Student Application Process for Parents and Students

Application Process Steps Step 1: Student Application for Enrollment Step 2: Notice of Intent to Participate Step 3: Notice of Conditional Acceptance Step 4: Transportation

STEP 1:
Student Application for Enrollment

Obtain the Student Application for Enrollment from the choice district to which you are interested in applying. Visit the choice district locator to find information on all the participating choice districts in NJ. Each district's application is unique to its own choice program. The application should be available on the district's website.

Complete the application and submit it to the choice district. The information you provide on the application will determine your student's enrollment category. Student applicants fall into one of three categories: Tier 1 or Tier 2, or those with special enrollment preference.

  • To be eligible as Tier 1, a student must be enrolled in a NJ public school in his or her resident school district for the entire year (2013-14) immediately preceding enrollment in a choice district. Tier 1 students also include students in the following circumstances:
  • Charter school students
  • If a student moved during the year but attended the public school of both the old and new resident districts
  • If applying for kindergarten, a student is attending his or her resident district's public and free preschool or, if that district does not offer a public and free preschool, has a sibling currently attending the choice district

Choice districts must first fill their available seats with Tier 1 students. If the number of Tier 1 applications exceeds the number of choice seats available, the choice district must hold a lottery to randomly select students.

  • Tier 2 students include NJ residents who have not attended their resident public school for the entire year immediately prior to enrollment in the desired choice district and do not otherwise meet the requirements for Tier 1.

    Choice districts are not obligated to accept Tier 2 students. If a choice district accepts Tier 2 applicants, they may do so only after all of the qualified Tier 1 applicants have been accepted. If the number of Tier 2 applications exceeds the number of choice seats available, the choice district must hold a lottery to select of students. Parents should contact their desired choice district to find out if they accept Tier 2 applications.
  • Choice districts may give enrollment preference to students in the following circumstances:
    • Students who have siblings currently attending the choice district
    • Choice students who attend a choice district with grades that terminate before 12th grade and that has  a send-receive agreement with a high school or limited purpose regional district
    • Resident students of the choice district who move out of the district and want to enroll in the choice district the following year

Check the district's policies on their website to find out what preferences exist.
The application must be received by the choice district by December 2.
It is essential that you obtain and keep a signed and dated receipt for the delivery of the completed application for your records.

Application Process Steps Step 1: Student Application for Enrollment Step 2: Notice of Intent to Participate Step 3: Notice of Conditional Acceptance Step 4: Transportation

STEP 2:
Notice of Intent to Participate

If your student is NOT currently registered with his/her resident district, continue directly to Step 3. This will be the case for most Tier 2 students.
If your student is currently registered with his/her resident district, complete the Notice of Intent to Participate Form, submit it to your resident district by December 2, and obtain a signed receipt acknowledging that you submitted the form. Keep the receipt for your records. Note: By law, a resident district must be informed if a student intends to participate in the choice program.
What the choice district is doing and when:
The choice district must review all submitted applications and determine which will be accepted and rejected and if a lottery is necessary.

  • If an application is rejected (see the associated statute for circumstances allowing for rejection), the district must inform the parent or guardian by December 20 with a Notice of Rejection that includes a reason for the rejection.
  • If by December 2 the Tier 1 applications number no more than the seats available, the choice district must send a Notice of Conditional Acceptance to each eligible applicant. The Notice of Conditional Acceptance should include a Notice of Intent to Enroll Form for the parent or guardian to complete. The choice district must deliver the Notice of Conditional Acceptance to you by December 20.

    If by December 2 the eligible applications number more than the seats available, the choice district must conduct a public lottery for those grades or programs in which the number of applications exceeds the number of available seats. The results of the lottery will determine which students will be accepted as choice students for the following school year and which students will be placed on the waiting list.

HOW THE LOTTERY WORKS:

  • The parent or guardian of each child who has submitted an application must be informed of the date and time of the lottery.
  • Each participant in the lottery must be assigned a number reflecting the student's place on the list of accepted students or on the waiting list.
  • Upon completion of the lottery, the choice district must send to the parent or guardian of each student who has been accepted for enrollment into the district the Notice of Conditional Acceptance and a Notice of Intent to Enroll Form. These must be received by the parent or guardian by December 20.
  • Upon completion of the lottery, the choice district also must notify the parent or guardian of each student placed on the waiting list as a result of the lottery. This notice must include information about the student's position on the waiting list and must be received by the parent or guardian by December 20.

Application Process Steps Step 1: Student Application for Enrollment Step 2: Notice of Intent to Participate Step 3: Notice of Conditional Acceptance Step 4: Transportation

STEP 3:
Notice of Conditional Acceptance

If your student has received a Notice of Conditional Acceptance and you decide to enroll the student in the choice district, you must complete the Notice of Intent to Enroll Form and return it to the choice district by January 6, 2014. You can submit a Notice of Intent to Enroll to only one choice district. You may not commit to more than one choice district.

NOTE: When making your decision, please be aware that transportation may not be provided for your student. Depending on the circumstances, the resident district may provide aid in lieu of transportation. (Visit the transportation procedures for more information.)

If you decide not to enroll your student, you should inform the choice district as soon as possible as a courtesy as there may be students on the waiting list.

Application Process Steps Step 1: Student Application for Enrollment Step 2: Notice of Intent to Participate Step 3: Notice of Conditional Acceptance Step 4: Transportation

STEP 4:
Transportation

If you have not already done so, register your student with his/her resident district by January 17. Contact your resident district for registration information.

The resident district is responsible for the transportation services of all eligible choice students, provided the cost does not exceed the established maximum. The choice district must send the resident district Transportation Requests for those students eligible for transportation services. For parents seeking transportation to the choice district for their child, work with your choice district to fill out the required forms.  Parents must provide the following information to the administrator of the choice school at the time of enrollment in the choice school and whenever there is a change of the student's address:

  • the student's name, date of birth, address, grade, one-way mileage between the student's home and the choice school, and the name of the last school of attendance.

By Aug. 1, 2014, parents should receive notification of their transportation options from the resident district.

To learn about the transportation eligibility requirements and transportation rules, visit the choice school transportation procedures on the website: http://www.nj.gov/education/finance/transportation/procedures/choice_proc.pdf

THIS COMPLETES THE STUDENT APPLICATION PROCESS

Interdistrict Public School Choice Program
New Jersey State Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500

Email: pschoice@doe.state.nj.us