Skip to main content

Board Policy: Revised 1/2017

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


More Information Here

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 IS NOW CLOSED.  ALL applicants will be notified by email on april 26, 2019.

School of Choice

Important dates

school of choice opens february 1, 2019

new student registration opens february 4, 2019*

school of choice closes march 1, 2019

*SOC applications are not reviewed on a first come first served basis.  Applications must just be submitted before the window closes.

2019-2020 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 1, 2019 and will close March 1, 2019. 

Approval and denial notification E-MAILS will be sent to the e-mail address that is used on the application on April 26, 2019.

Click here for the list of schools open to SOC for the 2019-2020 academic 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. 

Click here for the elementary school round-up and tour dates or click here for middle and high school tour dates.

For kindergarten and new 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 4, 2019.

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

Please note that 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 the program:

           Las Palmas Elementary School

           R.H. Dana Elementary School (Kinder and 1st Grades)

           San Juan Elementary School

           Viejo Elementary School

You do not need to apply for SOC for the following online programs:

California Prep Academy

Capistrano Virtual School

Capistrano Home School

Applications for these programs are accepted at the individual sites.

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), that go towards CUSD. Click here for a list of addresses that pay CFD to CUSD.

CONT – Continuously enrolled at current site.

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

             Enrollment list or participating in Title 1. Click here for a list of schools that qualify.

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-      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 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. Acceptance back into the home school is not guaranteed.
  • 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. 
  • New this year - approval and denial notifications will be e-mailed to the email address used on the application instead of regular mail.  Please make sure to enter a valid em-mail address on the application.

The window to apply for School of Choice has now closed.  

Back to Top