San Diego Unified headquarters
Eugene Brucker Education Center is headquarters of the San Diego Unified School District. File photo

The San Diego Unified School District School Choice application window for the 2022-23 school year opened Monday, giving students the opportunity to enroll in magnet programs or schools outside their neighborhood boundaries.

The program is open to all existing San Diego Unified students, in addition to out-of-district students and students attending private or charter schools.

With San Diego Unified’s new Universal Transitional Kindergarten program, Choice options are expanding to an even younger age group, providing critical education opportunities to the littlest learners at 56 school sites for children who turned four by Sept. 1.

Typically, more than 10,000 area students apply to the Choice program to attend one of more than 170 schools in San Diego Unified. Last year, about 75 percent of all students were secured a spot at one of their three school choices.

“While the neighborhood school may be the just right fit for many families, San Diego Unified offers parents the opportunity to apply for Choice to any school,” said Marceline Marques, operations support officer. “Parents may be looking for a school with a special program such as language immersion, visual and performing arts, STEAM, or International Baccalaureate. Perhaps they are looking for a strong athletic program, or a school located near their workplace, family, or childcare provider. Whatever the reason, the perfect San Diego Unified school is waiting for you to apply.”

School Choice enrollment is determined through a computerized lottery system, with weight given to factors such as sibling enrollment and magnet program continuity. No priority is given based on when the application is received, so long as it is received by the Nov. 15 priority window deadline.

This year, San Diego Unified is developing a multi-language app to help streamline the Choice application process, in addition to the traditional online option which can be accessed through the district’s home page,<>.

The district’s Family Engagement Department has scheduled two online Zoom forums to help families with questions they may have about the Choice program: Wednesday, Oct. 13 and Wednesday, Oct. 27. Both forums are scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Interpretation services will be available beginning at 5:15 p.m. Join Zoom Meeting here: Meeting ID: 860 1846 6363

In addition, San Diego Unified also offers personalized consultations for families who want to discuss their options with an enrollment specialist, or for those having difficulty with the application process. The bilingual staff at the Family Welcome and Enrollment Center is available in English and Spanish at 619-260-2410 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although families can apply for Choice anytime during the current school year, the priority application window ends Nov. 15. After that date, any applications received are processed in time/date order of receipt.

Families will receive an email notification by early March indicating whether they have been accepted or waitlisted to a school of Choice.