School Choice Plan - Controlled Open Enrollment
Controlled Open Enrollment is the school selection process for Monroe County Public Schools. Parents have the opportunity to request a school other than the school in their designated attendance area, but only within their geographic region of the Upper Keys, Middle Keys, or Lower Keys. Parents may also apply to the three charter schools in the district.
Priority for school assignment will be given to families living in the schools attendance area and to students already attending that particular school. Preference will be given to allowing siblings to attend the same school. Open spaces will be assigned through a lottery system taking geographic regions into account as described above.
New class sections, additional programs and additional bus routes will not be created for the Choice options. The school system is unable to assume increased costs to implement a choice plan. School choice assignments will be available as described within each of the three regional plans which follow.
Area - refers to attendance area boundaries for each school in Monroe County
Choice Deadline - refers to the date set annually by theSuperintendent by which all school choice applications and Intent to Remain Forms must be completed and turned in to the Choice School. Charter schools have separate deadlines
Choice School – refers to the school that is not the school for the area of residence of a student or a charter school, but is requested to be the student’s school by a parent under this Controlled Choice Plan
Controlled Choice - student assignment process based on parent choice of schools
District School Choice Committee - comprised of members representing three regional committees with responsibility for district wide process and procedures
Intent to Remain Form – refers to a form to be completed annually by the Choice Deadline by parents of all students who are attending a Choice School in the current school year and wish to retain their placement at that school for the following school year.
Lottery - a random selection process for filling available student spaces if the number of applicants for a school exceed the number of available seats.
Region - refers to three geographic regions of Monroe County: Lower Keys, Middle Keys and Upper Keys
Regional School Choice Committee - three committees, each representing one region of Monroe County, i.e. Upper, Middle, and Lower; with responsibility for regional lottery, appeals and other issues
Zone - refers to two zones in Lower Keys: Key West to Key Haven, and Rockland Key to Sunshine Key
CONTROLLED OPEN ENROLLMENT PLAN PROCESS
District Application Process
Application forms will be available at each school and the District Office. The application form in the basic format provided in Form A
shall be utilized for this purpose. Parents can request a first and second choice school placement. The application must be submitted to the Choice School office by the Choice Deadline in order to utilize student enrollment information during budget development for the upcoming school year. Parents will be notified of their child’s school assignment no later than late July. A lottery procedure will be used for student assignment if there are more requests than spaces available.
When space is not available, the request will be placed on a waiting list and the parent will be notified if there is an opening. For new students entering the school system after April 17th, parents will have the opportunity to request a school of choice. When space is available, the student will be placed at the choice school. Otherwise, the student will be placed at the school in his/her attendance area and included on the waiting list. Parents can appeal hardship cases to the Regional School Choice Advisory Committee.
Applications to charter schools are governed by their contracts with the School Board. These schools are to be contacted for their individual policies and deadlines.
Availability of Space
Preference will be given to those residing in the current attendance area of the school and to placing all siblings together when requested by parents. If students are attending a Choice School, parents must notify that school of their intent to remain at that school for the following school year by the Choice Deadline. Intent to Remain Form, in the basic format provided in Form B
shall be utilized for this purpose. Availability of the first or second choice school will depend upon two major factors:
- open space at the proper grade level and
maintaining socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance.
School choice transfers will be considered for elementary schools, if class sizes average below eighteen in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade, and twenty-two in fourth and fifth grades. These class size numbers are for school choice purposes only. Additional sections and programs will not be created for school choice.
Choice transfers for part-time exceptional students will be considered under the same guidelines as those for regular education students described above. For exceptional students in a self-contained varying exceptionalities classroom, the guidelines for choice transfers will be an average of 12 students. These guidelines are to be used for school choice decisions only.
Appropriate racial balance will be determined by reviewing the annually prepared Ethnic/Race Membership Percentages form. The goal is to either maintain the existing ratio or not to decrease minority enrollment below twenty percent.
School Choice Advisory Committee
A district wide committee will be responsible for developing the lottery process guidelines and the appeal procedure. In addition, three regional committees will review unsettled school choice issues. All school choice committees will serve in an advisory capacity to the Superintendent.
