District-Wide Application Process

Each year, families have the opportunity to apply for District-Wide Schools and Programs. These schools are located within Rochester, and may deliver the curriculum in a different manner than neighborhood schools. District-wide schools and programs are available tuition free to students. Transportation is also provided to eligible students that are enrolled at district-wide schools.

The application window opens each November and the first random selection will occur Mid-January of the same school year. To apply, families must fill out an application online, in print, or in person at the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. All applications are then uploaded into a district database. Applications received by each selection process date will be placed into the selection process which includes a random selection process by our computer program.

If selected, families will be notified by phone the following week after the selection process date. Students not selected in the initial random selection or subsequent selections will remain in the applicant pool for future space and will be notified if selected at that time.

District Wide FAQs

What is a District-Wide School or Program?

District-wide schools and programs are located within Rochester, and may deliver the curriculum in a different manner than neighborhood schools. District-wide schools and programs are available, tuition free to students. Transportation is also provided to eligible students that are enrolled at district-wide schools.

What are the available District-Wide Schools and Programs?

Rochester Public Schools offers six different District-wide options:

  • Gage Spanish Immersion Program
  • Longfellow 45-15 Elementary School
  • Lincoln K-8 School
  • Washington Core Knowledge Elementary School
  • Montessori at Franklin Elementary School
  • Friedell Middle School

How do I enroll my child into a District-Wide School or Program?

To apply, you must fill out and submit an application to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

  1. Complete the form online at rochesterschools.org.

  2. Print the PDF form and mail it or drop it off at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Edison Administration Building, Second Floor, 615 7th Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55902.

  3. Fill out the form in person at the Edison Administration Building.

Why is there an application process?

Students are automatically assigned to their neighborhood school and the application process allows us to learn about a families' interest in attending a district wide school. At particular grade levels we may have a waiting pool due to a greater demand than the number of spots available.

Do you have to apply each year?

Yes, applications do not roll over from year to year. The 2019-2020 application will open in November.

How are students selected?

All applications are uploaded into a district database. Applications received by each selection process date will be placed into the selection process which includes random selection by the computer program.

Is there a waiting list?

No, there is a waiting pool. This means that applications that do not get selected during the first selection process are included in the subsequent selection process. Every selection process includes the randomized computer generated selection.

How long does my child stay in the waiting pool?

Students stay in the waiting process for the school year. Families must reapply each year to be considered for the district-wide option schools process.

Is there sibling preference?

There is sibling preference for siblings of students currently enrolled in the district-wide option school the family is applying for (i.e. If you have an outgoing 8th grade student from Friedell and an incoming 6th grade student, there is no sibling preference). 

How will I know if my child is selected?

Families that are selected in the initial random drawing for kindergarten and 6th grade to Friedell will be notified by phone the week of January 14th. Students not selected in the initial random selection or subsequent selections will remain in the pool for future space and will be notified if selected at that time.

Do students attending district-wide option schools have access to transportation?

Yes, students residing within RPS district boundaries are eligible for transportation to district-wide options schools (provided they live outside the walk zone).

If my child is a preschooler through an ECSE or ECFE program housed at one of the district-wide option schools do they get preference for Kindergarten to attend that school?

No, families are encouraged to apply but do not receive preference.