To initiate the student application process, the parent/guardian obtains and submits a Student Application for Enrollment to the choice district(s). Each district supplies its own unique application for its choice program. A student application template is available to assist in the application development. All student application forms must be made available on the choice district's website. The information provided on the application will determine a student's enrollment category. Student applicants fall into one of three categories: Tier 1 or Tier 2, or those with special enrollment preference.
Choice districts must first fill their available seats with Tier 1 students. If the number of Tier 1 applications exceeds the number of choice seats available, the choice district must hold a lottery to randomly select students.
The application must be received by the choice district by December 3, 2019. See note at bottom regarding late applications.
Also by December 3, students who are currently registered with their resident districts must complete the Notice of Intent to Participate form and submit it to their resident districts. (By law, a resident district must be informed if a student intends to participate in the choice program.) The resident district is not required to respond to the notification. Students who are not Tier 1 do not need to complete this step.
The choice district must review all submitted applications
The Resident District Confirmation of Student Enrollment is required only if the choice district will hold a lottery. The purpose of this form is to verify that the applicant students qualify as Tier 1 applicants in the Choice Program. The resident district must verify that each student was counted in its most recent October ASSA count and that each student is currently enrolled in the resident district. Once verified, the choice district will put these students into the Tier 1 lottery. The choice district must complete a Resident District Confirmation of Student Enrollment spreadsheet for each resident district from which it received Tier 1 student applications, listing each student's name, the school currently attending, and the current grade level. Students applying for kindergarten do not need to be included, since the resident district will not be able to verify their enrollment.
The Resident District Confirmation of Student Enrollment spreadsheets must be submitted to resident districts by December 6, 2019.
The resident district will confirm whether or not the listed student was counted in the current school year's ASSA data collection and whether or not the student continues to be enrolled in the district. This confirms Tier 1 eligibility.
NOTE: If a student moved during the year but attended the public school of both the old and new resident districts, both districts must be contacted to confirm enrollment during the respective time periods. These students are also considered Tier 1.
The choice district must determine which applicants will be accepted and rejected and if a lottery is necessary.
Accepted students must complete the Notice of Intent to Enroll Form and return it to the choice district by January 6, 2020 or as soon as possible after notification of acceptance by the choice district.
Each resident district must be informed if any of their resident students are participating in the choice program. The choice district must send a copy of each student's Notice of Intent to Enroll to the respective resident district by January 17 or as soon as possible after receipt to serve as notification.
To receive the correct amount of choice aid funding for choice students, the choice district must inform the Department of Education of its projected choice enrollment for 2020-21.
Submit the enrollment data to the Department of Education by January 22, 2020. This enrollment is final and cannot be adjusted after this deadline. If accepted students decline the offer to enroll in a choice program (by not sending in the Notice of Intent to Enroll Form by Jan. 6) and the district selects students from a wait list, this process must be completed by January 22, in order that an accurate final enrollment count can be submitted.
The resident district is responsible for the transportation of all eligible choice students. Visit the transportation procedures for more information. The choice district must send the resident district Transportation Requests for those students. If the student is currently in the terminal grade of his or her resident district, the request for transportation is sent to the receiving school with which the resident district has a send/receive agreement because it will be responsible for the student's transportation (as this is the school the student would have attended if he/she did not attend the choice school).
The requests must be received by March 15.
This completes the student application process!
Late applications: Districts may accept late applications after the December 3 deadline until October 14 of the current enrollment year, however, no new applicants can be enrolled above the district's approved maximum enrollment for FY2021(with the exception of students who receive a commissioner approved waiver of the application deadline). Late applicants can be considered for enrollment only after those who applied before the deadline.
If, after the NJDOE data submission deadline of Jan. 22, 2020, any accepted choice students decide to drop their acceptance, the district may replace their seats with students on the waitlist, including students who applied after the December 3 deadline -- provided late applicants are considered after those who applied before the deadline.
After the FY2021 NJDOE enrollment data collection on January 22, 2020, no additional choice seats can be added, with the following exception:
Districts that accept a student with a waiver of the application deadline may enroll the student at any time and may exceed the district's approved enrollment maximum. A student who is granted a waiver will be given priority over any waitlisted students. Parents can request a waiver form by emailing the Choice Office. If the acceptance of a waiver occurs after the NJDOE data collection and results in the district exceeding its approved enrollment maximum, the seat will be unfunded in FY2021, but funded thereafter.