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Ventura Unified School District giving more school choices

VUSD opens more schools to Schools of Choice Lottery
VUSD opens more schools to Schools of Choice Lottery

VENTURA, Calif. - Students in Ventura Unified School District will soon have more choices when it comes to schools as the district expands its Schools Of Choice program.

The Ventura Unified School District has some big changes coming in the 2020-21 school year that will open up more school choices for parents. The district has opened the Schools of Choice program affecting K-8th grade.

“What is new this year is that we have taken stock of the capacity of all of our schools and tried to open up all of our schools and included them in the School of Choice,” said Dr. Roger Rice, the Ventura Unified School District Superintendent. “In the past it was only the school that had been identified as the School of Choice. This year all of our schools will be a School of Choice so now this year all of our schools in the district will have a chance to market the program that they have at their sights.”

The number of lottery spots for each school will be determined based on enrollment numbers. Some schools may have 5-10 spots; others may have more than 100. This comes as the district faces declining enrollment, losing at least 600 students in the last two years.

“We are losing students to local charter schools, local private schools, and school districts neighboring us,” said Rice. “We have taken note of that and we feel like providing increase choice will keep more of our families here in Ventura Unified."

People who live in the City of Ventura are eligible to submit for these lottery spots from January 17-31, and the district says even out of the district residents can enroll.

“We think it would serve their students well, but we do believe on trying to take care of our own resident students first,” said Rice. “But we have a lot of extra capacity at our sites to accommodate folks who are not resident students.”

Families are invited to attend the Ventura Unified School District Information Night to learn more about both initiatives, as well as meet with representatives from all 26 schools, and many service departments including Transportation, Food & Nutrition, Special Education, Career and Innovation, and Technology Services.

The night will begin with a session at 5:30 p.m. at Buena High School auditorium. The presentation will cover Schools of Choice, transferring, and enrollment.

The session will repeat at 6:30 pm. School and service department representatives will be available from 6-8 p.m. in the gym and cafeteria to answer questions.

Ventura County

Senerey de los Santos

Senerey de los Santos is a multimedia journalist for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX covering primarily Ventura County.