Choice Questions

Updated on Tue, 11/01/2016 - 2:03pm

Frequently Asked Choice Questions

  1. How do students get into the Schools of Choice program?
  2. What are the due dates for applications?
  3. How many schools may a student request?
  4. Can we change our requested schools after we have submitted an application?
  5. What happens if the number of requests exceeds the spaces available for priority consideration?
  6. What are the criteria for acceptance to a Choice school?
  7. I have applied to multiple magnet schools. How are the admissions and wait list managed?
  8. Does Choice approval guarantee acceptance into a school's extended day, tuition-based kindergarten?
  9. Is the Schools of Choice program available to new residents of the district?
  10. Who is responsible for transportation of students to and from a Choice school?
  11. How long is Choice approval valid?
  12. What happens to a student's Choice status if the family moves within the district?
  13. What happens to a student's Choice status if the family moves out of the district?
  14. What happens if the school district changes school boundaries and current Choice students want to go to a new boundary school?
  15. Will Choice affect a student's athletic eligibility?
  16. How and when does Adams 12 Five Star Schools determine the schools that are open for Choice?
  17. If siblings attend a Choice school, does an applicant automatically get into that school?
  18. What happens if a sibling applies to a school closed to Choice?
  19. What happens if our family moves outside of our current school's boundary and the school is not open for Choice?
  20. How are applications from special needs students handled?
  21. Will applications from out-of-district students be considered?
  22. If students apply for Choice and receive approval then change their minds, what happens?
  23. Can the District make physical changes or staffing changes to a school to accommodate Choice students?
  24. Are special programs in the district part of the Schools of Choice application process?
  25. Can Choice placement be revoked?
  26. What is the age requirement for entrance to kindergarten or first grade?
  27. What if my child does not meet the age requirements for kindergarten/first grade?

How do students get into the Schools of Choice program?

Parents/guardians wishing to have their students attend a school outside of their regular attendance boundary must go through the application process. Beginning December 1, an online application will be available from the Choice Application tab. For families without computer access, a computer kiosk will be available at each school and the Educational Support Center.

What are the due dates for applications?

There are two due dates for Choice application acceptance. The first deadline to submit a Choice application for priority consideration for the 2017-18 school year is January 31, 2017. 

The second deadline to submit a Choice application for the 2017-18 school year is March 31, 2017. These applications, received between February 1 and March 31, 2017, will be considered based upon facility capacity, staff availability and budget of the school being requested. Applications for Choice received after March 31, 2017 will not be considered for the 2017-18 school year.

In addition, a third choice window during the month of August may be held for our under-enrolled schools. The district will publicize the names of schools that are open for walk-up choice students no later than the first Monday in August.

How many schools may a student request?

Each applicant can select a first, second, third and fourth choice. If the first requested school is filled, then the second choice request will be considered. If the second requested school is filled, then the third choice school will be considered. If the third requested school is filled, then the fourth choice school will be considered. An applicant does not have to request multiple schools.

Can we change our requested schools after we have submitted an application?

Yes. In order to change your requested Choice schools, simply resubmit a Choice application via our online application. You may do so until the end of the round (January 31 for first round and March 31 for second round) at which point your requests will be locked in.

What happens if the number of requests exceeds the spaces available for priority consideration?

If the number of requests exceeds the spaces available for priority consideration in a given school, a lottery will be held using the following six tiered priority:

  1. In-district students who are siblings of (an) existing student(s) at the requested school that results in concurrent enrollment of siblings (for example, an incoming 6th grader whose sibling is going into the 8th grade)
  2. In-district students who are siblings of (an) existing student(s) at the requested school that results in one year lapse of concurrent sibling enrollment (an incoming 6th grader whose sibling is going into 9th grade)
  3. In-district students without siblings at the requested school
  4. Out-of-district students who are siblings of (an) existing student(s) at the requested school that results in concurrent enrollment of siblings
  5. Out-of-district students who are siblings of (an) existing student(s) at the requested school that results in one year lapse of concurrent sibling enrollment
  6. Out-of-district students without siblings at the requested school

What are the criteria for acceptance to a Choice school?