The committee members will be appointed by the Superintendent. An administrator will chair each committee and a designated parent liaison will serve as co-chair. Regional committee membership will be comprised of representatives from the schools at various grade levels including parents, teachers, support staff and principals. The district wide committee will be comprised of a parent and a member of the staff from each of the three regions.
Parent Involvement in Choice Plan
In addition to the designation of a district-wide parent liaison and parents serving on the school choice advisory committees, school advisory councils at each school will be involved. The school choice plan will be reviewed annually by school advisory councils for input to their respective regional School Choice Advisory Committee.
Clearinghouse for Information
The school district office will house copies of each school’s Public Accountability Report with a Program Addendum. Additionally, the Superintendent shall each year provide copies of the programs and services available at each school in a format similar to that in Form C. Each school will make their own report readily available to parents.
Existing bus routes will be maintained. However, students attending a Choice School will be permitted to ride a Monroe County school bus under the following conditions:
- Parents can take their child to the nearest bus stop from their residence, where the bus can be boarded as long as there is available space on the bus for all those within that attendance area. Students may also be transported to home or day care after school as long as there is available space on the bus for all those within that attendance area.
- In all cases, prior arrangements must be made with the transportation department.
The Lower Keys area includes the city of Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge. This area encompasses two zones: Zone One - Key West to Key Haven, Zone Two - Rockland Key through Sunshine Key. Zone One contains four elementary schools, one elementary annex, one middle school and one high school. Zone Two contains one elementary/middle school.
Due to geographic constraints, parent choice will be restricted to the zone within which the family resides. There will be a choice of four elementary schools in Zone One. For Zone Two in the Big Pine area there will continue to be a choice for grades seven and eight, and grades nine through twelve between Sugarloaf Middle School or Marathon Middle School, and Key West High School or Marathon High School respectively.
The Middle Keys Region extends from the seven mile bridge in Marathon to Conch Key. In this region there is only one elementary school, Stanley Switlik, and one middle/high school, Marathon High School.
Choice of schools will be as follows:
1) Grade 7 & 8 students living on Big Pine Key and keys west of Big Pine Key will have the choice of Sugarloaf Middle School in the Lower Keys or Marathon Middle School in the Middle Keys zone. Bus transportation (transporting high school students at same time) is provided for Marathon Middle School students; however, parents must provide transportation to Big Pine Key if living on keys west of Big Pine Key.
2) High School students living on Big Pine Key and keys west of Big Pine Key will have the choice of Marathon High School in the Middle Keys zone or Key West High School in the Lower Keys zone. Bus transportation is provided only from Big Pine Key to Marathon High School. Parents must provide transportation to Big Pine Key if living on keys west of Big Pine Key.
Students living in the Marathon attendance area can attend Coral Shores High School under the current Out-Of-District procedure, which requires parents to provide transportation unless there is space on an already established bus route.
The Upper Keys area extends from Ocean Reef and Dade/Monroe County Line to Layton. In this area there is one PreKindergarten to Eighth Grade School, one Kindergarten to Eighth Grade School, and one High School. Within this area, the two Elementary/Middle Schools have attendance areas. Key Largo School’s attendance area is from Ocean Reef/County Line to Mile Marker 94. Plantation Key School’s attendance area is from Mile Marker 93 to Layton.
CONTROLLED OPEN ENROLLMENT PLAN OPTIONS
Monroe County is divided into three large geographic regions - Upper Keys, Middle Keys, and Lower Keys. Where you live in Monroe County determines your school options. Choice of Schools will be as follows: 1) K-8 Schools - Choice from 2 schools in the Upper Keys area. Attendance Area #1 - Key Largo School (Mile Marker 94 to Ocean Reef and Dade/Monroe County Line) Attendance Area #2 - Plantation Key School (Mile Marker 93 to Layton); 2) High School - Coral Shores High School only choice. 3) However students living in the upper keys attendance area can attend Marathon High School under the current Out-of-District procedure, which requires parents to provide transportation, unless there is a space on an already established bus routes.