PANAMA CITY -- The School Choice program begins next week, and parents are preparing to select their child's school for next year. But they want be able to choose from all of the district schools. At least one school is already dealing with overcrowding problems.
Every year public schools in Florida give parents the option to enroll their children in the school that suits their needs.
Director of Student Services Lee Stafford said, "If they're considering choosing their child to another school, it's really important that they make sure they you know to select that during the open enrollment window."
School Choice is around the corner and elementary schools like Oakland Terrace are already starting to advertise. Open enrollment begins Monday.
In order for parents to participate in school choice they must first enroll their children in the school in their home zone.
They have 30 days to do so. Then they can choose an out-of-zone school if that's their desire.
Tammy Hill, parent said, "This is actually my third year taking advantage of school choice."
Hill works as a recreation specialist in the bay base after school program. Her daughter attends Oakland Terrace Elementary School but they don't live within the zone.
"I appreciate the opportunities to have my child with me not only does it benefit me where I don't have to go to another school to pick her up but I also have direct contact with the teachers here with her."
All schools in Bay County are open to School Choice except for Breakfast Point Academy, because of overcrowding.
And that will affect students who may have already been attending Breakfast Point. The school's out-of-zone 5th graders won't be able to stay there for 6th grade and school officials say they won't be making any hardship exceptions.
Hill says she's thankful that the school she chose for her daughter is not facing overcrowding issues.
"We're kind of at ease because there is no over flow here at Oakland Terrace,” she said.
Parents can apply for open enrollment online at www.bay.k12.fl.us . Any other questions may be directed to the School Choice office at 767-4328.