100.0 -- Registration and Enrollment Information
The following information is required to enroll a student
in a Florida school. Please note that
the student may not attend class until all documents are received.
- A certified birth certificate, which may be
requested online from your birth state's health department.
- A Florida Certificate of Immunization, Form 680
(blue card), completed by a Florida physician or by a Florida county health
- Florida Statute §1003.22 requires any child
entering a Florida school for the first time to present documentation of a
physical examination performed within one year prior to enrollment
(registration date). This exam must include a review of all body systems
(heart, skin, respiratory, etc.) performed by a licensed medical provider. The
exam should indicate any condition which would warrant special considerations
for the student at school. The physical exam form must be readable (health
department personnel can only accept exams in English), signed, dated and
stamped by the provider, practicing physician or the county public health
- Official documentation that the parent(s) or
guardian(s) is a legal resident(s) of the school district attendance area.
100.1 — Immunizations Requirements for the Current School
Florida Statutes §1003.22 and §402.305 and Sarasota County
School Board Rule 5.10 require that prior to admittance to or attendance in a
public or non-public school, each student shall present or have on file with
the school a Florida Certificate of Immunization (DH 680 form) from a licensed
practicing physician or the county public health department. Student must have
all required shots for the entering grade level.
For a list of immunization requirements for school, please
visit the following website www.sarasotacountyschools.net/departments/schoolhealth.
No-cost immunizations are available to eligible children
through the federally-funded Vaccine for Children program at Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County. Call 941-861-2784 in Sarasota or 941-861-3864 in North Port
for locations and hours of operation. Please take your child’s shot records
when you go for immunizations.
100.2 — Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)
Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Program has a
separate set of enrollment and attendance requirements, which are not included
under the authority of public K-12 compulsory school attendance laws. The law
allows a parent to voluntarily enroll an eligible child (four years old by
September 1 and residing in Florida) in a free VPK program. (Note: A new law takes effect July1, 2016. Four-year-old children with birthdays from Feb. 2 through Sept.1 will be eligible to enroll in VPK that year or postpone it to the next year.)
Sarasota County Schools intends to hold a VPK class at Lamarque Elementary during the summer of 2017. The program will total 300 hours of instruction focused on the Florida Standards for four-year-olds. (Please note: school bus transportation will not be provided.)
For additional information regarding VPK, including application procedures and dates to apply, please visit Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Program website through the Office of Early Learning at www.floridaearlylearning.com.
If you have questions regarding the Sarasota County Schools VPK program, please contact Elementary Education.
100.3 — ESE Pre-Kindergarten
The Pre-Kindergarten Exceptional Student Education Program
for children with disabilities is operated by the Sarasota County School
District. In addition to therapy services and classrooms at selected elementary
schools, the school district contracts with several community agencies.
Eligible students transition from the Early Steps program to Pre-K ESE programs
upon their third birthday. Other potential students are referred through Child
Find. These programs operate during regular school hours and follow the school
calendar. Extended School Year (ESY) services are available during the summer for students that meet federal and state criteria. School bus transportation
is provided to the assigned school. To learn more about the Pre-Kindergarten
program for students with disabilities, call 941-927-9000, ext. 31271.
100.4 — Kindergarten
Florida law (§1003.2 1(1)(a)2 Fla. Stat.) specifies that
children who have attained the age of five years on or before September 1 of
the school year in question are eligible for admission to public kindergarten
during that school year based on rules prescribed by the school board. Students
are eligible for kindergarten attendance if they meet the age requirement.
Admission to a public kindergarten is not contingent upon
what a child knows; if the child meets the age requirement, he or she is
eligible for admission. The Florida Partnership for School Readiness has
published “Performance Standards” for three-, four- and five-year-olds. Those
standards reflect what children should know and be able to do. You may access
that information and other resources from the Partnership’s website. In
addition, the Florida Standards provide expectations for student
achievement in Florida. More information on course
standards and course descriptions is available at www.cpalms.org.
