District CHOICE Program
Each year, Peoria Public Schools families the opportunity to apply for consideration of a special placement in a school other than the school(s) assigned to the family's home address. For the 2017/2018 school year, the following special placements are available:
- Special Programs
- Boundary Waivers
- CHOICE Schools (program no longer available to new students, starting in 2016)
- NCLB CHOICE Schools (program no longer available to new students, starting in 2014)
Students and their families have had the opportunity to apply for a special program, including Fine Arts Magnet programs at Roosevelt (5th - 8th grades) and Peoria High School (9th - 12th grades), the gifted program at Washington Gifted Middle School, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Richwoods High School. For these programs, students must be auditioned, tested and/or interviewed to be eligible. Auditions, testing and interviews took place during November, December, January and February for the 2017/2018 school year and all placements have been made.
Boundary waivers allow a student residing anywhere within Peoria Public Schools boundaries to apply for attendance to any other school within the District, provided the school hosts his/her grade level. Applications are granted based on the projected number of seats available in the student's grade level at the requested school. High school students (with the exception of those applying and interviewing for a JROTC program) are not eligible for boundary waivers. Boundary waiver placement is a privilege and therefore discipline and attendance are taken into consideration for placement and renewal each year. District bus transportation is not available for Boundary Waiver placements. If boundary waiver students are not able to be at school regularly and on time, they may be required to enroll in the home school based on the family's home address.
School CHOICE is a program that is no longer available to new students, but allows students who were placed under the program prior to 2016, the opportunity to receive transportation until they reach the highest grade level in the school that they were placed. Students opting out of or into one of the following schools, prior to 2016, are the only students provided transportation for their placement: Roosevelt Magnet, Manual 7th/8th grade, Rolling Acres Middle School, Northmoor Primary School and Franklin Primary School.
For the 2017-2018 school year, the application window will open on Friday, April 7, 2017 and close on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Forms may be completed by clicking on the link to the right (starting April 7th), by visiting a school office or by stopping by the Administration Building to fill out the electronic form. This year, the form is only available electronically. Peoria Public Schools strongly encourages parents/guardians click on the "print" button once they hit the "done" button and get to the final screen of the application to print out the completed form for your records.
To be considered for placement, students must a current Peoria Public Schools student or be enrolled in Peoria Public Schools for the 2017-2018 school year. Anyone may submit a boundary waiver application, however, the student must submit enrollment information prior to May 1, 2017 for the application to be considered. Early enrollment packets will be made available at the Kindergarten Transition Fair on April 22nd and at all schools on April 24th.
Frequently Asked Questions...
My child is entering Kindergarten or will be new to the District next school year. What are his/her options? Early enrollment will take place starting at the Kindergarten Transition Fair on April 22nd. Parents/Guardians may fill out a Boundary Waiver Application starting April 7th if they wish to try to attend school outside the home attendance area. For an application to be considered, parents/guardians should enroll the rising Kindergarten or new student to the District at the Kindergarten Transition Fair or at their home school prior to May 1st. Early registration packets and CHOICE applications will be available at the Kindergarten Transition Fair on Saturday, April 22, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Woodruff Career & Technical Center. Early registration packets will not be available at any school until Monday, April 24th.
When will I hear if a placement has been made for my child? All applicants will be notified on or before August 1, 2017.
How are placements made? Placements are made looking at projected enrollment for individual grade levels at each school. For example, if your student is entering 3rd grade, class sizes for the 3rd grade will be reviewed to see if any placements can be made. Placements may be made in one grade level at a particular school, but not another, pending the projected class enrollment. First priority is given to those with siblings already attending the desired school. Siblings must be enrolled concurrently at the same school to receive sibling priority and applications must be received by the indicated deadline on the application. Siblings are students who share a biological or adoptive parent/guardian. After reviewing siblings, students who have previously attended the school, but who were assigned a new home school because of grade level reconfiguration, are given next priority. Finally, remaining students are placed on a first come, first serve basis.
Should students re-apply each year? Students previously accepted into a CHOICE Program or School, Special Program or boundary waiver placement will be automatically rolled over to the same school until completion of the highest grade level, unless the family chooses to enroll in their home school or unless attendance or discipline becomes an issue addressed by the Principal. If a student has graduated from the highest grade level of their school, they must fill out a new application if they wish to continue on a special placement. The attendance and discipline records of all students assigned through the CHOICE program will be reviewed each year to determine if the student is allowed to keep their Specialized Program placement or Boundary Waiver Placement the following year. Families will be notified at the end of the school year if a student will not be allowed to return to his/her CHOICE school.
What if my student or I do not like the school that was selected? Except for special circumstances approved by the Superintendent's Office, once the school year begins, students will not be allowed to re-enroll in their neighborhood school and must finish the semester or school year at the CHOICE School or Program that was selected.
How do I know if my child will receive District-provided transportation? Only students previously accepted in a CHOICE program or enrolled in a special program will be provided transportation. Boundary waiver placements are not eligible for transportation.
When will the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Application be available? The NCLB application is not available at this time. The State of Illinois received a waiver from the Federal Government, which means Districts are no longer required to participate in the NCLB Choice program. Peoria Public Schools is allowing students place through an NCLB waiver prior to 2014 to continue to the highest grade level at the placement school. No new NCLB placements will be made.
What are the CHOICE options for high school students? Boundary Waiver placements are not available to high school students. High school students must attend their home high school unless they have applied for and been accepted to a special high school program (IB at Richwoods, Fine Arts at Peoria High). Applications for IB and PSA are typically accepted during winter months with a deadline in December or January.