled Open Enrollment Plan adopted by the School Board.  No student shall be permitted to transfer, enroll, or be admitted to a school when he/she has been expelled or suspended from another school district.  This prohibition shall be effective for the period of time in which the student was expelled or suspended from another district.  Such students shall be accorded the same appeals procedure which is available for district students. 

Charter school open enrollment processes may provide enrollment preferences consistent with the enrollment preferences permitted under the charter school statute (s. 1002.33(10), F.S.), if such preferences are included in the charter school contract.  The charter school shall annually post on its website the application process required to participate in controlled open enrollment. Determination of capacity must be listed on the charter school website and must be consistent with its charter school contract.

The assigned school for an out-of-district student shall be designated on the basis of space available.  Such transfers shall be made on a nondiscriminatory basis and shall not result in reducing desegregation in either the school district or in reinforcing the dual school system.  The student will be accepted pursuant to the district’s controlled open enrollment process described below, and the district will report the student for purposes of the district’s funding pursuant to the Florida Education Finance Program.  Students residing in the district shall not be displaced by a student from another district who is seeking enrollment through the open enrollment provisions. The Controlled Open Enrollment Process is approved by the School Board and is consistent with the School Board Policy 5.23*+.  The process includes but is not limited to the following:

A.     Eligibility requirements

B.     Application process for parents to notify the school district of their desire to be part of controlled open enrollment

C.     Method of determining capacity of schools

D.     Capacity determination for each District school

E.     Identification of schools that have not reached capacity

F.     Class size standards (pursuant to s. 1003.03(4), F.S. – determination for capacity will be listed on district and charter websites

G.     Lottery procedure for determining student assignment if transfer requests exceed available space

H.     Provision for a parent to request placement of siblings within the same school

I.      Appeals process for hardship cases

J.      Availability of transportation

K.     Method and timeline for notifying a parent of his/her child’s placement for the next school year.

The process for implementing must

A.     Adhere to federal desegregation requirements

B.     Maintain socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance

C.     Allow a student to remain at the chosen school until he/she completes the highest grade level at the school

D.     Maintain existing academic eligibility criteria for public school choice programs

Information about school choice and special programs is provided annually to the community through parent communication links, listservs, school mail-outs, back pack disseminations, individual program promotional materials, open houses at school sites, school visits, and through the district Parent Resource Center.

Open enrollment options include school choice for grandfathering, sibling support, over/under capacity schools, school safety, and other parent hardships.  Preferential treatment will be given to dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders; children who have been relocated due to a foster care placement in a different school zone; children who move due to a court-ordered change in custody due to separation or divorce; children who have moved due to the serious illness or death of a custodial parent; students at multiple session schools; and students residing in the district. 

In all cases, applications for school choice are available at all public schools, the Parent Resource Center, on the district website, or by mail or fax, as requested. The form provides instructions, information, and contact information for questions and support. Applications are processed by the Parent Resource Center. Applications for magnet and special programs are processed at the individual school level in accordance with each program's admissions criteria.  Determinations about student eligibility for acceptance into the special program are made based on eligibility of the program.

Applications for other choice options are reviewed by the Parent Resource Center and the Superintendent or his designee taking into consideration any hardships that may need to be accommodated. The Parent Resource Center then updates the student information system. A notification letter responding to a school choice application is sent to parents as soon as possible, including an appeal process in the case of a denial for reassignment based on hardship at a school that is over capacity. Parents with an approved school choice request are directed to the new school to proceed with student enrollment.


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35 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd | Quincy, Florida 32351 | Office: (850) 627- 9651 | Fax: (850) 627-2760