Schools of Choice
What is the difference between a neighborhood school and a School of Choice?
The Redwood City School District (RCSD) offers a combination of neighborhood schools and Schools of Choice. Neighborhood schools have residential boundaries and students are generally assigned to them based on where they live. In order to attend a neighborhood school, students must fill out an enrollment form, but no application is necessary. RCSD offers four schools of choice -- Adelante Spanish Immersion School, McKinley Institute of Technology (MIT), North Star Academy and Orion School -- that do not have neighborhood boundaries.All students who attend these schools must fill out a Schools of Choice application, in addition to a student registration form. All students within the district are eligible to apply to attend one of the four schools of choice, or a neighborhood school outside their boundary area.
Is the Schools of Choice application the same as the school enrollment application?
No. Enrollment applications, also known as student registration forms, are filled out by all students when they first enter the Redwood City School District. Schools of Choice applications are filled out only when a student wants to change schools, or apply to one of the four Schools of Choice -- Adelante, MIT, North Star or Orion.
Are students guaranteed admission at their neighborhood school?
Students who live within the school attendance area get first priority for attending their neighborhood school. However, if classes are already filled at the time they apply, the enrollment office will assign them to a school that has space available and will place them on awaiting list according to the order in which they enrolled. Students will be admitted in that order as spots open up. Until a spot opens up, students will be placed at another school in the district.
What is an attendance area?
An attendance area is a defined geographic boundary for a school that is determined by the Board of Education.
Can students apply to attend a neighborhood school if they do not live within the school's boundary? Yes. Students may fill out a Schools of Choice/Transfer application to attend schools that are outside of their assigned neighborhood school.
Do students accepted into Adelante, MIT, North Star or Orion need to reapply in the next enrollment period?
No. Once students have been accepted, they do not need to reapply.
If students are accepted into a neighborhood school outside of their attendance area, do they need to reapply the following year?
No. Once students have been enrolled, they do not need to reapply.
Do students attending the four schools of choice still learn the "basics"?
Yes. All schools still teach the core curriculum of math, language arts, science and social studies.
Will students on the wait list for a School of Choice or a neighborhood school need to reapply?
No. Once a student is on a wait list for a school, he or she does not need to reapply.
What is the school application process?
An application must be completed for all new students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade entering the District and for current students interested in attending a school other than their neighborhood school.
Is there support at all schools for students who are learning English?
Yes. There is an English Language Development Resource Teacher at every school site who tests English learners upon their entry into the program and makes sure that each child is placed in the appropriate instructional program.
What about special education at the schools?
Special education and related services are provided at each school and include program modifications and adaptations, general and special education collaboration, specialized teaching strategies and tutorial assistance.These services are coordinated through the Resource Specialist Program (RSP). Students requiring more intensive special education services may receive additional services as recommended in his/her Individual Education Plan (IEP) or attend a special day class (SDC)at one of the District's designated sites. Related services include speech and language services,psychological services, behavior intervention strategies, counseling, and access to language development instruction.
What are the enrollment criteria for special education students at the schools?
The criteria for enrollment are the same as for the general student population.
Will siblings automatically be enrolled at the same school?
No. Preference is given on a space-available basis to siblings who apply to any school in the district.Siblings are not automatically enrolled in the program; each child must apply.
What happens if a student doesn't get his/her first choice in a school?
If the first-choice school is filled, the student will be given priority for his/her next choice at which an opening is available. If there are no openings available at any school a student has listed, that student will be moved to the wait list of each school selected in the application process.
What if a student applies to a School of Choice or a different neighborhood school and later decides they want to move to a different school?
Students must re-apply by filling out a Schools of Choice/Transfer Application if they want to move to a different school again later.These students will be considered only after all students who have applied but never transferred have been offered placement. This does not apply to transfer back to the home attendance-area school.
What is the best way to select a school?
Because of the diversity of the programs offered, it is important that all parents carefully read the information above, giving special attention to the description of each school. A school should be selected on the basis of what will most challenge and motivate the student. In the case of a very young child, the values and interests of the parents will most likely determine selection.
For Further Information Contact: Redwood City School District Office at 423-2237