St. Johns County approves open enrollment plan

Parents outside county will have option to send students to St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The  St. Johns County school board has approved its first-ever open enrollment plan, giving students in other counties the opportunity to attend one of the county's schools.

The decision came in the wake of the approval of House Bill 7029, which gives Florida parents the option to send their children to any school in the state that has not reached capacity.

Open enrollment is for parents whose child lives outside the county or whose child lives in the county but wants to attend a St. Johns County school outside his or her zone.

“We're a fast-growing district. We've been that way for 10 years,” Superintendent Tim Forson said. “We have to be careful about capacity and making sure we can serve the number of children coming into our district.”

Forson said families who already live in the county or are in the process of moving there will receive first priority for enrollment.

“There's very few schools that actually have space today for additional students, so the legislation is written in a manner that allows districts to first prioritize families that live in the district,” Forson said. “If there are more applicants than there are seats, it will provide for a lottery process and a notification that will follow soon after.”

Open enrollment will run from Feb. 13 to March 10.

The four schools in the county with room for the 2017-18 school year are:

  • Durbin Creek Elementary School
  • The Webster School
  • Ponte Vedra Palm Valley Rawlings Elementary School
  • Murray Middle School

Other important elements of open enrollment:

  • Siblings will be given preference in the lottery.
  • Transfers are granted through completion of the highest grade at the school.
  • Transportation to and from the transfer school is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

Parents can also apply during open enrollment for programs of choice, hardship waivers, employee transfers and other options.

For more information, visit http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/choice.