Monroe County public school students return to school Aug. 17 to begin the 2016-17 school year. Teachers began reporting Monday.
The School District’s website, www.keysschools.com, lists school start and end times, bus routes and the tentative school year calendar for families of the estimated 8,000 students who will attend one of 16 schools in the Florida Keys,
Keys schools include six charter schools that range from Montessori-based elementaries in Key West and Islamorada to the Key West Collegiate Academy high school, where 19 seniors earned diplomas this year.
The district will make available on Aug. 15 an online application for free or reduced meals on its website.
The district has designated attendance areas, but touts a “controlled open enrollment plan,” meaning parents may request their children attend any school within their respective geographic regions — the Upper, Middle or Lower Keys, and also apply to the charter schools in the district.
Under the district’s School Choice Plan, parents had until May 30 to submit an application to enroll a child in a school not in their resident attendance area or give notice they want their children to remain at a certain school.
Age requirements start with prekindergarten students who must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1. Students entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, while students starting first grade must be 6 by the same deadline and should have successfully completed kindergarten.
New students must present the following documents in order to enroll:
▪ An original birth certificate or alternative.
▪ Proof of age and legal name.
▪ Proof of a current physical examination and a current certificate of immunization. For information on immunizations or health issues, contact the Monroe County Health Department at (305) 293-7500.
▪ Proof of current address — a homestead exemption card, mortgage payment book, lease agreement, house insurance, voter registration card or the most recent utility bill are acceptable.
Students who are transferring from other school districts should provide their most recent report cards or other records from the last school they attended, school officials say.
Foreign-born students, including permanent resident aliens, will follow the same procedures indicated for the native born, the district’s rules state. First-time students, both foreign-born and transfers from other states, may register at their schools.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen