High School Specialty Program Application FAQs

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General Questions
High School Specialty Program Application

What is the High School Specialty Program Application?

The High School Specialty Program Application is an opportunity for each student who resides permanently within the boundaries of the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) to apply for enrollment in a SCUSD high school specialty program, based on space availability for the 2018-2019 school year. SCUSD offers specialty programs at both our neighborhood and small specialized high schools.

Out-of-district applicants who meet the program requirements will be accepted or go on the waiting list after qualified in-district applicants per California Education Code.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students entering the 9th through 12th grades for the 2018-2019 school year.

  • SCUSD students can apply through an online application.
  • Non-SCUSD Students can apply using a hard copy application available at the Enrollment Center or online.

How do I learn about the programs?

You can learn about all the programs listed below and their specific requirements at http://www.scusd.edu/hsapplication.

Which programs have criteria for admission?

  • C.K. McClatchy HISP
  • C.K. McClatchy VAPA
  • John F. Kennedy PACE
  • Kit Carson International Academy IB Diploma
  • Luther Burbank IB Diploma
  • Rosemont LEAD
  • West Campus

Are there visitation days?

You can see a full list of these events at http://www.scusd.edu/visitahighschool.  

Is transportation provided by the school district to the specialty program I am accepted to?

No, transportation is not provided for students accepted into specialty programs. Parents are responsible for transporting their students.

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Application Questions
High School Specialty Program Application

How do I log into the online application?

Students login with their SCUSD Student Email and Date of Birth (format: mm/dd/yyyy – include slashes) to access the High School Specialty Program Application.

If you have issues logging in or do not know what your student email, please contact your Language Arts teacher or Office Manager directly. SCUSD Support Desk is unable to assist you via email due privacy and security restrictions concerning requests from unverified external accounts.

Non-SCUSD students will out a hard copy application that can be downloaded at http://www.scusd.edu/hsapp-nonscusd.

How many specialty programs can I apply to?

You may apply up to two specialty programs.

Is there a separate Open Enrollment process?

No, this year the Open Enrollment process has been combined with the specialty program application so applicants only have one application to fill out.  

When eligibility requirements are met, applications will either be accepted or moved on to a lottery system (previously called Open Enrollment). A lottery will be implemented when eligible applications exceed the grade capacity at the requested specialty program.

Do I have to turn in a transcript and standardized test scores?

If you apply to a criteria-based program, your transcript and standardized test scores must be submitted as part of your application.

  • If you are a current SCUSD student, the transcript and test scores will be automatically sent to the program through the online application.
  • If you are a non-SCUSD student, you will need to submit a transcript and test scores with your completed hard copy application to the Enrollment Center.

How do I submit teacher recommendations to the programs?

  • If you are a current SCUSD student, programs that require teacher recommendations will require you to select your current Language Arts teacher and one other teacher before you can submit the online application. Your teachers will receive an email requesting them to fill out a recommendation form for you via Infinite Campus.
  • If you are a non-SCUSD student and apply to a program that requires recommendations, you will need to give two current teachers a recommendation form and stamped envelope to fill in and mail to the selected programs. More information about this can be found in the hard copy application packet

How can I make a change to a submitted application?

Only one application can be submitted per applicant. Please call the Enrollment Center at (916) 643-9075 with questions about your application.

How will I know you received my online application?

Once you successfully submit an online application, you will receive a confirmation screen that you can print for your records. Confirmation emails will also be sent to the student’s parents/guardians using the email on record in Infinite Campus.

If your parent/guardian would like to add or change their email in Infinite Campus have them 1) login to the parent portal and 2) go to the Account Management page. If your parent/guardian has any questions about accessing their Infinite Campus account, please have them contact your school.

I missed the essay/test for the specialty program I applied for. What do I do?

Please contact the specialty program coordinator directly. 

Can I turn in a late application?

No late applications will be accepted.

Are my chances of getting into my first choice program increased if I apply early?

No. It doesn’t matter when you apply, as long as you apply within the application timeline. The application process is not on a first-come, first-served basis. The District utilizes a computerized, third-party lottery system to ensure fairness.

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Process Questions
High School Specialty Program Application

When do I find out if I got into a specialty program I applied for?

The Enrollment Center will mail out notification letters to applicants by the end of February.

Are translation services available during the application process?

Yes, walk-in dates are for students and parents who need assistance with translations. Translators will be available in Chinese, Hmong, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Walk-in dates will take place at the SCUSD Enrollment Center (5601 47th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95824).

