School Choice – Frequently Asked Questions

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When is the enrollment period for neighborhood schools?

Students may enroll in their own neighborhood schools at any time. A kindergarten registration week is usually held in April for the following year; schools may hold orientation events at this time. To request enrollment in a different neighborhood school, use the school choice process.

When is the enrollment period for alternative schools and neighborhood school transfers?

Students may enroll in any other neighborhood school or alternative school in the district, provided there is space available. Placement is by lottery, held each spring for the following school year. All school choice request forms received during the annual school choice period will be included in the lottery. To participate in the school choice lottery, submit a school choice request form by the lottery deadline. For this year's dates, see School Choice Information.

When is the enrollment period for charter schools?

Charter schools are independent entities that have their own admission procedures. They do not accept 4J school choice forms and are not included in the 4J school choice lottery. For more information or to request enrollment in a charter school, please contact the school directly.

Can I get on the waiting list for a school?

There is no early waiting list for any 4J school. The waiting list is reset every year. To submit a school choice request, your student must be a 4J resident and entering kindergarten through twelfth grade in the fall. School choice requests received from eligible students after the lottery deadline may be accommodated if there is space available; otherwise the student will be placed at the end of the school’s waiting list for that year.

Will it help to apply early?

No. School choice requests are granted in the order determined by the annual school choice lottery. All eligible school choice requests received before the lottery deadline will be included in the lottery.

I have two students. Do I need to fill out two forms?

Yes, in most cases you must fill out a separate school choice request form for each student. If you have twins, you may either put them both on the same form, or enter them in the lottery separately. More information is given in the form instructions.

I want to apply to more than one school. Do I need to use separate forms?

No, use one form. You can request up to three schools maximum. Do not include your neighborhood school or any charter schools among your three choices.

How do I indicate my first choice school?

While you may have a personal preference, there is no first, second or third choice on the school choice request form. You are entered into the lottery for each school individually. That means that you could get offers from more than one school.

How is the lottery conducted?

The lottery is conducted in the Auditorium at the 4J Education Center. The lottery is conducted electronically and will be over very quickly. It is open to the public; parents may attend if they choose.

What does the lottery determine?

The lottery does not determine whether there is a space for your student at a school. The lottery determines the order in which students will be placed in any spaces that are available. 

How will families be notified of results? 

Lottery results are no longer posted at the Ed Center. Schools receive the lottery results shortly after the lottery and begin notifying families. If you have not received a call or a postcard from your schools of choice by ten days after the lottery, please call the school directly to determine where you are on their list.

If I get offers from a school that is not my first choice and I accept, am I removed from the other school lists?

No, you stay on the other school lists until you verbally indicate to the secretary or registrar for that school that you are no longer interested in attending. If you decline an offered space and later change your mind, you can re-apply to the school as a post-lottery applicant. You will be put on the waiting list in the order in which your form is received.

Other questions?

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