What Students are Saying...
"Being in the Academy of Information Technology for the past four years has given me a great appreciation for the Schools of Choice program. I enjoy all the the technology assets we've had access to and the lasting relationships I've built with other AOIT students. Working closely with my friends on hands-on projects in a tight knit environment has really allowed me to get the full high school experience as well as prep for college and real-world situations. Plus, the paid internship during the summer of my junior year was an awesome experience that helped me understand how technology is used outside our personal lives, something I wouldn't have had otherwise."
-Theron Scranton; Carencro High AOIT student
Policies and Procedures
- In an attempt to give students a more exciting and fulfilling educational experience and improve the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of its schools, the Lafayette Parish School System offers Schools of Choice at the Elementary, Middle and High School levels. These schools offer specialized programs or themes that give students the core curriculum required by state guidelines in the context of a subject in which the student has an interest. All students in the parish are eligible to apply for admission to any School of Choice, although they must complete the application process.
- Lottery Process
- The Lafayette Parish School System holds its annual Schools of Choice recruitment event in November. Applications to Schools of Choice will be accepted as early as the day of the recruitment event. The deadline to apply for admission to a School of Choice, in order to participate in the lottery, will be no later than the last day in January.
- A lottery will be conducted for each School of Choice. The lottery is a computerized program that randomly selects students. The District Schools of Choice Office will conduct the lottery for each program. The lotteries will be conducted at the same time, during the last week of February unless there is a conflicting holiday. Parents will be notified of the outcome of the lottery, by mail, within two weeks of the lottery.
- The above calendar applies to established Choice programs only. If a new Choice program is approved during the calendar year, it may have a different schedule. Information about different schedules for new programs will be available upon board approval.
- Students who wish to apply to more than one School of Choice may do so, but will be required to rank their applications in terms of priority. There may be a limit to the number of programs for which a student can apply.
- New students who apply for a School of Choice and then are retained prior to enrollment are subject to losing their seat. This is because the lottery assumes the student will be promoted; in other words, the lottery is for a space in the next grade up. Students who are enrolled in Summer School in attempt to achieve promotion to the next grade will not lose their spaces at their School of Choice until after Summer School is over. Exception: ECA and David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy
- Special Education students who wish to attend a School of Choice may apply, but will be required to reconvene their IEP committee for approval of their application. Special Education students must receive approval of their application from their IEP committee in order to be eligible for admission to a Choice Program.
- If a student or parent wishes to appeal any aspect of the application, lottery or assignment process, they must first fill out a ‘Documentation of Appeal' form and present it to the District Schools of Choice Office.
- Acceptance to a School of Choice and Waiting Lists
- There are no special performance standards or test scores required for admission to Schools of Choice, unless there are minimum requirements from the program partner, or identified specifically in the academy's procedural manual and clearly identified in the application. Some schools may require an interview, parent/student orientation, and/or audition prior to acceptance, and if so, applicants are required to complete the interview, orientation, and/or audition process.
- Acceptance at a School of Choice is limited only by program capacity and balancing formula approved by the United States Department of Justice.
- If a child is accepted to the School of Choice to which he applies, he will be assigned to that school. If a child is not accepted to the School of Choice, or if he is placed on a waiting list, he will be assigned to the school for which his home address is zoned. Once parents are notified that their child was not accepted, they must register their child at their home zone school. Once parents are notified that their child has been accepted to a school of choice by mail, they must accept the assignment no later than April 20. Students who are accepted after April 20 must accept their space within 48 hours of being contacted or the space will be offered to the next person on the waiting list.
- The lottery also will determine the order of the waiting list. Parents will be notified of their place on the waiting list at the time they are notified that their child did not win admission. Parents may register their child at their home zone school and remain on the waiting list for the School of Choice. As spaces become available in the School of Choice, students will be assigned to those spaces according to their place on the waiting list. Once a space becomes available, the first student on the waiting list will be notified of the opening, and will have 48 hours to accept the space. If the space is not accepted within that time period, it will be offered to the next student on the waiting list. The Schools of Choice office will not be held responsible for having incorrect contact information.
