Your Guide to Understanding San Diego's School Choice Program

September 26, 2019



Hurry, you only have 6 weeks left to decide your 4 year old's future education plans! No pressure or anything....


Choice, Charters & Magnets….OH MY!!! This one is for parents of 4-5 year olds…. Your precious babies will be heading off to kindergarten next year so you think you’ve got a whole year to worry about it right? Wrong! You actually only have until November 20th, 2019. What?!?! Yup. That is if you want to “Choice” your kids into any other school besides your local neighborhood school. Basically you have 3 options:



If your child will attend your local assigned school, then read no further. You can register them over the summer and relax. There are many benefits of having your child attend your local neighborhood school. Click HERE to find out what your local assigned school is.


6 Reasons to Attend Your Neighborhood School



If you're not sure, do a little research to find out more about your local assigned school to determine if that's the best fit for your family. Consider school grades and ranking scores (links below), school start/end times compared to your work schedule, school year calendars traditional vs. year round schedule!, extracurricular programs, availability of before & after school programs, feeder schools into middle & high schools, and many more things to consider can be found by clicking below:



10 Things to Consider When Choosing a School For Your Kids



 Here are some of the more popular School Ranking websites to help you assess schools. The testing scores for the previous year are released around the end of Sept each year by the California Department of Education; which may change some of the school rankings. click here click here click here




If you know you don’t want your child to attend your local assigned schooldo some research on the other schools in the district to find one (or three!) that fits your family better. School Tours happen during the Open Enrollment Dates (usually Oct. 1 thru mid-November) and most don’t offer tours after the Choice application deadline closes. You should contact each scho ol directly to find out when their tours are (keep reading to find out more about School Tours).



I’ll focus the information below for those who want to Choice their kids into another school besides their local assigned school. 






Do you know what the difference is between Magnet Schools and Charter Schools? How do you even check the school’s ratings? Having gone through this craziness recently, I wanted to let you all in on what I found out. Hopefully this will save you the hours that I spent trying to figure this all out on my own.


I’ve got EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about Choice, Charters & Magnets. You’ll need to find out what schools you want to “Choice” into NOW because they only offer tours during this time period and they fill up quickly! But don’t panic, I’ve got you covered. I’ll walk you through all of it. But seriously…do this NOW.

What I’m offering below is a brief overview of this process, but if you’d like more details you can start by calling SDUSD or refer to their website here.

Submit your Choice Form here (deadline is November 20, 2019!!)








There are many different school enrollment Choices where you can enroll your kids in another San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) school, besides sending them to your local assigned school. Select your top THREE schools, write them down on your online Choice form BEFORE the deadline in mid-November! And then you wait.... 


In late February, they'll run the random lotteries to see which schools the Choice applicants will be matched with. You may NOT get chosen for any of the three schools you selected, in which case your kids can either attend your local assigned school OR a charter school if they were chosen (more on Charter Schools below). If your child is selected for one of your top three schools, you will receive an email directly from that school sometime in March or April, or even as late as the day before school starts if some spaces opened up over the summer.




They have an Enrollment Guidebook that’s very helpful and for some reason it's only mailed to those of currently enrolled students, so if your child is going into Kindergarten next year then you won’t get one in the mail. Ask them for a copy, go pick one up in their office or you can download it here (click the English or Spanish guide).


Phone: 619-260-2410

They try to return calls in 24 hours, but may take longer during busy periods.




In Person: 4100 Normal St., Annex 12, San Diego, 92103

They’re located in the Family Welcome and Enrollment Center at the Eugene Brucker Education Center. It’s situated on the West side of the complex, facing Campus Ave.


Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm. Closed during traditional school year schedules Winter & Spring Breaks and major holidays. They’re open during the traditional Summer Break.