Ten days remain before the deadline to apply for Pinellas County public schools' specialized programs. The offerings include magnet programs, fundamental schools and high school career academies. The district refers to these as "application programs."
This deadline does not apply to those who plan to attend their zoned school in the 2013-14 academic year. 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.
But for those who want to try for an application program, now is the time to apply. For more information about application programs, consult this guide or go to pcsb.org and download a copy of the District Application Programs Guide for 2013-14. You can apply for up to five programs and must rank your choices one through five in order of preference.
Before you go online to apply
• Have or get a User ID and password. If you misplaced yours or don't have them, you can get them at any nearby school with a photo ID. Only one User ID and password is needed per family.
Apply online by Jan. 23
• 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.
Check status/accept invitation
• Log on to the Student Reservation System (SRS) between Feb. 13-20 to accept a program invitation. If you do not accept during this time, your application becomes invalid.
• Once a program's invitation is accepted, the student's name will be removed from all other lists (except the Center for Gifted Studies).
• Families can change their selection before Feb. 20.
• You don't need to accept waiting list spots.
Though most programs are available for students who live anywhere in the county to apply, several programs have designated application areas. Areas are defined by a grouping of middle school and high school zones.
These four-year programs blend a student's required academic courses with the career technical program of the academy.
Centers of excellence
Students can earn high school credit, college credit, industry certification and become scholarship eligible at the same time. See the District Application Programs Guide at pcsb.org for a listing.
Designated career technical programs
These have been approved by the Pinellas County School Board for open application within their designated application area.
These programs provide a very structured environment and a "back-to-basics" approach that includes daily homework and requires parental involvement.
These are theme-centered programs such as visual and performing arts, advanced technologies, wellness and medical, sciences and technology. Some magnet programs have eligibility criteria.
These are designated schools for each student in the district based on the residence of the student. Students rising from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school will automatically be sent a notice of their zoned school assignment. Incoming kindergarteners and other new students must register with the district to be assigned a zoned school.
Arterial bus transportation (buses that operate on main roads with limited stops) is available for students in district application programs who live more than 2 miles from their school, with the following exceptions:
• Parents of countywide elementary fundamental and most middle fundamental school students must provide transportation for their children.
• Arterial bus transportation is provided for Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle and Osceola Fundamental High students in Grade 12.
• Students entering ninth through 11th grade in the fundamental programs at Osceola, Boca Ciega and Dunedin high schools will receive arterial transportation within the boundaries of the high school application areas.