The California Department of Education District of Choice Program is an annual program that allows California school districts to enroll students outside of their district's territory without completing the Interdistrict Transfer or Allen Bill process. The program typically runs from October 1 through December 31 to enroll students for the upcoming school year. Districts electing to participate in the District of Choice Program must register with the California Department of Education.
If your district is planning to participate in the District of Choice program, take a moment to read our helpful tips below that will aid you to increase enrollment numbers for the upcoming school year!
DO personalize your district's campaign.
When enrolling new students, you want to make sure your district stands out from neighboring school communities. Personalize all collateral promoting your district's participation in the District of Choice Program. The best way to do this is to ensure all collateral is district branded, features student and staff photos, and highlights the curriculum and programs specific to your school sites. Collateral may include printed and digital "refer-a-friend" flyers, social media graphics, printed and digital paid ads, and a promotional marketing video.
Watch the Charter Oak Unified School District District of Choice marketing video written, recorded, produced, and published by the Presidio Education Services Team. Click above!
DO promote your district's participation on all available platforms.
How will families know to enroll their children in your district through the District of Choice Program? Once you've finalized your branded and personalized collateral, work to publish it on all district platforms to ensure the word gets out! The most effective way to share your district's participation in the program is to implement a digital marketing campaign. This method targets individuals on social media and other significant platforms by homing in on their demographics and region. In addition to digital marketing, your district can incorporate the branded District of Choice Program collateral into your monthly social media publishing schedule, create website announcements, and even print out the flyers created to pass out at community events and to put in the front office of every district facility.
DO announce your district's participation in the District of Choice Program to your media contacts.
Another great tactic is to partner and engage with local media contacts. Get in touch with your local newsgroups to see if they have seasonal marketing opportunities. You can utilize the fall opportunities to promote your district's participation by submitting district-branded printed and digital ads! Further, you can strengthen relations with your district's media contacts by sharing a press release and a media advisory inviting them out to campuses to highlight a curriculum lesson or program with the caveat that this media event is promoting the District of Choice Program participation and enrollment opportunities.
DON'T forget to have fun!
The overall goal of the California Department of Education District of Choice Program is to enroll families outside of your district's territory without the hassle of completing the usual paperwork that comes with transferring districts. Most likely, families have already heard positive reviews of your district and school communities from their inner circles. Take advantage of this opportunity to make this campaign your own and solidify the enrollment choices of these new members of your community!
Families want to enroll in a district where they know their children will receive a high-quality education in a positive and engaging learning environment with supportive faculty and staff. Be sure to highlight all the unique programs and resources your district has to offer students and families, and you'll be sure to expand your school communities for the new school year. Good luck!
Hannah manages newsletters, policy research, media relations, and social media content creation for Presidio’s school district clients. She has previously worked on communications and public relations strategies for non-profit organizations such as Together We Rise, March of Dimes, and the Newport Beach Film Festival. Hannah received her B.A. in Communication Studies: Public Relations from CSU Fullerton.