Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I have to apply to my attendance area school?
    Families do not need to complete a Hillsborough Choice application for their child to attend their attendance area school. Please contact the school directly for registration information.
  2. Is there any advantage to applying early in the application period for a magnet program?
    No. Applications are not processed on a first-come first-served basis. All elementary and middle school magnet applications received during the application period are entered into the computer lottery. All magnet high school applications are entered into a database for each program. Parents or guardians may submit an application at any time during open application periods.
  3. Is there any advantage to applying early in the application period for a School Choice or Career & Technical Education program?
    No. Applications are not processed on a first-come first-served basis. All Career & Technical Education applications and School Choice applications received during the application period are entered into the computer lottery. Parents or guardians may submit an application at any time during open application periods.

  4. If my child is at his current school on a Magnet or School Choice placement and I want him to continue attending this school, do we have to reapply?
    No. Families  do not have to reapply for a Magnet or School Choice placement each year. Students currently attending a Magnet school will be asked to complete an Intent to Return form provided by the school.
  5. What is the difference between Hillsborough Choice and School Choice?
    Hillsborough Choice includes all choice options. School Choice provides parents and legal guardians with children entering grades K-11 the opportunity to choose three nonmagnet schools or Career & Technical Education programs. Parents may choose from a list of schools with space available.
  6. Can my child automatically attend the elementary or middle magnet school in my neighborhood?
    No. All incoming students must apply using a paper application.
  7. What age does my child have to be to enter kindergarten?
    Children who are five years of age on or before September 1, 2014, may apply for kindergarten School Choice. These students must complete a paper application.
  8. If my child is in Headstart and will be attending kindergarten next year, can I apply for a School Choice online?
    No. Families must complete and submit a paper application for students entering kindergarten.
  9. Can families apply to both a magnet program and School Choice?
    Yes, however, once a student accepts a seat at a school, all other options become invalid.
  10. Can I apply to a school that is out of the region in which I live?
    Yes. Hillsborough Choice Options will allow families the flexibility to choose schools throughout the district with space available. However, transportation is not provided to schools outside of one's region.
  11. Who can apply for a Magnet School for 2014-2015?
    * Families living in Hillsborough County
    * All students entering kindergarten through ninth grade
    * Current 9th, 10th & 11th grade students may apply for some magnet high school programs.
  12. Can I apply to a school that is overcrowded?
    Yes. You can apply to an overcrowded school through a Choice Hardship. However, you must provide documentation of a hardship. Transportation is not provided.
  13. Can incoming 12th graders apply for School Choice?
    No. Incoming seniors must apply through Choice Hardship.
  14. Can families apply for a magnet program, School Choice, and Choice Hardship?
    No. If School Choice and magnet selections are made, a Choice Hardship will not be reviewed.
  15. How do I apply for a magnet program or School Choice?
    Students currently enrolled in a Hillsborough County Public School may apply online. Students not currently enrolled in a Hillsborough County Public School must complete and submit a paper application. Click here for specific application period dates.
  16. How does the writing sample work in order to apply to high school magnet programs?
    The Hillsborough Writes Essay administered in the 8th grade language arts class in November, is the official writing sample for students currently enrolled in a Hillsborough County Public School. Students who are enrolled in a charter school, private school, home school, or not a Hillsborough County Public School must attend one of the writing sessions. Click here for writing session information. Students must attend only ONE writing session in order to apply to any or all high school programs.
  17. How do I apply to a Career & Technical Education Program?
    Complete the Career & Technical portion of the All-in-One application.
  18. How are magnet students selected?
    Selection for elementary or middle magnet schools is done via computer. High school magnet programs require criteria specific to each school and include writing scores, grades, test scores, and/or auditions.
  19. How will I be notified of my child's assignment?
    You will be notified via U.S. Mail. Results from the first elementary application period will be mailed in March. Results from the second middle and high application period will be mailed mid-May. Notification will be mailed to the address specified on the application. If you are offered a seat at one of your choices, you will have the opportunity to accept or decline the offer. Click here to view the application timeline.
  20. Do I have to confirm my magnet or School Choice offer?
    Yes. Failure to accept the offer will result in losing the seat offered.
  21. How can I accept or decline my magnet or School Choice offer?
    You can accept or decline by returning the letter you receive via U.S. Mail or by responding online.
  22. Can ESE students participate in Hillsborough Choice options?
    Yes. ESE students can participate in Hillsborough Choice Options during each lottery.
  23. What are my transportation options for School Choice?
    Transportation will be provided to students within an identified area. This may involve hubs at specific school sites within a designated area.
  24. Is transportation provided to magnet schools?
    Transportation is provided to all magnet themes, with the following exceptions:
    • Kindergarten students must be accompanied by an older sibling, who lives at the same address and attends the same school, to be eligible for magnet transportation
    • Transportation is not provided to Rampello Downtown Partnership k-8 School
    • Transportation is not provided if the student lives within two miles of the school
    • In some cases, transportation may be limited