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 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 school year.

  • SCUSD students that live within our district boundaries can apply through an online application.
  • Students who live outside our district boundaries (including those currently on an inter-district permit) can apply using a hard copy application available at the SCUSD Enrollment Center.

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 Middle Years Programme
  • 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.  

Which programs require me to attend an essay or test session?

  • C.K. McClatchy HISP
  • John F. Kennedy PACE
  • Kit Carson International Academy Middle Years Programme
  • Rosemont LEAD
  • West Campus

Go to https://www.scusd.edu/hsapplication-test for more information.

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?

  • Log onto the online application here. 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 is please contact your school.
  • Students who live outside our district boundaries will fill out a hard copy application available at the SCUSD Enrollment Center.

How many specialty programs can I apply to?

You may apply up to two specialty programs.

Is there a separate Open Enrollment process?

No, 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 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 student who lives outside our district boundaries, 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 student who lives outside our district boundaries 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 Enrollment Center. More information about this can be found in the application packet.

Where do I take the essay or test component for the programs that require it?

  • If you are a SCUSD student, you will have the ability to write your essay(s) or take the West Campus test at your middle or K-8 school.  For more information and to RSVP for the essay and/or test sessions visit https://www.scusd.edu/hsapplication-test. Specific essay/test dates are:
    • C.K. McClatchy HISP essay on December 6th
    • John F. Kennedy PACE essay on December 11th
    • Kit Carson International Academy Middle Years Programme essay on December 11th
    • Rosemont LEAD essay on December 11th
    • West Campus High School test on December 13th
  • If you are a student who lives outside our district’s boundaries, you can take the essay or test component at the SCUSD Serna Center. For more information and to RSVP for the essay and test sessions go to https://www.scusd.edu/hsapplication-test. Specific essay/test dates are:
    • C.K. McClatchy HISP essay on December 8th
    • John F. Kennedy PACE essay on December 15th
    • Kit Carson International Academy Middle Years Programme essay on December 15th
    • Rosemont LEAD essay on December 8th
    • West Campus High School test on December 15th

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 Enrollment Center at (916) 643-9075.

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 January 2019.

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 December 12th, 2018 from 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Thursday December 13th, 2018 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Friday December 14th, 2018 from 9:00am to 11:00am

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 1, 2019 – May 17, 2019. 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 November 13 – December 20, 2018 to be considered an in-district applicant. Pre-registration allows applicants to participate in a specialty program lottery when eligible applications exceed the grade capacity at the requested specialty program.
  • Pick up a hard copy application at the SCUSD Enrollment Center.
  • Submit your application to the Enrollment Center by December 20, 2018 at 12:00pm. Remember some programs require additional requirements so you must have submitted a complete application to be considered.

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, as an out-of-district applicant through a secondary process, but will not be considered for admittance until our permit window opens April 1, 2019 – May 17, 2019.  

To apply:

  • Pick up a hard copy application at the SCUSD Enrollment Center.
  • Submit your application with your signed inter-district permit releasing your student to attend SCUSD for the fall of 2019-2020 to the Enrollment Center by December 20, 2018 at 12:00pm. Remember some programs require additional requirements so you must have submitted a complete application to be considered.

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, as an out-of-district applicant through a secondary process, but will not be considered for admittance until our permit window opens April 1, 2019 – May 17, 2019.  

To apply:

  • Pick up a hard copy application at the SCUSD Enrollment Center.
  • Submit your application with your signed inter-district permit releasing your student to attend SCUSD for the fall of 2019-2020 to the Enrollment Center by December 20, 2018 at 12:00pm. Remember some programs require additional requirements so you must have submitted a complete application to be considered.

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 January 28, 2019 – February 8, 2019.

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 call the Enrollment Center at (916) 643-9075 or summit a support ticket here.