Late application period for Pinellas’ school choice begins
CLEARWATER - Students that didn’t get into one of Pinellas County’s popular magnet, fundamental or career academy programs during last month’s application period shouldn’t give up just yet. The late application period started today, and students can apply through Dec. 31. In April, parents can submit requests for their children to attend any Pinellas County school outside their school zones. “It’s hard to say how many spaces are available, because so many people want to be in these programs,” said Dee Burns, the director of student assignment for Pinellas County Schools. “But parents can still try. Their best bet is to call the school they’re interested in directly and ask about their waitlist.” Students whose applications were denied during the initial February application period have been added to wait lists for their programs of choice and will be contacted as spaces become available. If a student who applied for a program with a late application is denied, they will be placed on a waiting list below those who applied in February.To complete an application, parents must go to any Pinellas County school with a valid photo identification to receive a user identification and password for their families. They can then rank their Top 5 programs on an online application in the Student Reservation System at www.pcsb.org. Priority is given to students who have siblings enrolled in the program, live near the school or are children of program staff members, though all applications go through a random selection process. Many high school programs may have seats available because there are more of them, Burns said. The county received 9,346 applications for 6,389 spots this school year. Of those, 6,743 came from students entering kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades. The district’s 12 fundamental schools usually receive the most requests.