Navigating Pinellas County Public Schools
If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the public school options and application processes, don't fret. We're sharing all of the info to make enrollment during the 2019-2020 school year a little less stressful.
Pinellas County Schools serve over 100,000 students in more than 140 schools located throughout the county, making it the 7th largest school district in Florida and the 27th largest in the country. With so many public school options -- including neighborhood schools, choice programs, special assignment and more -- finding a school that suits your child's needs may seem like a daunting, albeit important, task. Here's a look at some of the school options, how to apply and important dates for enrollment.
Option 1: Zoned Neighborhood Schools
Pinellas County is divided into zones, and each public school is assigned a zone. Your child is guaranteed a seat in a public school for which your address is zoned. To find your school zone, visit https://www.pcsb.org/domain/3106.
Kindergarten and new student registration at neighborhood schools begins January 14th, 2019. To reserve a seat at your zoned school, you must first obtain a user ID and password by visiting any Pinellas County School (if you don't already have one for another child in your family) and entering your child's information into the Student Reservation system. Registration must be completed by May 29th, 2019 by bringing in all necessary documents to the school.
Learn more by attending Ready, Set...Kindergarten at your zoned school January 15 - 17, 2019. At these events, your family can explore the classrooms, meet teachers and discover all of the programs the school may offer.
Option 2: District Application Programs
Pinellas County Schools offer 70 application programs suited to students' interests, talents and abilities including career, magnet and fundamental programs at elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Acceptance to these schools and programs occurs via online lottery, and odds of acceptance vary by school.
The application period for choice schools is January 9 - 18, 2019. The district is offering several Parent Application Assistance Nights to help families with the application process. Application Assistance Nights will take place:
Jan. 10, 5:30 to 7:30pm at Sandy Lane Elementary School, Clearwater
Jan. 14, 7 to 8pm at Citizens Alliance for Progress, Union Academy Family Center, Tarpon Springs
Jan. 15, 5:30 to 7:30pm at Gibbs High School, St. Petersburg
Jan. 17, 4:30 to 7:30pm at the Student Assignment Office, Largo
The acceptance period for choice schools is February 13 - 22, 2019. During this time period, you must accept the invitation for your child to reserve your seat at the school. If you do not receive an invitation, your child will be assigned a waitlist number and other arrangements may need to be made. To learn more about choice schools and the lottery process, visit here.
Option 3: Special Assignment Requests
If you would like your child to attend a neighborhood school (not a choice school) for which you are not zoned, you may apply for a Special Assignment Request. These requests are granted on a space-available basis. The initial SAR application period is April 1 - 15, 2019, and the late SAR application period is April 22 - July 15, 2019. Learn more here.
Option 4: Exceptional Student Education
The district offers placement of students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) requiring Exceptional Student Education services at select schools. This includes both students with disabilities and students who are gifted. Learn more here.
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) at select Pinellas County elementary schools is available for children who will be four years old on or before September 1, 2019. The program follows the school calendar and schedule with a tuition fee of $65 per week.
The VPK application period is January 21 - February 1, 2019. To apply, you must have a user ID and password obtained from any Pinellas County School (if you do not have one for another child in your family). You will also be required to submit a VPK Certificate of Eligibility (voucher) upon enrollment. Get your voucher here.
Application results will be available beginning February 25, 2019, and enrollment is March 18 - 29, 2019. Learn more about the VPK application process and eligible schools here.
Pre-Kindergarten 3 (Pre-K 3) at select Pinellas County elementary schools is available for children who will be three years old on or before September 1, 2019. The program follows the school calendar and schedule with a tuition fee of $75 per week.
The Pre-K 3 application period is January 21 - February 1, 2019. To apply, you must have a user ID and password obtained from any Pinellas County School (if you do not have one for another child in your family).
Application results will be available beginning February 25, 2019, and enrollment is March 18 - 29, 2019. Learn more about the Pre-K 3 application process and eligible schools here.