100.5 — Educational Choices
Most children are assigned to the school at their grade
level that is closest to their home; however, student interests and needs may
be accommodated through a variety of options and programs offered through
School Choice. One choice might be attending a Charter or Magnet School program
in the county. Some of these programs have specific entrance criteria. There is
no cost to the student (or parent or guardian) for attending any charter,
specialty or magnet program. For information about these programs, call the
district office at 941-927-9000, ext. 32255, or log into the district’s website
under School Choice.
100.5a — Controlled Open Enrollment (School
Students in Sarasota County Schools may request a school other than their assigned district school through the Controlled Open Enrollment (School Choice) program. The student must apply by completing a School Choice application, which is available each winter during a specific time period. Limited available spaces at each school open to Choice are awarded to students through a random lottery. Some schools are closed to choice if their enrollment is already at capacity. Parents must provide transportation for their children attending a school selected through the controlled open enrollment (School Choice) process. More information regarding the district’s Controlled Open Enrollment (School Choice) program including School Choice enrollment deadlines, is available on the district’s website or by calling 941-927-9000, ext. 32255.
100.5b — Charter Schools
Charter schools are district sponsored public schools designed to provide a choice in education. These are public schools, so they charge no tuition or special fees. While these schools are dedicated to a specific purpose and focus, they meet the same standards as any other public school. Each district sponsored charter school has its own governing board to support with operating independently. Currently, the Sarasota County School District supports a number of charter schools offering a variety of programs, from military training to a focus on the arts and sciences. A directory of charter schools is provided in this guide. Contact the individual schools for information and application materials. See the directory in Section 7 of this handbook for specific schools and contact information.
100.5c — Home Education
Parents also have the choice of
enrolling their child in a home school program. Parents are held responsible
for educating their child. Parents must maintain a portfolio of work and submit
a student academic evaluation annually. For information on home schooling, call
941-927-9000, ext. 32258. The Florida Parent-Educators Association publishes a
guide for home-schoolers in Florida. A copy is available by calling toll-free 877-275-3732
or at www.fpea.com.
Magnet programs are specialty
programs housed within a district school. The programmatic specialties include
visual and performing arts, the International Baccalaureate program and the
Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education Program. Magnet
programs are open to students who meet various eligibility requirements.
Students apply directly to the school, not through the School Choice Program.
For a complete listing of the available magnet programs, call the Office of
School Choice, Virtual School and Charter Schools at 941-927-9000, ext.
100.5e — McKay Scholarship
The district participates in the
McKay Scholarship program that is offered through the Florida Department of
Education. This program allows eligible students with an Individualized
Education Plan IEP or a 504 Accommodation Plan the opportunity to select a
placement in a private school or selected public schools, including charter
schools. Parents may learn more about the options for their child by visiting
the Florida Department of Education website at www.fldoe.org, the school
district website at www.SarasotaCountySchools.net or the district’s Office of
School Choice, Virtual School and Charter Schools at 941-927-9000, ext.
32258. Information about the McKay Scholarship Choice option is also
given to parents when an IEP or a 504 Plan for their child is discussed. A
district school selected by a parent under the McKay Scholarship Program must
not only have available space but must also have the resources to fully implement the
student’s IEP or 504 Plan. McKay Scholarship applications MUST be received by
the school district prior to July 1 for a child to be placed in a school in the
upcoming academic year under the scholarship. Parents typically must provide
transportation for their children attending a school selected through the McKay
100.5f — Sarasota Virtual
SVS is an interactive learning environment created through technology, in which the student and teacher are separated by time, space or both. Students access lessons and assignments and receive assessments via the Internet. The District contracts with four state and School Board approved outside virtual instruction providers (VIP): K12 Florida, Inc. (serves students in grades K-12), Edgenuity (serves students in grades 6-12), Florida Virtual School (serves students in grades K-12) and Connections Learning (serves students in grades K-12). SVS students have access to state- approved curriculum through each of the VIPs.
