School choice applications available online — Deadline to apply Feb. 29

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The Beaufort County School District is accepting school choice applications for the 2020-21 academic year, the sixth year of the district’s expanded choice initiative.

School choice applications are posted to the district’s website and must be submitted online by midnight Saturday, Feb. 29. Parents who don’t have Internet access may request application assistance at any district school or through the district office’s Instructional Services division.

Curriculum options approved by the Board of Education include such instructional choices as Montessori, advanced math and science, International Baccalaureate, arts infused, Classical Studies, early college and leadership programs.

Beaufort County students who attend choice programs do not pay extra tuition, although families are responsible for their students’ transportation if they live outside of school attendance zones Choice schools serve children who live in their attendance zones in addition to students from outside the zone who apply to attend.

All district schools maintain a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics focus, as well as a core that includes the arts, world languages and technology.

If the number of choice applications at a school would cause the school to exceed its overall enrollment capacity, or if approved applications would push an individual choice program beyond its capacity, a lottery would be held to determine which applications are approved.

Nine schools potentially have no availability for choice because they are at or above capacity.  Those schools are Coosa Elementary; H.E. McCracken Middle; Hilton Head Island High School; Hilton Head Island Middle; May River High School; Okatie Elementary; Pritchardville Elementary; Red Cedar Elementary and River Ridge Academy.

Parents may still apply at those schools, however, and if limited space becomes available, a lottery would be held later this spring.

A number of district schools have scheduled information fairs to acquaint parents and students with their specific academic choice programs. Here are the north-of-the-Broad options:

Battery Creek High (Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.)

Beaufort Elementary (Feb. 6, Montessori at 5:30 p.m. and AMES at 6:30 p.m.; program tours on Feb. 10 and Feb. 20 – 8:30 a.m. for AMES at 10:15 a.m. for Montessori)

Beaufort High (Feb. 4 5-7 p.m.)

Beaufort Middle (Feb. 19 at 6 p.m.)

Broad River Elementary (Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.)

Lady’s Island Middle (Feb. 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.)

Port Royal Elementary (Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.)

Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary (Feb. 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m.)

Robert Smalls International Academy (Feb. 6 at 9:30 a.m.)

St. Helena Elementary (Feb. 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m.)

Whale Branch Elementary (Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m.)

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