WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The School District of Palm Beach County's application process for school choice opens Wednesday.
Students entering pre-kindergarten through 12th grade can choose from a variety of theme-based curricula at elementary, middle school and high school. There are 335 programs across the county.
There are a total of 182 district-operated schools and not all of them offer choice programs.
"Beginning in elementary school, our students have opportunities to pursue specialized instruction in their fields of interest in Choice programs strategically placed across the District," Superintendent Mike Burke said. "Through these courses, students are building the foundation for their academic and career aspirations."
Among the programs, there are 95 different industry certifications.
"Our programs are designed with students' futures in mind, and to meet projected workforce needs, both locally and globally," Burke said.
The schools don't need to be located in the student's attendance boundary. Students receive transportation for all participating schools if they reside more than 2 miles from the location.
In-house programs are available only to students residing within the school attendance zone.
The selection of students is a lottery-based process except for some programs that require auditions: A.W. Dreyfoos Schools of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach Community High School arts programs and The Conservatory School at North Palm Beach (sixth to eighth grade), West Boca Raton Community High School arts programs.
The application deadline for those programs is Dec. 8.
For other programs, it is Jan. 26.
The lottery will be conducted on March 2024.
Some programs have grade-point average requirements.
Programs include K–12 International Baccalaureate continuum, K–12 dual language continuum, elementary and secondary Cambridge Academy programs, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
programs at all levels, Montessori, STEAM (STEM + Arts), environmental and animal science, and health and wellness.
Career and technical education/career academy programs at the middle and high schools have specific programs of study and many lead to industry certifications.
Academy programs include aerospace science, computer science, criminal justice, drafting and design, environmental sciences and field research, marketing sports, management, construction, TV and film production technology, web design, and tourism, hospitality and resort management.
To submit a Choice application, a Palm Beach County Student ID is required.
Information can be found at palmbeachschools.org/choice. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The district also has posted a promotional video on YouTube.
Hard-copy applications will not be accepted.
Only one application per student is accepted but two choices may be listed in ranked order.