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 12, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

If my student is already enrolled in his/her specialty program does he/she need to reapply?

No. You do not need to reapply to your specialty program. The school the specialty program resides at becomes your neighborhood school.

Does my student have the right to return to his/her original neighborhood school after being accepted into a specialty program?

The school the specialty program resides at becomes your neighborhood school. In order to return to your original neighborhood school, you must apply for an intra-district permit through the Enrollment Center between April 2 – May 18, 2018. Intra-district permits are requests and not a guarantee for placement.

I live within the Sacramento City Unified School District boundary, but my child is attending a private school. Can my child apply to a High School Specialty Program?

Students who live within SCUSD boundaries but do not go to a SCUSD school should:

  • Pre-register at the Enrollment Center by Friday, January 19, 2018 to be considered an in-district applicant.
  • Submit a hard copy application to the Enrollment Center by Friday, January 26, 2018 at 11:00am. Download the application at http://www.scusd.edu/hsapp-nonscusd.

Pre-registration allows applicants to participate in a specialty program lottery when eligible applications exceed the grade capacity at the requested specialty program.

If my child is attending a SCUSD School on an inter-district permit (i.e., you live outside the district boundaries) can I apply for a High School Specialty Program?

Yes. Submit an online application during the application window. Make sure to renew your inter-district transfer permit with your school district and submit it to the Enrollment Center by January 26, 2018.

Students currently on an inter-district permit will be considered an out-of-district applicant. Out-of-district applicants who meet the program requirements will be accepted or go on the waiting list after qualified in-district applicants per California Education Code.

Where can I get an inter-district permit?

You can get an inter-district permit from your own school district, our website or you can get a form from the SCUSD’s Enrollment Center at 5601 47th Avenue or call us at (916) 643-2400. Your current district must approve the inter-district permit first, and then you must submit it to the SCUSD Enrollment Center for processing.  Inter-district permits must have attendance, behavior, and grade reports attached.

I live outside of the Sacramento City Unified School District boundary. Can my student apply to a High School Specialty Program?

Yes. Submit a hard copy application to the Enrollment Center by Friday, January 26, 2018 at 11:00am. Download the application at http://www.scusd.edu/hsapp-nonscusd.

Out-of-district applicants who meet the program requirements will be accepted or go on the waiting list after qualified in-district applicants per California Education Code.

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Lottery Questions
High School Specialty Program Application

How does the lottery work?

The High School Specialty Program Application is not a first-come, first-serve basis. You may apply anytime during the application window to be considered.

SCUSD uses a computerized, third-party lottery system to place students at their school of choice. A lottery must be implemented if applications exceed the grade capacity at the requested program. If your student isn’t selected during this step, he/she will be placed on a waiting list for your first choice only.

What happens if my student doesn’t get accepted to the first or second school of choice?

Your student will only be placed on the waiting list for their first choice. Placement from the waiting list occurs only if space becomes available.

The specialty program coordinator working with the Enrollment Center Director will contact the parent/guardian when and if space becomes available.

Students who apply to a specialty program and have not met the school’s admissions requirements will not be included in the lottery. If the student hasn’t applied to another program, the student must attend his/her neighborhood or current school.

Who has priority in the lottery selection process?

Lottery Selection Priorities:

First priority

  • Siblings of students already in attendance at the specialty program and will continue to be enrolled in the upcoming school year.

Second priority

  • Students whose parent/guardian’s primary place of employment is the selected school.

Third priority (administrative priority)

  • When unique circumstances occur at a school, such as a school closure, program changes, and/or over-crowding occurs; district administrators may institute a specific priority to meet staffing and housing needs.

Schools without Attendance Boundaries:

First priority

  • Siblings of students already in attendance at the specialty program and will continue to be enrolled in the upcoming school year.

Second priority

  • Students whose parent/guardian’s primary place of employment is the selected school.

Third priority

  • All other students who reside in the Sacramento City Unified School District attendance area, but are not included in the first or second priorities.
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Registration Questions

What is the timeline for registration into the program I am accepted to?

Once accepted into a specialty program, you must complete the process by registering at the Enrollment Center between March 12, 2018 – March 23, 2018.

If you fail to complete the registration within this timeline, your student will be automatically dropped from the specialty program acceptance list.

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Technical Questions

Student Information on the Confirmation Email/Screen is Incorrect

Please call the Enrollment Center at (916) 643-9075 who can submit a change request if necessary.

Are you having technical issues with the application?

If you are experiencing a technical issue with the application, please summit a support ticket here.