Applying to magnet and Special Transfer Option (STO) schools.

Applying to magnet and Special Transfer Option (STO) schools: A how-to guide

Jan. 24, 2023 – Every year, our district gives students who want to attend a Duval County school outside their regular attendance zone the opportunity to apply to and change schools. This application window always opens on the first day of January and closes on the last day of February. 

Students can apply to attend one of two types of schools: 

  • A magnet school, or a school that offers a specialized theme.
  • A Special Transfer Option (STO) school. This is any neighborhood school that your child is not currently zoned for. 

The key difference is that the district provides limited transportation to magnet schools. Parents or guardians must provide transportation if a school other than the one your child is zoned for is chosen.  

This is all done through a computerized lottery process, meaning that placement is not guaranteed. 

What to know before applying to magnet or STO schools

Before applying to either option, you must meet two important qualifications.

  • First, your student must be enrolled in Duval County Public Schools. Enrollment is a simple process. You can do so online by following the steps found at or you can visit any of our district schools for assistance.  
  • Second, you must have a Linked Parent Account. If you need help, we’ve made a tutorial with step-by-step instructions on our Get Linked! page.

Filling out your applications online

You can begin the application process once the window opens on January 1. 

  • Head to then click on the Oneview/Focus button in the middle of the page. Sign in using your Linked Parent Account username and password. 
  • Then, click on the “My Links” tab on the left side of the page. From there you’ll see the “Focus” button. Click there.   
  • Next, you’ll be taken to a screen with your child or children listed by name on the left-hand side. As you click each name, a list of forms will appear — including one for magnet schools and another for special transfer option schools.  

You can apply for up to two magnet schools and one special transfer option school.  Let’s begin by looking at the Magnet School application. 

Magnet school applications

The top section of the magnet school application will already be filled out with your child’s information. What’s listed here can only be changed in person at the school where your child is enrolled. 

  • Next, you’ll see a section with additional questions. Check and fill out anything that is applicable to your family.  
  • After that, you’ll see a list of every magnet school that your child can apply for. Remember, you can only apply for up to two magnet schools.  
  • Designate your first and second preference by selecting 1 or 2 in the “Choice” column on the left.  
  • Once you’re done, scroll down to the next section. Your child may be eligible for sibling preference. If the child has a sibling who is currently enrolled and planning to return to your school of choice please enter the name, date of birth, and student ID of the sibling.   
  • Finally, upload any additional documents that are required. This may include military documents or transcripts.  
  • When you’re done, either hit “Save and Submit” or “Save, Submit and Print.” 

Special Transfer Option applications

The Special Transfer Option form has a lot of similarities to the Magnet form. The main difference will be the schools listed. 

  • Remember, you can only apply to one special transfer option school. 
  • Choose your school by selecting a 1 in the choice column on the left. 
  • Once you’re finished, hit “Save and Submit” or “Save, Submit and Print.” 

Results of the application process

After the application window closes on the last day of February, the district will run a lottery process to assign students to available seats in their schools of preference. Results will be sent out electronically once they’re available, which is usually mid-April. Then, you’ll find out if your student has been placed in a school or on a waitlist. 

If you miss the February deadline and still want to transfer to a magnet or special transfer option school – there will be another opportunity in mid-April through the Controlled Open Enrollment application process.   

To learn more, visit the Enrollment and School Choice Department’s website at

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