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First school choice assignment period ends; Batch two enrolling until June 6

By Staff | Apr 1, 2008

On Jan. 22, the Lee County School District began batch one of the student choice assignments. From that date until March 26, students throughout the county were required to submit a school choice application if they were entering kindergarten or were in the fifth or eighth grade, and therefore, entering a new school.

This year approximately 15,300 students submitted applications to the district before batch one ended on Wednesday. And, according to district officials, 80 percent of the students who applied in batch one got their first choice.

“I’m pleased that we could place that many in their first choice schools,” said Leila Muvdi, director of the Student Assignment Department.

The percentage of students who received their first choice increased from 76 percent last year. Some 95 percent of students who participated this year received one of their top three choices.

Those students who are not assigned to their first choice school are automatically placed in the eligibility pool for vacancies at their first choice. The waiting list expires further into the school year, and many students choose to stay in their second and third choice school.

“Over the next several months, we will be processing the eligibility pools as vacancies occur, and moving many students into their first choice schools,” said Muvdi.

The district officials were concerned last month because only 31 percent of fifth-graders and only 30 percent of eighth-graders had applied. They issued a warning to parents that if their student did not fill out a school choice application, they would be placed at whatever school had open seats.

Even though parents and students had the chance to file their applications online this year, there still was a low turnout.

According to district officials, there was approximately 1,000 fewer applications processed this year than last year. Low enrollment may be an indicator that some people are moving out of Lee County because of the worsening economy, but there are a number of other reasons that may contribute to the lower rate.

The district will being mailing assignment notices to families throughout the county this week.

“We will begin mailing notices to families April 2,” said Muvdi. “We want everyone to read the information they receive very carefully.”

The second enrollment period began March 17 and runs to June 6.

For more information about school choice assignments, call the Student Assignment Office at 337-8247.