SVS offers one enrollment period annually for a minimum of 90 days prior to the beginning of the academic year the student is seeking to enroll. The enrollment period is announced a variety of ways including through district schools, news media, parent notification letters and on the district web site. All students residing in Sarasota County have equitable access to SVS. Parents of ELL students must request an ELL Committee Meeting at their districted school prior to enrollment in SVS. Students with an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan must request a meeting at their district school to review their existing plans prior to enrollment in SVS. Computers and internet service may be provided at no charge to eligible students who meet family income requirements. In order to enroll in SVS, student must meet the eligibility requirements set by state statute (F.S. 1002.455).
The following should be
taken into account when considering enrollment in SVS:
- Students enrolled in SVS must meet all standards
and graduation requirements of the state and district.
- Students enrolled in SVS are entitled to
participate in extracurricular activities at their districted school.
- SVS is a public school, and all enrolled students must take the appropriate grade level state required assessments (FSA reading, math, science, and civics, EOC, SAT 10, Fair, etc.).
- After completion of all graduation requirements,
a student will be awarded a diploma from Sarasota Virtual School. SVS is a nontraditional learning environment,
and an enrolled student is not entitled to participate in the traditional
promotion or graduation ceremony at his or her districted school.
- Parents of student(s) in grades K-8 must commit
to spending at least 2-4 hours per day as a learning coach for their child.
- Parents must attend an orientation session
and/or personal interview with the Supervisor of Sarasota Virtual School prior
- Regular attendance and satisfactory completion
of coursework is required for continuation in the school.
- Parents of ELL students must request an ELL
Committee Meeting at their districted school prior to enrollment in SVS.
- Parents of Students may remain in SVS for any or
all of their education in the district as long as they meet appropriate
attendance and course requirements.
To learn more about this educational option, interested
parents should contact the Office of School Choice, Virtual School and Charter
Schools at 941-927-9000, ext. 32289 or by visiting the district’s web page
100.6 — Sarasota County Schools Virtual Options
Sarasota Virtual School (full time program), Sarasota
Virtual Academy (part time course offerings) are district-operated programs
that offer students a variety of opportunities to access virtual
instruction. These district operated
programs have highly qualified certified teachers that use state approved curriculums and follow
Sarasota County School Board policies, procedures and guidelines. Additional details about these programs are available at
The district’s K-12 students also have access to the part time or full time virtual programs offered by Florida Virtual School (FLVS). To learn more about FLVS’s virtual options, you may speak with your school counselor or visit the FLVS web page at www.flvs.net.
100.7— Specialized School Programs
The school district provides a variety of opportunities for
students with special needs.
The Teen Parent Programs at Riverview High School and North
Port High School were designed with the goal of encouraging pregnant students
and school-age parents ro remain in school in order to earn a high school
diploma or its equivalent. Other goals include improving students’ academic
performance in basic skills area, increasing their knowledge of health and
child development related to pregnancy and parenting, and reducing the
incidence of complications of pregnancy, and low-birth-weight babies. Students
will continue to develop a strong connection between their academic achievement
and their postsecondary education and career goals. This program will not only
meet the immediate needs of the young parents and their children, but will also enable
them to become self-sustaining members of society.
Oak Park is a school designed to educate students with significant
physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities. The decision for placement at
Oak Park School is made by the Individual Education Plan team. For more information on the educational programs at Oak Park,
contact the ESE Liaison at your child’s school or the Exceptional Student
Education department at 941-927-9000.
Intellectually gifted students may receive services in
several different school settings, including Pine View School for students in
grades 2-12. Your child’s districted school can provide information regarding entry criteria for Pine View or other gifted
magnet programs offered throughout the school district for intellectually gifted
students. Call 941-927-4177 for more information regarding the district's gifted programs.
