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Board Policy: Revised 1/2017
CIF Sports & School of Choice

Please be advised that school choice and possible placement does not determine CIF eligibility. Parents with questions should make sure they contact CIF or their school’s athletic director for clarification regarding changing schools and the impact of transfer to their student’s athletic eligibility under CIF rules.

By Laws and standards of eligibility/transfer and  can be found here in the CIF Blue Book

School of Choice History

Capistrano Unified School District's School of Choice program offers parents the opportunity to apply to the school that they would like their child to attend.

Since the program began more than 20 years ago, more than 90 percent of our parents annually choose to have their child remain at their home school, which is the local school serving their child’s attendance area. For a variety of personal or educational reasons, however, some parents prefer to have their child attend another school within the District. Our program provides parents with this option on a space-available basis. Detailed information describing each school and its academic offerings is available on their websites.

Parents of high-school student athletes are urged to learn more about CIF sports eligibility requirements prior to pursuing the School Of Choice process so that there will be no misunderstanding regarding sports participation rules. Transportation to any school other than the home school is the responsibility of parents.


School of Choice

School of Choice

School of Choice information for the 2022-2023 school year will be available in January before the application window opens.  

The window to apply for School of Choice for the 2021-2022 school year has closed.  For those who applied during the application window, notification emails will be sent on April 16, 2021.

If you applied and receive an approval to your requested school, please note that the approved school is now your School of Record and there is no rescinding or cancelling the approval, as part of the application process was agreeing to the following:

  • I have read and understand the guidelines which govern Board Policy 5119:  School of Choice    
  • I understand that I am making a commitment for my child to attend the School of Choice.  The approved School of Choice is now considered the school of record.
  • I am giving up my child’s space at his/her school of residence.  In order to request a return to the school of residence, I understand I must re-apply for School of Choice the following school year during the online application period.
  • I understand that home to school transportation is the responsibility of the parent and I cannot apply for a CUSD bus pass.
  • I understand that the above named student may be transferred back to his/her school of residence for any of the following reasons:  (1) unsatisfactory attendance; (2) continual tardiness; (3) failure of the  parent/guardian to make adequate transportation arrangements; (4) unsatisfactory academic performance: (5) unsatisfactory behavior; (6) no longer residing within CUSD boundaries.
  • I understand all School of Choice decisions are final.  There is no appeal process for School of Choice denials. 
  • If approved, the initial School of Choice agreement is in effect for the duration of a child’s years at the requested school. You do not need to reapply annually.
  • I understand that approved applications are valid until the student matriculates to the next level (i.e. elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school).
  • I understand there are no rescinding an application once approved for School of Choice.  Any requests to return to the home school must apply for School of Choice in the following school year.
  • I understand that if this student is approved to the requested school, it DOES NOT guarantee approval for siblings in the future.

Unfortunately if you applied and were denied, there is no appeals process or completing an additional application.


Outside of the annual application window, one exception for applying is when a new student is enrolling with CUSD. The student must first enroll at the school of residence and then complete a hard copy School of Choice application. The school of residence would be able to provide the application.


Any other transfers outside of the annual application window for students already enrolled in CUSD must go through a process called Administrative Placement.  These types of transfers are for serious and compelling reasons on why the student needs to leave their current school of enrollment.  This document explains the process of requesting Administrative Placement by starting with the current school of enrollments administration.  These transfer requests can take up to 10 business days for a decision.

Click below to read the most commonly asked questions and answers regarding

School of Choice



Frequently Asked Questions

New or Returning Student Enrollment Information

CUSD Online Student Enrollment allows you to begin the enrollment process for students new to the district or students enrolling in Kindergarten from preschool.

Former students returning to the district (who withdrew from CUSD at least a month ago or longer) may also complete the Online Enrollment process.

You must have a valid address in the cities served by Capistrano Unified to use this system.

For immunization requirements please see the following section on Vaccination Requirements.

For Admission requirements please see Board Policy 5111, Admission.

For District Residency requirements please see Board Policy 5111.1, District Residency.

  • There is no need to re-enroll students who are currently enrolled at a CUSD school in grades TK-12. This does not include preschool students.
  • Please note that enrollment is not complete until all information has been reviewed by the school, other school forms are completed and residency has been verified.

You can begin Step 1 of the enrollment process using the link below.

Online Enrollment Website

Kindergarten parents should also attend the home school’s kindergarten orientation Zoom meeting.  The information given will be standard throughout the District, so there is no need to attend the requested school’s orientation as well. 

Secondary Student Electives

For secondary students choosing their courses/electives for the next school year, please select your courses with your school of residence.  If approved to the requested school, those selections will be automatically sent to the approved school.  The approved school will do their best to accommodate the requests after all in boundary students are placed.

Special Programs

Please note that preschool and TK placement are not completed through SOC.  Please contact the Early Childhood Programs Department for any preschool or TK questions.

If you are interested in applying for the Language Immersion Programs, please visit their website for more information. SOC applications are not accepted for the following schools in the program:

  •  Bergeson Elementary School (Mandarin Immersion)        
  •  Las Palmas Elementary School
  •  R.H. Dana Elementary School (Kinder - Second Grades)
  •  San Juan Elementary School
  •  Viejo Elementary School

Enrollment for the schools below are processed through the school directly.   SOC applications are not accepted.

  •  California Prep Academy
  •  Capistrano Virtual School
  •  Capistrano Home School

Questions About Transfers

If you have questions regarding school transfers please email

Please note that we cannot provide status of a transfer request.  

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