- Student Application to Choice Districts
- Late Applications
- Waiver of the Student Application Deadline
- Other resources:
Student Application to Choice Districts:
Notice of Intent to Participate
A resident district must be informed if a student intends to participate in the Choice program. The purpose of the Notice of Intent to Participate form is to give the resident district advance notice of the student's intent to apply to a choice district for enrollment in the next school year. Students who want to participate in the choice enrollment lottery in December should complete the Notice of Intent to Participate form and submit it to their resident district by December 3, 2020.
Students may still apply to a Choice program after the December deadline, but will be considered for enrollment only after those who applied before the deadline. Late forms can be submitted to the resident district if the student is a late applicant. The resident district cannot prevent a student from applying to a choice district if the Notice of Intent to Participate form was submitted late.
The resident district should provide a signed receipt that acknowledges receipt of the form.
Confirmation of Enrollment
The information requested on the student application that is submitted to the choice district will indicate whether or not a student is eligible to be considered Tier 1 and given priority over Tier 2 applicants. To confirm Tier 1 eligibility, the choice district must submit the applicant's information to his/her resident district. The resident district will then verify whether or not that student was counted in its most recent October 15 ASSA count and that the student is currently enrolled in the resident district. The following steps are required:
- The choice district must complete a Confirmation of Enrollment spreadsheet for each district from which a choice student applicant resides, listing each student's name, the school currently attending, and the current grade level. The spreadsheets must be submitted to the resident districts by December 7, 2020.
- The resident district will confirm whether or not each student was counted in its most recent October 15 ASSA count and whether or not the student continues to be enrolled in the district. This confirms Tier 1 eligibility. The resident district must return the spreadsheet by Dec. 11, 2020.
- The above does not apply for students applying to attend kindergarten in a choice district.
- If a student moved during the year but attended the public school of both the old and new resident districts, both districts must be contacted to confirm enrollment during the respective time periods. These students are also considered Tier 1.
The resident district must return completed spreadsheets to each choice district by December 11, 2020.
Notice of Intent to Enroll
The resident district will receive notification from each choice district by January 15, 2021 of those choice students who have been accepted for 2021-22. If late applicants are accepted by the choice district, the choice district will send the Notice of Intent to Enroll to the resident district upon receipt of the form from the student. The resident district cannot prevent a student from attending a choice district if the Notice of Intent to Enroll form is submitted late (unless the district has an approved limiting resolution signed by the Commissioner).
The resident district will receive transportation requests from each choice district by March 15 for those choice students who are eligible for transportation services. If students are accepted after this date, the choice district will send the transportation information to the resident district upon receipt of the information from the student.
The sending district is required to provide transportation or aid in lieu of transportation for any resident student to a choice district who resides more than 2 miles from the choice school if an elementary school student, or more than 2.5 miles from the choice school if a secondary school student, but not more than 20 miles from the choice school. Read more information about transportation regulations.
Late Applications and Acceptances:
Choice districts may add new students and/or accommodate late applicants up until October 14 of the enrollment year; however, no new applicants can be enrolled above the district's approved maximum enrollment. No additional choice students can be added after this date with the exception of students who receive a NJDOE-approved waiver of the application deadline.
Resident districts must be notified of late acceptances using the Notice of Intent to Enroll form. The resident district cannot prevent a student from attending a choice district if the Notice of Intent to Enroll form is submitted before October 14 (unless the district has an approved limiting resolution signed by the commissioner).
Waiver of the Student Application Deadline:
Once a choice district has filled all of its approved seats, it cannot enroll any more choice students, with the exception of a student who has received an approved waiver of the application deadline. When extenuating circumstances occur, the NJDOE may grant a waiver of the student application deadline, allowing a student to submit an application and be accepted to a choice program outside the timeline established by the NJDOE. Waivers will only be granted by a showing of "good cause" and when a student's educational conditions are such that an immediate transfer is needed. Waivers will not be granted for convenience reasons such as missing the application deadline. Typically, student enrollment must occur immediately upon approval of the waiver, however each waiver will be considered based on the specific circumstances of the student. Parents can request a waiver form by emailing the choice program office.