The Academy for Community Transition is located on the campus of Suncoast Technical College (STC). This program is designed to provide individualized transition planning. The goal is to assist motivated students ages 18-21 in developing skills to be successful participants and active consumers in their community.
100.8 — Alternative Schools
Alternative schools are designed for students who have had
difficulty in the traditional school environment or have been in trouble with
the law. These schools offer specialized programs designed to help students
with behavior management while they earn school credit. More information is
available in Section 701.6 of this publication or by calling the school
district’s Pupil Support Services – Alternative Programs at 941-927-9000.
100.9 — Title I Education/Services
Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education
Act of 1965, as amended by the “Every Student Succeeds Act” of 2015, provides
supplemental educational services for eligible public and private school
students to assist those children in acquiring the knowledge and skills
necessary to meet challenging student performance standards. The law also
requires the states to adopt a specific approach to testing and accountability,
with the goal of higher achievement for all children. Federal legislation provides
guidelines for the selection of schools, for the selection of students for
those schools, and for parental involvement.
100.9a — Title I School
Schools are ranked annually by
using the percentage of students receiving free and reduced-cost meals as a
measure of the percentage of students from low-income families. Schools with 75
percent or more students receiving free and reduced-cost meals are eligible for
school-wide Title I status. This means that all students attending a
school-wide status Title I school are eligible for services. Title I funds may then be used to upgrade the
entire school’s instructional program. A school’s eligibility from one school
year to the next may change as the income of the families of the student
population change. Students attending a Title I school will receive services
based on an assessment of the school’s needs, which are summarized in the
annually created School Improvement Plan (SIP) created annually. The SIP is available at the
school and can be found on the district website. Parents are invited to contact
the school principal to provide input on the SIP.
100.9b — Parental Involvement
All parents are encouraged to
become involved in the education of their children. The role of a parent is
vital to the success of his or her child’s education. Research reveals that
high student achievement, self-esteem, positive attitudes, better behavior and
motivation to do well in school are closely related to positive parental
involvement in education. As a result, students whose parents are involved and
supportive tend to have higher grades and test scores, better attendance and
more consistently completed homework. These students also have a higher
graduation rate and a higher percentage of enrollment in post-secondary
education. All Title I schools work with the school district each year to develop a
Parent Involvement Plan (PI Plan) each year to identify ways parents can get
involved and to lay out plans for improving the ability of parents to assist
their children. These plans are available at Title I schools and on the
district and school websites. Each Title I school has materials available to
provide information and support for parents.
Parents’ Right to Know
Parents have the right to request
information regarding the professional qualifications of classroom teachers and
paraprofessionals who provide instruction and work with their child.
Requested information may
include, but is not limited to:
- Whether the teacher has met state qualification
and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the
teacher provides instruction.
- Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency
or other provisional status through which the state qualification or licensing
criteria is waived.
- The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher
and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the
field of discipline of the certification or degree.
- Whether the child is provided services by
paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
Requests for information regarding
teacher and paraprofessional qualifications should be presented in writing to
the school. The school will provide the requested information to the parent in
a timely manner.
100.9c — District Report Card
The state of Florida has rated
Sarasota County an “A” district, one of only three “A” districts out of 67
districts statewide. Seventy-six percent of district schools received “A” or “B” grade for the school year 2015-2016.
High school grades showed that seven out of eight high schools in Sarasota County School District
received an “A” or “B” grade.
School Year 2015-2016
District Grade: A
66% of Students met ELA Achievement
69% of Students met Mathematics Achievement
66% of Students met Science Achievement
78% of Students met Social Studies Achievement
99% of Students Tested
The district report card for the
2016-2017 school year will be available on the district website when the
information has been reported by the State.
100.10 — Parent Portal Registration
In the Parent Portal,
and guardians can review their student’s class schedule, attendance records,
class assignments with grades, report card and communication from teachers. For instructions on how to register and use the Parent + Student Portal click here.