- If a student is selected for admission to a School of Choice based on application information that is later determined to be false, the student may lose his admission to any School of Choice and may be subject to the penalties laid out in the district's Discipline Policies.
- The parents of students who have been accepted into Schools of Choice must sign a contract. This contract commits the parent and the child to support the school's beliefs, philosophy, academics and behavior code of conduct for the upcoming year. The policies and guidelines will be reviewed on a yearly basis. Some schools require that the contract be renewed each year. Nothing in the contract shall be construed as allowing any child to be excluded from a Choice program.
- Student Priority
- Students who have completed all the curriculum requirements in their program will be given priority to the next pathway program if they apply during the lottery period.
- Students who have priority in the assignment process due to siblings will be given first choice to enroll in a School of Choice at the Elementary School level only. All other spaces in a School of Choice will be assigned by lottery. Priority is granted to students who have a brother or sister residing at the same address that attends a Choice program at the same school and is eligible to return to that program in the next school year.
- Application and Acceptance Process After the Lottery
- Once the lottery has been completed and all acceptance and waiting list letters have been sent, the Schools of Choice office will begin again accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who apply after the lottery may still be required to complete interview, orientation and/or audition requirements before being added to the waiting list or given an available seat.
- If there are spaces available in the School of Choice, and there is no waiting list, the student may be admitted to the School of Choice based on the requirements of that School of Choice. New students who wish to attend a School of Choice with a waiting list will be placed at the end of the waiting list.
- Students who move into the district after the selection process is complete may apply to Schools of Choice, and will be placed on a space-available basis in concurrence with the requirements of that School of Choice.
- Withdrawing from a School of Choice
- If a student who has accepted assignment to a School of Choice wishes to cancel this assignment before the school year begins, he or she must visit the Schools of Choice Office and complete a withdrawal form. Once this form has been processed, the space will be offered to the first person on the waiting list.
- Once the school year begins, students will remain in their School of Choice for the entire school year. If a student wishes to withdraw after school begins, the procedure must begin at the school through a Student Exit Report. Withdrawal from a School of Choice will only be granted in extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances include medical, legal, or transportation issues. Decisions regarding withdrawal will be made at the district School of Choice office, not at the school level.
- Transportation, utilizing designated stops, is available for all students who choose to attend a School of Choice. Transportation forms must be completed and returned to the District Schools of Choice office.
- Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
- Students who wish to participate in athletic programs at a School of Choice may do so in compliance with the guidelines of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
- Students who wish to participate in extracurricular activities at a School of Choice may not be excluded from doing so, unless the guidelines of a state or national organization which sanctions the activity has guidelines which prohibit immediate participation. Students are responsible for their own transportation, unless transportation is provided.
- School of Choice Procedures, Discipline and Retention
- Each School of Choice will be required to develop and maintain a procedure manual that includes a listing of required coursework, procedures for admission, and program expectations. This manual must be distributed and signed by parents and students upon entry into that School of Choice. The District Schools of Choice office must approve this manual for District and Schools of Choice policy compliance.
- Once a student enrolls in a School of Choice, he may remain at that school the following year if he is retained. Students in high school and middle school academies must complete each year's required coursework for that School of Choice to remain in their academy.
- Academy and Choice students are subject to the same discipline policies and procedures, and have the same rights, as any other student in the district.
- In the event that a student is sent to an alternative program and is unable to complete the curriculum requirements of his or her School of Choice, the student will not be able to return to that program the following school year. A committee will be required to determine if the substitute coursework at the alternative program was consistent with the School of Choice curriculum.
- Schools of Choice shall have no requirements designed to exclude students from attendance, and no student's application will be rejected based on his discipline, academic or social history. Certain criteria may be required by the School of Choice curriculum. If a student is unable to begin the school year due to assignment in an alternative program and the schools of choice curriculum committee determines that the student will be unable to complete the curriculum requirements, the student will not be able to attend the academy.
- Nothing in these rules shall be construed as preventing any child from applying to a School of Choice.