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Enrollment period ends today for first school assignments

By Staff | Mar 12, 2009

The first batch of Lee County student assignments officially ends today, and those families who did not enroll during the period will have less school placement options next year.
According to statistics released from the school district’s Planning, Growth and School Capacity Department, 13,862 applications were handed in during the first batch. Approximately 4,000 of those applications were submitted online, an indication that the process is growing easier for parents and students.
Leila Muvdi, director of the Student Assignment Office, explained that projections are down from last year. She said the district typically processes between 14,000 or 15,000 applications at the conclusion of the first batch.
Mike Smith, director of Planning, Growth and School Capacity, said Thursday that overall the district is close to past first batch numbers.
“It seems it might be a little lower in kindergarten but higher in high school, but overall it is about what we expected,” he said.
The second batch begins Monday and lasts until June 10.
“In the first batch you have a higher chance of getting your first choice,” said Muvdi. “In the second batch, your chances are slim.”
Students who receive their choice in the first batch fill up vacant space. Those waiting for the second batch will have to settle for the proverbial scraps.
“If you wait until batch two, your chances of getting first choice will be difficult,” said Muvdi.
School choice in Lee County is not a first-come, first-serve process. Instead, once all of the applications are collected, the district runs a random lottery. The first batch lottery is activated March 2 and letters are sent out by April 3, but Muvdi said the second lottery is not initiated until June.
She added that it is likely more applications will be submitted on the last day of batch one.
“We will probably have more today,” said Muvdi.
In Lee County there are three student assignment offices — Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Students can submit an application at any of the three offices or online, but if they transfer to the district they will need to apply in person with their documentation — birth certificates, former transcripts and vaccination records.
Students submit assignment applications if they are entering kindergarten, sixth grade or high school, and choose schools in their sub-zone or an adjacent sub-zone.
For the process the county is divided into three main zones — West, East and South. Each main zone is divided into three sub-zones. Magnet schools, comprehensive high schools and technology schools are available to any student regardless of where they live.
For more information, visit: studentassignment.leeschools.net.