Submit application by Jan. 29 for priority consideration
Last year, Adams 12 Five Star Schools received more than 4,000 Choice applications for the 2015-2016 school year. In accordance with the state’s open enrollment law, the district’s Choice Program allows students to apply to attend schools outside of their attendance area boundary.
Both in-district and out-of-district students can apply for Choice. Out-of-district Choice requests are considered after in-district applications. Acceptance to a Choice school is based upon several criteria: availability of space, sufficient teaching staff, appropriate programs and the necessary facilities for special needs students.
The Choice Application is available online. For families without computer access, applications will be available at each school and at the Educational Support Center, 1500 E. 128th Ave., Thornton.
The deadline for priority consideration is Jan. 29, 2016, and is not first-come, first-served. Parents and students submitting an application for priority consideration will be notified of the results of their application no later than the third week of February. If the number of requests exceeds the spaces available in a given school, the district will hold a lottery.
The second deadline to submit a Choice application for the 2016-2017 school year is March 31, 2016. As with the first round, if the number of requests exceeds the spaces available in a given school, the district will hold a lottery. Notification of approval or denial will be made no later than the third week of April.
In addition to the two deadlines above, in some years a third round of Choice may be held in August and September if space is available. While the first and second round of Choice is lottery based, applications in the third round of Choice are submitted at the school and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
While not a guarantee, when possible, priority will be given to sibling applications, so that families will attend the same school. Families with children already attending schools that are not open to Choice are eligible to submit an application for their existing student to remain at the school or for younger siblings to attend the school with their older siblings.
The duration of a Choice placement is valid only for the grades which that school serves. For example, if a student attends a Choice elementary school, the approval is valid to the end of fifth grade, as long as there are no significant changes in that school’s enrollment or facilities. When a student transitions from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school, they must reapply for Choice. If they don’t, the student’s placement automatically reverts to their boundary school.
Those approved for Choice are responsible for their own transportation.
The Five Star District Admissions Office determines the acceptance of Choice requests. For traditional schools, extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten does not go through the Choice Program. For magnet schools, extended-day, tuition-based kindergarten does go through the Choice Program.
Parents of extended-day, tuition-based kindergartners at traditional schools should note that enrollment in that program does not automatically mean the student will go to the same school for first grade. The student must apply through the Choice Program for first grade placement if he/she wants to go to a school other than his/her boundary school. Also note that the school the child attended for kindergarten may not necessarily be open for Choice. Parents of extended-day, tuition-based kindergartners for magnet schools do not need to reapply for Choice, as their Choice approval remains in effect through the highest grade served at their magnet school.
In-district students are not required to apply for Choice to attend secondary programs like Horizon SOAR, Legacy 2000, Mountain Range Global Studies, Northglenn High STEM Program and Thornton High International Baccalaureate (IB). Application and acceptance to those programs go through the individual school. Out-of-district students wishing to attend high school programs that are not schoolwide must apply for both Choice and with the program. If the school is not open to Choice, then the program is closed to out-of-district students. If the student is not selected in the Choice lottery, they are wait listed to the school and program.
To learn more about the Choice Program and to find answers to frequently asked questions, visit the School Choice webpage.