Acceptance to a Choice school outside of a student's attendance area (boundary school) is based upon several criteria: availability of space, sufficient teaching staff, appropriate programs, and necessary facilities for special needs students. Furthermore, any student expelled or in the process of expulsion is omitted from consideration per Colorado state law.

I have applied to multiple magnet schools. How are the admissions and wait list managed?

All students who apply for multiple magnet schools (Hulstrom K-8, STEM Lab, STEM Launch or The Studio School) are placed on the wait list for each magnet school that they are not accepted to. We will only allow movement from the wait list once. That is, once a student accepts a spot at a magnet school from the wait list, they are then removed from the wait lists for other magnet schools. Wait lists are kept for only the current school year for which a student applied. Parents must re-apply each year for possible placement at the magnet schools.

Does Choice approval guarantee acceptance into a school's extended day, tuition-based kindergarten?

No. Once you are approved for Choice, it is for the half-day program only. Admissions to extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten programs are managed directly be each school. The schools use a tiered acceptance priority: first priority is for students living within the school's attendance area; second priority is for students outside of the boundary attendance area but who reside within the school district; third priority is for students who reside outside of the district. Contact the school's registrar directly for more information about space available in extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten programs.

Also, if you are placed in an extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten program at a school that is not your boundary school, you will have to return to your boundary school for first grade or you can apply to any school that is open for Choice. However, keep in mind that your kindergarten school may not be open to the Schools of Choice program. The only exception to this is magnet schools. If a student is accepted into a magnet school for kindergarten, they are approved to attend the school through all grades served by that school.

Is the Schools of Choice program available to new residents of the district?

New residents to the district may apply to the Schools of Choice Program, and the same criteria for consideration and acceptance apply: space, facilities, etc.

Who is responsible for transportation of students to and from a Choice school?

Students who receive approval of their Choice application and attend schools outside their assigned attendance area are responsible for their own transportation to and from the school. Boundary information can be viewed here.

How long is Choice approval valid?

The duration of a Choice placement is valid for all grades which that school serves. For example, if a student is approved to attend an elementary school, the approval is valid through the end of grade five. However, students must reapply through the Choice Program to attend a middle school that is out of their school boundary area. The same applies for the transition from middle school to high school. If they do not apply, the students' placement automatically reverts to their boundary school.

Secondly, continuous enrollment must occur for the Choice status to remain valid. If a student withdraws from a Choice school, the Choice status becomes null and void; the student would have to return to his/her attendance boundary school.

Lastly, approval of an application for Choice becomes the student's assignment to that school for all grades served by the school, as long as there are no significant changes in that school's enrollment or facilities. Parents need to note that the school district is experiencing growth, and that may impact capacity and consecutive year choice placement.

What happens to a student's Choice status if the family moves within the district?

There are two options: 1) The student can remain at the current Choice school, but parents must continue to provide transportation to that school. OR 2) The student can enroll in the new boundary school and must provide proof of residency within that school's boundary. If option two is selected, the Choice status becomes null and void.

If a family wishes to remain at their Choice school, they should submit a Household Change Form at their Choice school. If a family wishes to enroll in their new boundary school, they should submit a Household Change Form within two weeks of their move at their new boundary school and notify the registrar that they wish to attend their new boundary school rather than remain at their Choice school.

What happens to a student's Choice status if the family moves out of the district?

For traditional schools, Choice is valid for all grades served by the school regardless if the family moves out of the district. If there is a growth in enrollment, the district does reserve the right to revoke Choice approval beginning with out-of-district families.

For magnet schools, Choice is valid for all grades served by the school as long as the family resides in-district. If a family moves out-of-district, they shall write a letter to the Principal and Admissions Office requesting permission to remain. The Admissions Office, in consultation with the Principal, will determine if the student will be approved to stay. The history of enrollment at the school and length of the in-district wait list will be factors used in the decision. Once a family who moves out-of-district is approved to remain at a magnet school, they are approved for all grades served by the school.

What happens if the school district changes school boundaries and current Choice students want to go to a new boundary school?

There are two options: 1) Students can remain at the current Choice school and parents must continue to provide transportation to that school, or 2) Parents must notify the current Choice school by March 31 of that school year that the student will not return in the fall. In addition, parents must contact and register at their new boundary school. If option two is selected, the Choice status becomes null and void.

