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Board Policy: Revised 1/2017

CIF Sports and 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 19 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

The School of Choice window to apply for the 2018-2019 school year has closed.  Please check back in January of  2019 for information for the 2019-2020 school year.  

School of Choice

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


More Information Here

Frequently Asked Questions

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.


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

CFD –    You pay Mello-Roos, Community Facilities District (CFD), which contributes funds to that school

               site you are applying for.

CONT – Continuously enrolled at current site.

OE –     Your home school is listed on the California Department of Education Open Enrollment List.

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).

LOT-      None of the codes above apply.

Applying for School of Choice During the Online 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 after you fully register at your child’s home school.


Please understand that 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.


Once you have submitted your application, there will be a pop-up message displaying “Thank you for submitting your School of Choice application” and 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. 


The window to apply for the 2018-2019 school year closed on March 2, 2018.

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