February 2023 - Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan

February 2023 - Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan
Posted on 02/17/2023
February 2023 - Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan

Student School Assignment is changing for the 2023-24 school year--a very important message especially for parents/guardians of elementary school students.

On February 7, 2023, the School Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to adopt the 2023-24 Student Enrollment Plan. The new plan represents a significant change from previous plans built on a primary zone and subzone model.


The previous plan has become unwieldy and inefficient. It was implemented in 2005 when the District had 68,000 students. Today, we enroll nearly 100,000 students and continue to grow. The 2023-24 Student Enrollment Plan and future enrollment plans will be based on a proximity zone model intended to reduce the size of attendance zones and decrease the number and length of bus routes.

The new Proximity Plan will be used for enrollment of ALL elementary students. In the new attendance zones, families will be able to choose from between three to six elementary schools, with the exception of the Barrier Islands. You can view a map of the proximity zones and use the interactive tool to search by address on the School District’s website.

Who is affected?

  • All incoming Kindergarten students are required to enroll in a school in their proximity zone. Transportation is provided if they live more than two miles from the school. Incoming Kindergartners may select an out of zone school if an older sibling is already enrolled, but transportation will not be provided.
  • Students new the district will be assigned an elementary school according to the proximity zone in which they reside.
  • Rising students (grades one through five) who live outside their new attendance zone will be given the opportunity to enroll in a new school within their new zone; if eligible, bus transpiration will be available to their new school. Rising students living outside their new attendance zone and wishing to continue to attend their current school may do so but they must provide their own transportation.

Who is not affected?

Rising K-5 elementary students who reside inside their new attendance zone and want to stay in their current school are unaffected and will continue to receive transportation if eligible. All middle and high school students are unaffected by the new proximity plan in 2023-24. They continue to be enrolled according to the three primary zones and subzone model.

How will students be enrolled?

  • Families participating in the Proximity Plan (incoming Kindergarten student, elementary students new to the District and those enrolled in schools outside their new zone) must rank the schools within the new Proximity Plan attendance zones in their FOCUS Parent Portal.
  • Families desiring to remain in their current school when that school is outside the new Proximity Plan map must affirm they are waiving transportation in their FOCUS Parent Portal.

When the number of applicants for a school exceeds the number of available seats, a lottery process will be used. In the enrollment lottery, sibling preference will be honored.

When will enrollment be completed?

Open enrollment for elementary schools is from February 13th to March 10th. Families who do not make an enrollment decision by the end of the enrollment period will be entered automatically in the new Proximity Lottery for a school in their attendance zone. Families will receive information about their school assignment in late March or early April.

How and where can families get additional information?

Every family with children enrolled in a K-5 elementary school will receive messages from the District and from their child’s current school. For general information about Elementary Student Enrollment

You may view the January 20, 2023 Board Workshop at which the Superintendent previewed the Proximity Plan, the January 24th Board Briefing update and the February 7th Public Comment and School Board approval on Lee Schools YouTube channel.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan
School Board Member, District 7

The content and any opinions expressed in this article are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect the facts, opinions, and beliefs of the Lee County School Board or its affiliates.