ACADEMY FAQ

Can I join the academy if I am not zoned to go to Seminole Ridge Community High School?

Any 8th or 9th grade student may apply to join one of the three choice academies (Biotechnology, Construction Technology, or Television Production). However, if your home school (the one you are zoned to attend) offers the same academy, you MUST apply to that one rather than Seminole Ridge.

Can I be in more than one Academy?

You can only get into one choice academy. However, some students do find room in their schedule to complete the choice program and an in-house academy program, so it is possible to do more than one.

If I am already zoned to Seminole Ridge, do I have to apply to be in the Academy?

Yes!  Everyone must apply.

When is the deadline to apply?

The choice application is online and will become available on November 2.  The deadline is January 29, 2016. However, if you are applying to Dreyfoos School of the Arts as a first or a second choice, your entire application is due by an earlier date.

What if I turn in my application to another school and then I realize I really want to be at Seminole Ridge?

You get ONE opportunity to change your application, however, it must be done before the above deadlines. If you turned in your application as a paper copy, rather than using the new online form, you will NOT be able to edit it at all.

What are the requirements to get into an academy?

To get into Biotechnology Academy, a student must have a current GPA of 3.0. Algebra 1 or better is recommended though not required at this time. There should be zero discipline issues on record.

To get into the Construction Technology Academy or Television Production Academy you need to have a 2.0 GPA. There should be zero discipline issues on record.

To get into our in-house programs a separate application through the school is required.  Automotive, JROTC, and Information Technology require a current GPA of 2.0 and no discipline issues. If you are already attending, or going to attend Seminole Ridge, an in-house academy application is required to be accepted into these programs.

Accipiter Academy requires a 3.0 GPA, 4/5 on 7th grade FCAT, and successful completion of Algebra I.  Students interested in this accelerated academics academy must submit an application through Seminole Ridge.

Can I play sports or join the band?

Absolutely! Once you are a Seminole Ridge student you can join any club, tryout for any sport, or take any class just like everyone else. Many academy students take AICE, AP, and Dual Enrollment classes. See your guidance counselor to determine what’s best for you.

Can ESE or ELL students apply?

Yes.

Where do I apply?

Choice Programs (Biotechnology, Construction, or Television Production:  at the School District Website Choice Programs page. Click here for the direct link.

InHouse Programs (Automotive, JROTC, IT, or Accipiter):  available at Seminole Ridge High

If I don’t have access to a computer, how do I apply?

Paper copies of the application are available at school guidance offices beginning in November 2015.   Note: once that application is turned in it may not be edited.

Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of getting in?

Not much. The Choice Programs book describes a few scenarios where you can get a slight edge in the lottery process. For example, if the student has a parent who works at Seminole Ridge or a sibling who attends those areas should be checked on the application. Also if a student is in the same academy at the middle school level there is a slight advantage as do students of parents who are currently serving in the military. However, all applications are placed into a lottery and there is NO GUARANTEE for anyone.

Does the principal get to choose students to accept?

Each principal is permitted to accept 20% of the students from the pool. At Seminole Ridge the applicants with the highest GPA’s, test scores, and completed high school courses are the ones chosen.

How many students are chosen for Seminole Ridge Academies?

The number of seats available changes each year. It could be anywhere between 150 and 200 for all three Choice programs combined.

When do I find out if I got in?

The computerized lottery of applications will be done by the district in mid-March. In April, a mass e-mail will go out to applicants notifying them which school and program, if any, they were accepted to. Shortly after, those who are accepted to Seminole Ridge will be emailed welcome letters and contracts.

What if I didn’t get in, then what?

You may be placed in a wait pool. As other students who were accepted change their minds, people from the wait pool get selected. If by August, you still have not moved from the pool, it’s over for that school year. A student may reapply for the following year (as long as it’s prior to becoming a junior).

Is there someone at school who can help me get in?

The Academy Coordinator can help guide you through the process and answer additional questions but no one at the school can push an application through. The process is lottery-driven by the district.

I got in! What do I need to do next?

You will be sent a contract to sign and some registration papers. Once here, it is important to maintain good grades and not get into trouble. If you don’t live up to the contract, you will be placed on probation and eventually removed from the program. This could mean you would have to leave Seminole Ridge for your home school. You are signing a three/four year commitment.

Is there a special diploma I earn for being in the Academy?

Now there are three designations that students may earn. A Standard Diploma, a Diploma with Merit designation, and a Diploma with Scholars Designation. Those who pass Industry Certifications tests in their academy classes would earn the Merit Designation. Those who pass the test and earn credits through AP, AICE, or Dual Enrollment Courses would earn the Scholars Designation. See a guidance counselor for the complete details.

Are there scholarships available to me for being in the Academy?

Yes, all of the scholarships available to any student are there but students who maintain A’s in their academy classes and score 880 on the SAT would be eligible for the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship. Students must also maintain 30 hours of community service. Click here for complete details. Also, there are scholarships available through other organizations.

Is there transportation available?

Choice Program students receive transportation to the Choice school if they reside more than two miles from the school and live within a designated Choice Transportation Zone. See the District Transportation web site. If you live outside that bus zone, you are responsible for getting to the bus zone or all the way to school.

Who do I contact for help?

The Choice Programs Department can help you with the application or computer issues.
Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center
3300 Forest Hill Boulevard West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Phone: +1 (561) 434 8000 +1 (866) 930 8402

Specific Seminole Ridge questions should be directed to the Academy Coordinator.

Ron Lewis, Academy & AICE Coordinator
Seminole Ridge Community High School
4601 Seminole Pratt Whitney Blvd.
Loxahatchee, FL 33470
Phone: (561) 422-2716
email: ronald.lewis@palmbeachschools.org