• About Choice Programs

    What is a Choice School?

    This year, DCPS is beginning a new initiative known as Reinventing School Choice. This means that all middle schools and all high schools will offer one or more “special programs” designed to attract students to the school.

    Why is the District changing all middle and high schools to Choice Schools?
    The District wants all schools, including neighborhood schools, to be viewed as good options for students.

    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 Special Transfer 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 Special Transfer Option application to the School Choice Office on or before May 15, 2015.

    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 directly to the school. 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.

    What is a Charter School?
    Charter Schools are public schools that operate on a performance contract 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 to determine which students may attend. Click here for a complete listing of Charter Schools.

    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.