1. Education

How to apply for a Pinellas school choice program

The application period to get into a Pinellas County school choice program is Jan. 9-18. Families must use the online Student Reservation System. [DIRK SHADD, Times]
Published Nov. 13, 2018

In early January, the Pinellas County school system will start accepting applications for choice programs for the 2019-20 academic year. The offerings include magnet, fundamental and high school career programs. The district refers to these as "application programs."

This process does not apply to those who plan to attend their regular zoned school next year. Students who are moving to the next level and are already registered with the district will automatically receive notices about zoned school assignments. New zoned school students, including incoming kindergarteners, can register under a separate process starting Jan. 14 (visit for details).

For more information about choice programs, consult this guide or visit and find the District Application Programs Guide for 2019-20.

Applying for a program

• First, make sure you have a User ID and password. If you misplaced yours or don't have them yet, you can get them at any nearby school with a photo ID. Only one User ID and password is needed per family.

• Apply online Jan. 9-18

• Go to and log on to the Student Reservation System, known as SRS, using your User ID and password.

• Choose up to five programs and rank them in order of preference. You can do this any time during the application period; your odds are not affected by whether you go early or later.

• Many programs have entrance criteria, and many accept only applicants who live in a certain part of the county. (See the District Application Programs Guide at for information on the criteria and a map of application zones.) Students outside the system who are applying to a program with entrance criteria must deliver documentation of their eligibility to the program office by the end of the school day on Jan. 25, 2019.

Accepting an invitation

• Log on to the Student Reservation System between Feb. 13-22 to accept one program invitation. If you get an invitation and do not accept during this time, your invitation becomes invalid.

• Families can change their selection before Feb. 22.

• Once a program's invitation is accepted and the deadline passes, the student's name will be removed from all other lists, including waiting lists (except the Centers for Gifted Studies).

• You don't need to accept waiting list spots.

School choice glossary

Application areas: While many programs are open to students who live anywhere in the county, several are limited to students in their designated application areas. Application areas are defined by a grouping of middle school and high school zones. Consult the District Application Programs Guide at for a listing of the areas.

Fundamental programs: These programs provide a structured environment and a "back-to-basics" approach that includes daily homework, stricter dress and required parental involvement. Most fundamentals encompass entire schools. Fundamental programs at Boca Ciega and Dunedin high schools are "schools within schools."

Magnet programs: These are programs centered on themes such as visual and performing arts, advanced technologies, wellness and medicine, sciences and technology. Many magnet programs have entrance criteria.

Entrance criteria: Some programs require applicants to meet certain requirements. Each of these programs is identified with an asterisk in this guide. For information on requirements, contact the program or consult the District Application Program Procedures manual, available at

Zoned school: These are designated schools for each student in the district based on the residence of the student. Incoming kindergarten students and other new students must register with the district to be assigned a zoned school. Regular kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year begins Jan. 14.


Arterial bus service (which operates on main roads with a limited number of stops) is available for students in district application programs who live more than 2 miles from their school, with the several exceptions. See the list on page 4 of the District Application Programs Guide at


  1. A Hernando County Sheriff's deputy talks to students in the cafeteria of Brooksville Elementary School in 2018. Earlier this month, the school district put forward a proposal to move away from a contract with the Sheriff and establish its own police force. On Tuesday, it announced it would drop that idea.
    Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis spoke out this week against the proposal.
  2. Vials of medical marijuana oil. [Monica Herndon | Tampa Bay Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. The Pasco County school district is considering adopting a policy for student medical marijuana use on district property. [Getty Images]
    The rule will not change the district’s current approach to the touchy topic.
  4. Shown in 2002, Carolyn Hill, then the principal of Kenly Elementary School in east Tampa, celebrated after 78 of her students improved their state scores and were treated to lunch at The Colonnade Restaurant. Hill, now deceased, might be honored Tuesday as the Hillsborough County School Board considers naming a school for her in the SouthShore area. STAFF  |  Tampa Bay Times
    School Board members will select a name on Tuesday
  5. Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, 55, is now in his 11th year leading the fourth largest school district in the nation. Miami Herald
    The charismatic leader of the nation’s fourth-largest school district has a complicated legacy. He almost took over the Pinellas County School District in 2008.
  6. Alachua County school superintendent Karen Clarke welcomes the crowd at a "listening session" Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 to discuss changes in the Florida's education standards. A similar session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Jefferson High, 4401 W Cypress St. in Tampa. The Florida Channel
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. The Pinellas School Board recognized James Krull as the district's bus Driver of the Year at its meeting Tuesday. From left are board members Bill Dudley, Eileen Long, Carol Cook, Rene Flowers, Krull, and board members Nicole Carr, Joanne Lentino and Lisa Cane. Pinellas County Schools
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. In this image from a telecast by The Florida Channel, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks to a Gainesville crowd that came to discuss revisions to the state's education standards this past week. “We’re going to end up with the world’s best standards,” Corcoran said. The Florida Channel
    The effort, ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, aims to transform the way students learn in public schools. A “listening session” is set for Tampa’s Jefferson High.
  9. Darcy Krueger, 17, models the jumpsuit she wore the night she was denied entrance to the Tampa Bay Homeschool Homecoming dance. Courtesy of Jennie Ellis Photography
    The organizer who wouldn’t let the 17-year-old into the dance said the rules require girls to wear dresses, not pants. But the teen and her mother say it doesn’t mention jumpsuits.
  10. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times  Florida Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., R- Hialeah; Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, watch the passage of the school voucher bill Tuesday in the Florida House.
    The new program, designed to eliminate waiting lists for tax credit scholarships, is likely to be challenged in court.