Application Process

    1. The application window for applying to a magnet or choice program runs from December 2, 2019 through January 31, 2020. A second window will open in Spring 2020 after placement from the first lottery occurs.  The application is to be completed online at Once a student has been formally accepted into a magnet program, he or she does not need to reapply each school year. Students applying for ALL other reasons (this includes: administrative necessity, medical, safety, address change or proposed move, or change of legal custody) must reapply annually
    2. Parents moving into the district after the application period or those seeking professional courtesy because of a change in job location, after the window closes, may apply in person at the office of School Choice and Magnet Programs. The office for School Choice and Magnet Programs is located at the District East Office, 1614 E Fort King Ave. in Ocala.
    3. A weighted lottery will be held for students in kindergarten – 8th Grade in February, to identify students that are invited to register at the magnet and specialty schools. Weighting is done to ensure equity among students and to maintain a demographic balance consistent with the district make up. A second lottery is will be held in late Spring. There is no lottery for high school.  Individual high schools have their own entrance requirements. However, all interested high school applicants will still be required to apply online via Smart Choice.
    4. If twins or triplets apply for a magnet or choice school and one is accepted, we attempt to keep them together but we cannot guarantee acceptance of all of them. We also do not guarantee acceptance of siblings living in separate households.
    5. Parents are notified, following the lottery, as to whether the student was selected to enroll in the chosen school. Students that are not chosen during the first lottery are automatically placed into the drawing for the second lottery. Although names will remain on the waiting list until the first day of the third semester, they will not be placed on the applicant list for the following school year.  Parents need to fill out a new application for each school year if they are NOT already selected for a magnet program/school.
    6. Parents are allowed to apply for more than one school at a time. The number of schools that may be applied for will be determined prior to the opening of the application window each year.  If you apply to more than one school, you will be placed on each school’s lottery list.  Once you have accepted placement at one school your name will be removed from the other schools.  You will not be able to apply to or accept placement in another magnet/specialty school during the year of acceptance.  You may, however, apply to another school for the following school year.
    7. If a student withdraws from a program within a school they will need to return to their base school and may not apply for reassignment to that school for 12 months. 
    8. Any student discovered to be attending a school to which he/she is not assigned or properly reassigned, by having used an address other than the legal address of the parent/guardian, by withholding information concerning an address to avoid changing schools, or by intentionally misinforming school officials concerning the student’s address, shall be immediately reassigned to the appropriate school and shall be ineligible to apply for reassignment to the school at which he/she was enrolled due to false information for a period of 12 calendar months.
    9. Documentation of residency is required in order to enroll a student at a school. One of the following sets of documents must be provided:
      1. A copy of a mortgage or lease/rental contract AND a copy of a recent (within the past two months) electric bill in the parent’s name.
      2. A copy of a recent (within the last two months) electric bill in parent’s name AND an affidavit from the landlord verifying residency.
      3. Affidavit from the head of household AND a mortgage or lease/rental contract in the name of the head of household AND a copy of a recent (within the last two months) electric bill in the name of the head of the household.

    Filling out the On-line Application form:


    Student Number -  is the number assigned by the state of Florida, through the public school system.  It is the number the student uses for lunches and can be found on the student progress report.  If the student is entering the Florida Public School system for the first time and they have not enrolled at a school, then they will not have a number, in this case leave it blank.


    Address -  is the legal address of the parent.  See “Assignment to Attendance Area” for more information.


    Active Military - If one of the parents is on active military duty, then bring in a copy of the military orders and check yes for Active Military.


    Professional Courtesy – If you are a full time employee of the Marion County School Board, check yes and we will look up your work location.


    Sibling Preference – If you will have a child already enrolled in the school that your child is applying to and they will still be enrolled in the same school for the first year the new child will be in attendance, check the box and fill in the full name of the student already in attendance, as well as their student number and what grade level they will be in.


    Addresses and changes to addresses and all documents submitted for verification are subject to verification by the district staff.  Students suspected of living outside the students assigned attendance zone for the school they are attending will be reported to the district for a residency determination investigation.  A student who is found to be attending an out-of-zone school as the result of giving false or misleading information at registration shall immediately be transferred to the school serving the student’s residential attendance zone.


    When documentation of residency is not presented or is unavailable, social work services personnel will provide verification of address.  


    Students granted a reassignment shall reapply each year for an out-of-area transfer, unless said requirement is prohibited by State or Federal statute and/or otherwise noted below.