The 2012-13 academic year is not even half over, but it's already time for many Pinellas families to start thinking about where their kids will go to school in the fall.
The application period begins Wednesday for students hoping to get into a public school magnet, fundamental or career program next year. The deadline for applications is Jan. 23.
The application process does not apply to students who plan to attend their zoned school in 2013-14. Students already registered with the district will automatically receive notices about zoned school assignments. New zoned school students, including incoming kindergarteners, can register beginning March 5.
The process for applying to special programs is all online. Families will need a user ID and password. If you don't have these, they are available at any Pinellas public school with a photo ID. Only one user ID and password is needed per family.
The next step is to go to pcsb.org and log on to the Student Reservation System, known as SRS. Pick and rank the programs you want.
All high school magnet programs — and some middle school magnet programs — have entrance criteria. (See the District Application Programs Guide at pcsb.org for details.) Deliver all documentation of eligibility by the close of the school day, Jan. 24.
To complete the process, families need to log on to the SRS between Feb. 13-20 to see if they have been invited into a program. If invited, they must accept or their application becomes invalid.
The competition to get into programs can be stiff. Last year, the district received 17,471 applications for students entering kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. But only 6,389 seats were available.