Will Choice affect a student's athletic eligibility?

Student athletic eligibility status is determined in accordance with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) rules. For specific information, contact Athletics at the Educational Support Center.

How and when does Adams 12 Five Star Schools determine the schools that are open for Choice?

The district will determine the specific schools open to Choice by December 1 of each year. A list of the schools will be published on the district website and through other district publications. That decision is based upon space, adequate budget, and sufficient staffing at each school to accommodate additional students.

If siblings attend a Choice school, does an applicant automatically get into that school?

No. However, when possible, priority will be given to sibling applications so that families are able to attend the same school.

What happens if a sibling applies to a school closed to Choice?

When possible, first priority will be given to students with a sibling currently enrolled at the desired school where approval for Choice will result in concurrent enrollment. Second priority will be given to students with a sibling currently enrolled at the desired school but will not result in concurrent enrollment because of the continuation or graduation of the sibling. There are no guarantees that siblings of existing students will be granted Choice. Students wishing to attend their sibling's school should apply between December 1 and January 31 for priority consideration. Sibling priority for the 3rd round of Choice will be granted depending on space availibility at the school.

What happens if our family moves outside of our current school's boundary and the school is not open for Choice?

If the school your children attend is closed to Choice, and you move during the school year prior to March 31 but would like your children to stay at their current school for the next school year, you may apply for Choice even though the school is closed.

How are applications from special needs students handled?

The Choice program is open to students with disabilities. Students with mild/moderate disabilities may apply to any school open to Choice.

Students with disabilities placed in a Significant Support Needs (SSN), Affective Needs (AN/SIED) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (SLS) Program may apply to any program with adequate space, staff, facilities, budget, and if the requested school can meet the requirements of the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) within the existing resources.  Programs with adequate space, staff, facilities and budget for the desired Choice year will be listed in the Center-Based Special Education Section of the Choice Schools webpage.

Will applications from out-of-district students be considered?

Applications for Choice from out-of-district students will be considered within each deadline period only after the requests of in-district students have been considered.

If students apply for Choice and receive approval then change their minds, what happens?

Since the new Choice school officially becomes the home school, the students have to reapply to go to another school or back to their original boundary school.

Can the District make physical changes or staffing changes to a school to accommodate Choice students?

No. The District cannot change the physical building, or make alterations to the arrangement or function of rooms. It cannot expand programs, add staffing, or waive eligibility requirements to accommodate Choice students.

Are special programs in the district part of the Schools of Choice application process?

That depends on the program and whether or not a student resides in or out of Adams 12. For in-district students, high school programs that are not school-wide such as International Baccalaureate, Legacy 2000, and Horizon SOAR are not part of the choice process. For out-of-district students, they will only be allowed to apply to a program if that school is open to choice for out-of-district students.

Extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten programs, charter schools and alternative programs are not part of the choice process. K-8 programs such as STEM Lab, STEM Launch and Hulstrom K-8 are part of the choice process. K-5 programs that are school wide such as The Studio School, Leroy Drive PYP, Coronado Hills PYP, McElwain PYP and Thornton PYP are part of the choice process.  6-8 programs that are school wide such as The Middle Years Program of IB at Century Middle School are part of the Choice process.

Can Choice placement be revoked?

Yes. Choice approval can be revoked if a student is recommended for expulsion, is expelled, or engages in conduct which would support expulsion. In addition, the Choice approval can be revoked if the district determines the Choice application included material misstatements or omissions.

What is the age requirement for entrance to kindergarten or first grade?

Kindergarteners must be 5-years-old and first graders must be 6-years-old on or before October 1.

What if my child does not meet the age requirements for kindergarten/first grade?

The District recognizes that some highly-advanced, gifted children may benefit academically, socially and/or emotionally from early entrance into kindergarten or first grade.   A highly-advanced, gifted child is one whose body of evidence demonstrates a profile of exceptional ability or potential compared to same-age, gifted children (generally at or above 98th percentile on nationally normed assessments as per Colorado Department of Education guidelines.

Learn more about early entrance procedures for highly-advanced, gifted children.