School Choice Overview
School Choice Overview - General Information
Getting Started
Appeals Process
School Choice Hardship Process

 

Controlled Open Enrollment:

The Florida Legislature recognizes the value of an educational system that provides numerous and meaningful options for students and their parents. In order to promote and encourage parental involvement and ensure students have access to a school that meets their needs, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 1002.31, Florida Statutes , which directs each school district to develop a controlled open enrollment plan. A controlled open enrollment plan allows school districts to make student school assignments considering parents' indicated preferential school chioce as a significant factor. Legislation also provides for a hardship process and an appeals process to be put into place, as part of a controlled open enrollment plan.

Florida Statute 1002.31 Controlled Open Enrollment; Public School Parental Choice:

Districts must provide preferential treatment in their controlled open enrollment processes 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, or the serious illness or death of a custodial parent; and
  • Students residing in the district.

Important: 

  • Transportation is not provided to students on school choice.

Hub transportation may be provided for magnet programs and schools. Please see the Pasco Pathways Innovative Programs and School Choice Catalog https://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/school_choice_catalog/catalog for additional details.

  • Students subject to a current expulsion or suspension are not eligible for school choice.
  • Approval to attend a school of choice can be rescinded due to poor attendance, grades or behavior or if a student withdraws from a program (such as IB) upon which the approval was based. 
  • All Pasco County schools are monitored for class size availability. Not all grade levels are available at the schools listed on the application.
  • A student must be entering kindergarten and be five (5) years old on or before September 1 of the current school year to be eligible for School Choice reassignment. 
  • Parents wishing to enroll in a county other than Pasco County must contact that county for their enrollment procedures.
  • District consideration of Choice applications and hardship requests includes without limitation a review of the District’s Open Enrollment plan, applicable State and Federal law, and School Board Policy.
  • A student with a disability and who is being educated with the use of an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or 504 Plan, may utilize this school choice process, or may otherwise utilize remedies set forth in Federal or Florida Law to seek a change of placement or school assignment to ensure their educational program is appropriate. The receiving school's ability to meet the student's needs, and implement the relevant plans will be determinative during the case-by-case analysis for assessing whether a parentally-preferred school choice is appropriate and permissible. 

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Getting Started:

  1. Find out which school your student is zoned to attend.
  2. Review the current schools considered frozen to School Choice Open Enrollment, subject to change as the year progresses. 
  3. Review School Choice Open Enrollment Windows and School Choice Open Enrollment application guidelines.
  4. Learn more about your options for enrolling your student in one of Pasco County Schools Innovative and Choice Programs, for example Magnet and Career and Technical Programs. 
  5. Check out our FAQ.

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Appeals Process:

Parents of students who applied during Controlled Open Enrollment and were not approved for placement in a school of choice may request an appeal review based on a documented hardship within 5 business days of receiving notice of denial. A written appeal describing the hardship must be submitted electronically via email to pascopathways@pasco.k1.fl.us . The School Choice Appeal Committee serves as the contact for appeal requests and coordinates the review of all hardship requests. The results of this appeal are considered final.

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School Choice Hardship Process:

For the 2019-20 school year, when a parent/guardian feels that a school choice hardship consideration is appropriate, the parent/guardian may submit a hardship request to be considered for attendance at a school other than the student's home-zoned school. An application may be submitted to be reconsidered for attendance at a school other than the student's home-zoned school. Required documentation is indicated on the School Choice Hardship Application. To submit this application, send an email to pascopathways@pasco.k12.fl.us requesting the Hardship Application.

School Choice Hardship Considerations include:

  • Documented Medical Consideration
  • Documented Legal Consideration
  • Dependent Children of active military personnel
  • Foster care placement
  • A child of a full-time school system employee desiring to attend the school either where the parent works or in that feeder pattern, except in cases where student enrollment exceeds capacity.
  • Continuity for students who will enter the highest grade served in their school the following year (ex., entering 5th, 8th, or 12th grade).
  • Continued enrollment in programs not available at a student's zoned school
  • State scholarship program eligible students
  • Sibling Consideration - The sibling must be attending the school in the same year as the requested school choice.

Hardship requests are reviewed by the committee monthly and considered on a case by case basis. Such determination(s) shall be based upon factors which include without limitation the District's Open Enrollment plan, applicable State and Federal law, and School Board Policy. The student must remain enrolled at his/her current/home-zoned school until the applicant has received the determination of the committee. The determination of the committee is final.

Requests must be submitted to, and received by, the district no later than 11:00 a.m. EST on the first Wednesday of the month in order to be considered at the next scheduled committee meeting. The School Choice Hardship Committee is expected to meet the second Thursday of each month. Notification to parents of the committee's decision will be by email and is expected to be on or before the third Thursday of the month.

The Hardship Application must be submitted electronically to pascopathways@pasco.k12.fl.us. A confirmation of receipt will be issued when the application has been submitted successfully. Applications are on-line only. Computers are available at schools or at a public library, and assistance will be provided as a reasonable accommodation to those with a disability. If assistance is needed with the application process, contact the district office at pascopathways@pasco.k12.fl.us.

Controlled Open Enrollment Plan

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