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District-Wide FAQ

District Wide Enrollment Application Frequently Asked Questions  (The 2019-2020 Application will open November 15th, applications from the 2018-2019 (students who were not selected)  school year will not rollover, you must reapply.)

What is a district wide school?
District wide schools are schools located within Rochester that may deliver the curriculum in a different manner than neighborhood schools. District wide schools are available, tuition free to students. Transportation is provided to eligible students that are enrolled at district wide schools.


What are the district wide schools/programs?
Rochester Public Schools offer five district wide schools. The elementary schools are: 
Gage Spanish Immersion Program (School Within a School), Longfellow 45-15, Lincoln K-8, Washington Core Knowledge, and Montessori at Franklin. Our district wide middle school is Friedell.


How do I enroll my child into a 2019-2020 district wide school? (The application will be open starting November 15th.  2017-2018 applications, will not rollover.)
To enroll, you must fill out and submit an application to the Office of Elementary & Secondary Education.There are various ways in which you can do this.

  1. Fill out the online form, and press submit. (rochester.k12.mn.us - Departments - Office of  Elementary & Secondary Education/District-Wide Application 2019-2020)

  2. You will first need to create an account, then login and complete the form online or you may obtain a paper application in person at the Edison Administration Building, second floor. 


Why do I need to apply?
Students are automatically assigned to their neighborhood school and the application process allows us to learn about a families' interest in attending a district wide school. At particular grade levels we may have a waiting pool due to a greater demand than the number of spots available.


What is the time frame for 2018-2019 Applications?
The first selection will occur on 1/14/18 for kindergarten and 6th grade (Friedell only/this does not include Highly Gifted for Friedell or Kellogg).  The deadline for applications to be included in the first initial drawing is 1/13/2019 at 11:59 pm.  While the first selection occurs on 1/14/19, subsequent selections will occur if families decline their spot.  Random selection for all other grades will be done as space become available, closer to the end of the school year.  All families selected in the random process will be personally notified. 


What is the selection process?
All applications are uploaded into a district database. Applications received by each selection process date will be placed into the selection process which includes random selection by the computer program.

Is there a waiting list?
No, there is a waiting pool. This means that applications that do not get selected during the first selection process are included in the subsequent selection process. Every selection process includes the randomized computer generated selection.


How long do I stay in the waiting pool? 
Students stay in the waiting process for the school year. Families who did not get selected in the previous school year  for a district-wide option school, must re-apply each year to be considered for the district-wide option schools process.  Applications for students not selected do not rollover from school year to school year.


Is there sibling preference?
Siblings of students attending (during the 2019-2020 school year) a district-wide school will have preference in the selection process.  However, you will still need to apply by January 13, 2019 in order to receive sibling preference in the first initial drawing. Siblings who miss this deadline will still have sibling preference however, they will have to wait for space to become available.  Be sure to indicate on the form that your child has a sibling and in which district-wide school.  Please remember sibling preference, like all placements, are based on available space.  Sibling preference does not apply to alumni or cousins.  The intent for sibling preference is that siblings are under the same roof at the same time.


Will I be notified if I am selected for a spot or if I am in the waiting pool?
Families that are selected in the initial random drawing for kindergarten and 6th grade to Friedell will be notified by phone the week of January 14th. Students not selected in the initial random selection or subsequent selections will remain in the pool for future space and will be notified if selected at that time.


How long will the selection process occur?
The selection process occurs every time there is a seat available including throughout the school year.


Do students attending district-wide option schools have access to transportation?
Yes, students residing within RPS district boundaries are eligible for transportation to district-wide options schools (provided they live outside the walk zone).


If my child is a preschooler through an ECSE or ECFE program housed at one of the district-wide option schools do they get preference for Kindergarten to attend that school?
No, families are encouraged to apply but do not receive preference. 


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