Open enrollment for Manatee’s elementary schools to begin in March

For a period of less than two weeks, parents will have a chance to switch their child’s enrollment in a Manatee County elementary school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Open enrollment runs from March 4 to March 15. Applications are found by visiting, navigating to the “Parents and Students” tab and then clicking on “School Choice.”

Forms are also available at the Office of Student Assignment, 1400 First Ave. E., in Palmetto.

“The Elementary School Choice Open Enrollment Session is the only time during the year when parents can apply to have their elementary school child attend another school without giving a specified reason for the move,” the school district said in a news release.

Out-of-county students are also eligible for open enrollment, according to the release.

The district will ask new students to provide a certified birth certificate and a social security number, while the “enrolling parent of record” should complete an application for existing students.

“Approval of School Choice applications are subject to enrollment capacities and other race-neutral factors,” the release states, listing free-and-reduced lunch, exceptional student education and English-language learners as examples.

“Choice options for elementary school students are limited to specific geographical clusters,” it continues. “Choice transportation may be provided within elementary school clusters provided the student lives more than two miles from the choice approved school.”

The school district urged parents with questions to call the assignment office at 941-708-4971, extension 2000.

Giuseppe Sabella, education reporter for the Bradenton Herald, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He spent time at the Independent Florida Alligator, the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Times-Union. His coverage of education in Manatee County earned him a first place prize in the Florida Society of News Editors’ 2019 Journalism Contest. Giuseppe also spent one year in Charleston, W.Va., earning a first-place award for investigative reporting.