• Rationale

    In order to promote and encourage parental involvement and ensure students have access to a school that meets their needs, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 1002.31, Florida Statutes, which directs each school district to develop a controlled open enrollment plan.

    A controlled open enrollment plan allows school districts to make student school assignments using parents’ indicated preferential school choice as a significant factor.  The legislation requires that beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, each district school board adopt a controlled open enrollment plan that allows a parent from any district in the state to enroll his or her child in and transport his or her child to any public school that has not reached capacity.

    This document serves as the NCSD Controlled Open Enrollment Plan (COEP).  The plan is in compliance with all aspects of FS 1002.31 and NCSD Administrative Rule 5.122.


    Capacity Determination

    A key aspect of the COEP is determining which schools in the district are “at capacity” and which are not.  Only the schools in the district that have been identified not to have reached capacity are eligible through this process.  Requests for enrollment in schools that have been identified as at capacity require approval of the principal(s) and the board of education.

    School capacity is defined as permanent capacity as determined by Department of Education on the Florida Inventory of School Houses (FISH) report, as modified by the district taking into account programmatic capacity considerations, and the Class Size reduction Amendment (F.S.1003.03).

    • School capacity determinations will be made no later than January 10th each year. School capacity determinations will be identified on the District website on these same dates.
    • In determining capacity the District will incorporate the specifications, plans, elements, and commitments contained in the school district educational facilities plan and long-term work programs, as well as other planning considerations such as anticipated enrollment growth and pending boundary changes.
    • The district will determine 90% of non-program related FISH capacity, as a threshold for COEP recipient schools; leaving room for growth.
    • There may be schools under 90% capacity that will not be available to receive COEP student assignments due to specific program space needs or other planning considerations such as pending boundary changes, projected growth from new developments or planned construction projects.

    Example:  School A has a FISH capacity of 1000.  90% of FISH for School A would be 900.  Actual enrollment for School A is 850.  School A would have 50 COEP seats available.

    • Since it is not possible to make an accurate determination of capacity for new schools scheduled to open the following school year, new schools will not be eligible for the COEP during their first year.


    The COEP allows a student to transfer from any school, whether it is a NCSD school or not, to a school that has been identified to have capacity.  Relevant factors include:

    • That the receiving school have available capacity.
    • The student is not subject to a current expulsion or suspension.

    Application Process and Timeline

    Applications for COEP for the upcoming school year will be available on the District website no later than January 10 of each year.  

    Applications will be accepted for 45 days beginning January 10 of each year.

    Parents will be notified by March 15 of each year. Notification will be made via first class mail.

    Preferential Treatment

    Priority for enrollment under the COEP will be given to the following groups:

    1. Dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders;
    2. Children who have been relocated due to foster care placement in a different school zone;
    3. Children who move due to a court-ordered change in custody due to separation or divorce, or the serious illness or death of a custodial parent; and
    4. Students residing in Nassau County, Florida.


    A lottery process will be utilized if the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available in a chosen COEP school.

    Continuity of Educational Choice

    A student who transfers pursuant to the COEP may remain at the school chosen by the parent and approved through the COEP process until the student completes the highest grade level at the school.  Once a student has completed the highest grade level at the school, the student will be assigned to the next level school according to District attendance area policy or the student must apply through the COEP process to a school identified as having capacity.


    A situation may occur that a parent feels requires additional consideration.  Should this happen, a request as a hardship case shall be made in writing to an appeals committee that is appointed by the Superintendent.  The appeal must provide additional information to be considered in making the decision.   

    Revocation of Transfer

    Transfers approved through the COEP process may be revoked if the student is excessively tardy to school, is frequently checked out early from school, is dropped off at school before the campus is open, remains at school beyond the dismissal time without prior arrangement with school officials or is referred to the principal for disciplinary action.  Students who have their COEP transfer revoked will be required to return to the school located in the attendance zone where they live. 


    The COEP:

    • Will adhere to federal desegregation requirements.
    • Will allow parents to declare preferences, including placement of siblings within the same school.
    • Will maintains socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance.
    • Will not provide for transportation for students attending a school outside of their resident attendance zone.

    School Capacity Determinations for the 2022-2023 School Year

    The following schools have been identified as having capacity and are eligible for consideration under the COEP for the 2022-2023 school year:

    Bryceville Elementary

    Callahan Intermediate

    Hilliard Elementary School


    Fall 2021

    Total Student Stations Capacity
    (90% of Student Stations)
    Seats Available
    For COEP 

    Bryceville Elementary





    Callahan Intermediate





    Hilliard Elementary





    Callahan ElementaryThe following schools are “at capacity” and are not eligible for consideration under the COEP for the 2022-2023 school year:

    Callahan Middle School

    Fernandina Beach High School

    Fernandina Beach Middle School

    Hilliard Middle-Senior High School

    Southside Elementary

    West Nassau High School

    Wildlight Elementary School

    Yulee Elementary

    Yulee High School

    Yulee Middle School

    Yulee Primary School

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