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Special program sign-ups begin

Starting Monday, parents can apply for magnets and fundamental schools.

By DONNA WINCHESTER, Times Staff Writer
Published February 10, 2008


It's time.

Parents interested in applying for magnet, fundamental and career academy programs can begin doing so at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The phone-in application period runs through Feb. 22.

Although most incoming kindergarteners and students entering sixth and ninth grades in the fall will automatically be assigned to their "close-to-home" school for 2008-09, parents are encouraged to apply.

Schools that house magnets, fundamentals and high school career academies are hosting discovery nights. At right is a list of remaining discovery nights. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

What does the district mean by "special programs?"

They are magnet programs, fundamental schools and high school career academies. All are designed to attract from a broad area, promoting racial diversity. Some programs encompass entire schools; others make up part of a school. Almost all accept applications from across the district. Among the exceptions: four elementary schools called "area magnets" accept applications only from the bottom third of the county.

When can I apply to a special program?

The application period begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday and ends at midnight Feb. 22. See the "Directory of Programs" for 2008at

How do I apply for a special program?

Make sure you have a 10-digit student ID number. You can get it from your child's school; middle and high school students have them on report cards. If your child is new to the system, you can get a student ID number by calling the district's call center at 587-2020 or the student assignment office at 588-6210. Or you can call or visit a Family Education and Information Center. Be prepared to give your student's legal name and address, the grade he or she will enter next year and any special services the child will need. When you have the ID number and you've decided what special programs you like, call 501-0871. You'll be asked to enter the student's ID number and date of birth. The system will walk you through the rest of the process.

You can apply for as many programs as you like and make changes throughout the application period.

How do I know if my child is accepted to a special program?

You MUST call between March 10 and 16 to find out whether your child was accepted into a program and to accept the invitation. You'll also find out whether your child is on any waiting lists. You won't receive anything in the mail. The number to call is the same as the application number: 501-0871. If you don't call back and accept an invitation, your child's application will be voided.

What else should I know about applying to a special program?

- Because it's a lottery, being one of the first to apply does not matter.

- You don't lose your child's current seat by applying - only if you accept an invitation.

- Priority placement is given to two groups: full-time district employees who apply to get their children into the school where they work and applicants with siblings who already attend the school and who will be at the school next year.

For more information, go to or access the Times' annual School Search edition online at


Discovery nights

Elementary area magnet programs

(Open only to children who live in the southern part of the county.)

Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center, 6-7 p.m. Feb. 21.

Maximo Elementary MicroSociety and Visual Arts, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 20.

Gulfport Elementary Montessori Academy, 6-7 p.m. Tuesday.

Elementary magnet programs

Bay Point Elementary Center for Advancement of the Sciences and Technology, 6-7 p.m. Wednesday.

Perkins Elementary Center for the Arts and International Studies, 7-8:30 p.m. Monday.

Elementary fundamental schools

Lakeview Fundamental, 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 20.

Pasadena Fundamental, 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 19.

Middle school fundamental schools

Coachman Fundamental, 7-8 p.m. Thursday.

Southside Fundamental, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday.

Thurgood Marshall Fundamental, 6-7 p.m. Tuesday.

High school magnet program

Lakewood High Center for Advanced Technologies, 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 20.

Largo High 21st Century Learning Center Teaching Arts Academy, 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Palm Harbor University High Center for Wellness and Medical Professions, 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Palm Harbor University High International Baccalaureate (IB), 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

High school fundamental school

Osceola Fundamental High, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

High school career academies

Dunedin High Academy of Architectural Design and Building Technologies, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20.

Northeast High Automotive Academy, 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

Northeast High Academy of Finance, 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

Northeast High Academy of Information Technology, 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

Lakewood High Academy for Marine Science and Environmental Technology, 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 20.

Clearwater High Academy for International Culture and Commerce, 7-8 p.m. Feb. 19.

[Last modified February 9, 2008, 21:45:56]

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