Sarasota County 2023-24 school choice applications open for February

Students line up to board a school bus in Manatee County.
Students line up to board a school bus in Manatee County.

Parents or guardians who want their student to attend a Sarasota County school outside of their regular attendance zone can apply to do so in February.

Controlled Open Enrollment, also known as school choice, allows for a parent or guardian from any school district in Florida to apply for their student to take a spot in any Sarasota County school with available space. The application, hosted through the district's website, is open throughout February and closes on Feb. 28 at 4:30 pm. If a student is already enrolled at a school through the school choice program, another application is not needed.

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Rather than on a first-come-first-serve basis, school choice assignments through the district are selected in a random lottery process, according to a district release. Students living in Sarasota County are given priority over students living outside of the district so as to not displace county residents from district schools.

Applications for new student registration, which is different than the application for school choice, will open in April, according to the release. Charter schools, magnet schools and magnet programs do not require a school choice application.

The full list of schools and grade levels open for school choice enrollment is also available on the district's website. The application process is available at If assistance is needed, parents and guardians can contact the district's Office of Accountability and Choice at 941-927-9000, ext. 32258.

Parents and guardians will be notified of choice assignments by the district in April. If awarded a choice seat, parents and guardians must formally accept the assignment by following the directions in the email, or else the seat will be forfeited.

Follow Herald-Tribune Education Reporter Steven Walker on Twitter at @swalker_7. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota County 2023-24 school choice applications open