For the San Clemente Times

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, students in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) can apply to one of 43 different academic programs during the annual School of Choice period.
The School of Choice process provides parents with the ability to apply to a school outside of their child’s attendance area on a space-available basis. This year, there are 43 schools with space to accept School of Choice students, according to a press release from the district. Detailed information describing each school and its academic offerings is available online at Many of the schools have social media pages. Parents are also encouraged to contact their schools of interest and make an appointment to tour the campus and visit the classrooms.
School of Choice applications will be available online at the link above, at local schools and at the District Education Center, 33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano. The application period ends Friday, March 3.
Completed applications must be turned in between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. either at the school to which the child is applying or at the District Education Center. Online applications must also be submitted by March 3. In the event there are more applicants than openings at a particular school, students will be selected by lottery. Notifications will be received by May 1, 2017.
“There are many educational options in CUSD, including Orange County’s only Mandarin language immersion program; the county’s only public International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school for students in kindergarten through 8th grade; innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs and partnering with local industry and federal government agencies; and online schools for students who may thrive in an independent setting,” the release stated.
The district’s online programs are not part of the School of Choice process, but are still accepting applications. Those programs include California Preparatory Academy, the district’s online independent study high school; Capistrano Virtual School, which offers online curriculum to students in kindergarten through eighth grades; and Capistrano Home School for families who prefer to educate their children with the support of credentialed teachers. Applications for the online programs are only accepted at those schools.
Parents of high school student-athletes can learn more about California Interscholastic Federation sports eligibility requirements prior to pursuing the School of Choice process. Transportation to any school other than the home school is the responsibility of parents.
For more information, please go to the district’s website or call the School of Choice Hotline at 949.234.9335.

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