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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 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 placements are complete and notification emails were sent on April 13, 2020. 

Emails were sent to the same email address as the confirmation email.

Please check your SPAM folder if you did not receive one. 

*notification date may change, depending on any new developments.

Any updates or changes regarding School of Choice will be posted on this page. If you have any questions or concerns please email

School of Choice

The school of choice window to apply for the 2020-2021 school year has closed. 

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

School of Choice

More Information Here

Frequently Asked Questions

2020-2021 School of Choice Information

Capistrano Unified School District's School of Choice (SOC) program offers to parents within the CUSD boundaries the opportunity to apply for another CUSD school that they would like their child to attend.  To verify if your address is within CUSD boundaries or to find your home school, please use the School Locator tool here

If you do not live within the CUSD boundaries please click here to find more information about Inter-District transfers.

The SOC window to apply will open February 3, 2020, and will close March 6, 2020. 

Approval and denial notification EMAILS will be sent to ALL of the parent emails associated with the student (not including emergency contacts, physician, or out of state contacts) on April 17, 2020.

Status will not be provided before notifications are emailed.

List of open, open-limited, closed schools for School of Choice for the 2020-2021 school year. Openings are based on the initial number of seats available for the fall based on projected enrollment and facility capacity.  Once a site capacity is reached SOC will be closed to that site. 

Each year our schools hold tours for possible incoming families to learn what that school has to offer. Dates are subject to change, please check with the schools to verify before attending. 

Elementary Tour Dates 

Secondary Tour Dates

For kindergarten, new, or returning students to CUSD, parents will need to enroll their child at their home school in order to obtain a 7 digit student identification number.  This ID number is required to complete the SOC application. New student registration starts on February 3, 2020.

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

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

Transportation to any school other than the home school is the responsibility of the parents.

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

Enrollment for the below programs are processed through the individual program and you do not need to apply for SOC:

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

Priority Criteria for School Placement

 District students residing in any Board approved school attendance area shall first be provided the option of attending their school of residence. 

After all school of residence students have been placed, the requests for School of Choice (made during the open window) placements will be honored according to the following priority criteria, not on a first come first serve basis, until all openings in a given school are filled or all requests have been met, whichever occurs first. 

If the number of remaining available spaces at that school does not accommodate all students within a single Priority Criteria, then the District shall conduct a lottery among the students within that Priority Criteria and grant applications in order of the names drawn within that category.

You will need to select one of the following codes on your SOC application.

EMP –   One of the parents/guardians is a CUSD employee AND this is your work site. 

SIB –     There is a sibling already attending the school applying for and will remain there for

              next school year (K-11). (You will need to provide siblings name, student ID, and grade).

CONT – Continuously enrolled at current site. (Applies to students already enrolled in grades K-12)

CFD –    You pay Mello-Roos, Community Facilities District (CFD), that go towards CUSD. Click here for a list of addresses that pay CFD to CUSD.

OE –     Any student enrolled in a District school that has been identified on the State of California's Open 

             Enrollment list. Currently CUSD does not have any qualifying schools on this list. 

T1  -      Any student enrolled in a participating Title 1 Public School. Click here for a list of schools that qualify.

LOT-      Lottery, none of the codes above apply.

Applying for School of Choice During the Online application Window

  • A parent or guardian must complete the SOC application. 
  • You will need your child’s seven digit student ID number.  This is the same number as your student’s lunch number or it can be found on the Parent Portal. 
  • For students new to the District you can ask for the ID number from the school of residence after you fully register at your child.
  • When you apply for SOC and are approved you are agreeing to give up your child’s seat at their home school.  If you wish to return to the home school you will have to apply during the next School of Choice window for the following school year as there is no rescinding an application. Acceptance back into the home school is not guaranteed.
  • Once you have submitted your application you will receive a confirmation email with the application number.
  • If you need to change or cancel you application, please email  Please note this can only be done during the open window.  Make sure to include your application number in your email. For general questions please read over the FAQ before emailing, as many of your questions can be answered there. 
  • Approval and denial notification EMAILS will be sent to ALL of the parent emails associated with the student (not including emergency contacts, physician, or out of state contacts).

The application window to apply for the 2020-2021 school has closed. 

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