Inside of the San Diego Unified School District’s Family Welcome and Enrollment Center / Photo by Megan Wood

When Bonnie Taylor learned about the San Diego Unified School District’s school choice program in 2017, she had only two weeks until the deadline to submit her son’s application.

That was almost an entire year before he would start kindergarten.

“I had no idea what it was, and I don’t know how I came across it,” Taylor said. “And I started freaking out because, I thought, ‘I only have two weeks to figure about his entire education path.’”

Thousands of families in districts across San Diego County submit school choice applications each year. The option allows parents to enroll their child in a school other than the neighborhood school they’re assigned to. But just because you apply, doesn’t mean you’ll get in.

Last school year, 73 percent of applicants in San Diego Unified were offered a spot at their top choice. Some schools accepted all students, some accepted none.

For the latest episode of Good Schools for All, I sat down with Taylor to discuss how she navigated school choice, including what advice she has for parents who may be going through the process now.

“Don’t stress out about it, like I did,” she said. “It’s really pretty simple when you pair it all down.”

For more on school choice, including deadlines and how to apply, check out A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools.

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Megan Wood

Megan is Voice of San Diego’s engagement editor. She is responsible for producing and overseeing content that extends the reach of the organization....

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