• School Choice / Controlled Open Enrollment (COE)

    The 2024-2025 School Choice application will be available online February 1 at 8:00 AM through February 29th at 4:30 PM.  

    Sarasota County Schools is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of every child. Every school has high-quality educational options for students. Students originally are assigned to the school in the attendance area in which their parents/guardians live, but the district also provides a number of opportunities for parents to select other options for their children.

    Parents/guardians residing in Florida can apply to have their grade K-12 students attend a public school in any school district within the state through Controlled Open Enrollment (COE) lottery, also called School Choice. School Choice is a random lottery based on capacity at each school and grade level. Applying for school choice does not guarantee placement at the desired school. All applicants not able to be placed due to capacity will be added to a waitlist.

    Students attending a school on School Choice are permitted to remain through the highest grade level offered at that school. There is no need to reapply annually unless applying for a new school.

    The 2024-2025 School Choice application is launching in our new Student Information System: Focus. The first step in completing a 24-25 School Choice application is to create a new Focus Parent Portal Account by clicking on the first box below. Please note, none of the links below will work until 8 AM on February 1st.

    Create a Focus Parent Portal Account

     

    Login to Focus Parent Portal Account to link a student

     

    Forgot Password to Focus Parent Portal Account

     

    Login to Focus Parent Portal Account

    Once a Focus Parent Portal account has been created, please follow the directions within the portal for next steps on completing the School Choice application.

    How To Videos Apply School to School Choice:

    New to Sarasota County | Current Student of Sarasota County

    PDF Directions on How to Apply to School Choice:

    New to Sarasota County | Current Student of Sarasota County

    Capacity

    Available choice capacity for each school by grade level is posted at the top of this page. The School Choice application allows families to rank up to three schools, and will allow applications for all schools/grade levels regardless of capacity. Please carefully review seat availability prior to completing the application. All students not able to be placed due to capacity will be added to a waitlist at the school ranked ‘1.’

    Status Notifications 

    Results of the School Choice lottery will be posted to the Focus Parent Portal in April. A message will be sent to the email address used to register for the Focus Parent Portal Account when results are available. Parents must follow directions in the email to accept the Choice seat by the posted deadline or the seat will be forfeited and offered to another family on the waitlist.

    Out of County

    Florida residents residing outside of the Sarasota County school district are welcome to complete a School Choice application. Florida Statute requires that in-county residents be given priority in the School Choice lottery.

    Sarasota County residents interested in School Choice for other Florida districts are responsible for directly contacting the districts of interest to learn more about their policies, timelines and application procedures.

    Transportation

    Transportation is not provided for students receiving placement through school choice. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their children to and from school.

    Lottery and Waitlist
    In the event there are more requests than available seats, a random lottery will be conducted to award the choice school assignment. Students meeting specific criteria will have the opportunity to receive one or more preferences during the lottery process. Students not able to be placed due to capacity will be added to a waitlist.

    Eligibility Criteria

    School Choice is available to students who are not subject to a current expulsion or suspension from public school and who reside with their parent/guardian in Florida.

    COE School Board Policy and COE Plan

    School Board Policy 5.23 governs COE/School Choice in Sarasota County Schools.