For Resident Districts
Notice of Intent to Participate
A resident district must be informed if a student intends to participate in the Choice program. Students who are registered with their resident district must complete the Notice of Intent to Participate form and submit it to their resident district by December 1, 2015. The district should provide a signed receipt that acknowledges receipt of the form. Late forms can be submitted to the resident district if the student is a late applicant. The resident district cannot prevent a student from applying to a choice district if the Notice of Intent form was submitted late.
Confirmation of Enrollment
The information requested on the student application that is submitted to the choice district will indicate whether or not a student is eligible to be considered Tier 1. To confirm Tier 1 eligibility, the choice district must submit the applicant's information to his/her resident district. The resident district will then verify whether or not that student was counted in its October 2015 ASSA count and that the student is currently enrolled in the resident district. The following steps are required:
NOTE: If a student moved during the year but attended the public school of both the old and new resident districts, both districts must be contacted to confirm enrollment during the respective time periods. These students are also considered Tier 1.
The resident district must return completed spreadsheets to each choice district by December 11, 2015.
A Tier 1 student must be enrolled in a NJ public school in his or her resident school district for the entire year (2015-2016 ) immediately preceding enrollment in a choice district. If applying for kindergarten, the student must be attending a free preschool in his or her resident district (as is the case in "former Abbott districts); or if no district preschool exists, he/she must have a sibling currently attending the choice district to be considered Tier 1.
Tier 2 students include NJ residents who have not attended their free resident school for the entire year immediately prior to enrollment in the choice district and do not otherwise meet the requirements for Tier 1. This includes students who have been attending public school outside their districts of residence or private school.
Notice of Intent to Enroll
The resident district will receive notification from each choice district by January 15, 2016 of those choice students who have been accepted for 2016-17. If late applicants are accepted by the choice district, the choice district will send the Notice of Intent to Enroll to the resident district upon receipt of the form from the student. The resident district cannot prevent a student from attending a choice district if the Notice of Intent to Enroll form is submitted late (unless the district has an approved limiting resolution signed by the Commissioner).
The resident district will receive transportation requests from each choice district by March 15 for those choice students who are eligible for transportation services. If students are accepted after this date, the choice district will send the transportation information to the resident district upon receipt of the information from the student.
The sending district is required to provide transportation or aid in lieu of transportation for any resident student to a choice district who resides more than 2 miles from the choice school if an elementary school student, or more than 2.5 miles from the choice school if a secondary school student, but not more than 20 miles from the choice school. For more information about transportation regulations, please see:
Choice districts may accept late applications after December 1. Late applicants may be added to the district's waitlist (if one exists) and may be accepted for enrollment in 2016-17 if seats become available, provided the district does not exceed its approved enrollment maximum.
Resident districts must be notified of late acceptances using the Notice of Intent to Enroll form. The resident district cannot prevent a student from attending a choice district if the Notice of Intent to Enroll form is submitted late (unless the district has an approved limiting resolution signed by the commissioner).
Once a choice district has filled all of its approved seats, it cannot enroll any more choice students, with the exception of a student who has received a waiver of the application deadline. When extenuating circumstances occur, the Commissioner may grant a waiver of the student application deadline, allowing a student to submit an application and be accepted to a choice program outside the timeline established by the Department of Education. Waivers will only be granted by a showing of "good cause" and when a student's educational conditions are such that an immediate transfer is needed. Waivers will not be granted for convenience reasons such as missing the application deadline. Typically, student enrollment must occur immediately upon approval of the waiver, however each waiver will be considered based on the specific circumstances of the student. Parents can request a waiver form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org