Frequently Asked Questions

What is Expanded Choice?
The Expanded Choice program provides Darlington County parents the option for their child to attend any public school they desire in Darlington County, if space is available. Mayo High School for Math, Science, & Technology is NOT an option for Expanded Choice.

How do I apply for Expanded Choice?

Applicants may apply online at The online application period opens Jan. 7, 2019 and closes Friday, January 25, 2019 at 4:30pm. There will be NO paper applications at the schools. If you would like a paper application, they will be available at the district office located at 120 E. Smith Ave. in Darlington for those that do not have computer/internet access.

Who is eligible to apply?
Students who are residents of Darlington County or have property listed in the student's name in Darlington County may apply. 

How are students selected for Expanded Choice?
Choice selections will be based on space availability at the selected school. If there are more applicants than the space allows, the applicants’ names will be drawn in a random selection process.

Does the district provide transportation for Expanded Choice students?
Darlington County School District
does not provide transportation for Expanded Choice students. If a parent chooses to accept the Expanded Choice transfer, transportation will be the parent’s responsibility.

Is there a sibling policy for Expanded Choice like there is for magnet programs?
There is NO sibling policy for students applying through Expanded Choice. Every student application is processed as an individual applicant and slots are based on space availability at the chosen school.
Can students in special education programs apply?
Students enrolled in special education programs that are offered at all schools may opt to transfer to another school if space is available in the program. Students enrolled in special education programs that are offered at specific sites must continue to attend those sites. 

f a student is selected for Expanded Choice, what are the next steps?
If a student is pulled for Expanded Choice at their chosen school, a notification letter of their selection and a confirmation form will be mailed to their address. The confirmation form is very important and must be completed and mailed back to the district office by a pre-determined date to confirm the slot.

What if you forgot to mail in the confirmation form to confirm your slot for Expanded Choice?
The slot will be forfeited for Expanded Choice and given to the next applicant, if applicable, on the waiting list. It is crucial to return the confirmation form to confirm slots for Expanded Choice. 

What is the process if my child is placed on the waiting list? 
​If your child is placed on the waiting list because there were more applicants than available slots, the waiting list will be maintained until the day before school starts for the upcoming school year. After that date, NO students will be pulled from the waiting list and you must apply again for the following school year.

If a student is selected for Expanded Choice, can they opt to go back to their zoned school after the start of school?
After the deadline, the "Stay-Put" procedure goes into effect. After the "Stay-Put" deadline, students are expected to remain at the Expanded Choice School for at least the first semester. A student may submit a written request to withdraw and return to their zoned school before the end of their first semester. After the request is received, the request will be granted for transfer back to the student's zoned school the beginning of the second semester.

Once selected for Expanded Choice, do I need to reapply each school year?
Students who exercise the choice option may remain at the Expanded Choice School until they move to the next school level (primary to elementary, elementary to middle, middle to senior high). For example, Johnny, who lives in Darlington, attends first grade at Carolina Elementary School in Hartsville through Expanded Choice. Johnny is allowed to attend Carolina until 5th grade. If he would like to attend Hartsville Middle School for his 6th grade year, he will need to reapply for Expanded Choice because he will be changing schools.

How does Expanded Choice affect athletic eligibility for participating students?
Athletic eligibility for students who transfer under Expanded Choice will be governed by the South Carolina High School League Constitution - Article VII - Student Eligibility Rules - For more information, contact the local Athletic Director, Building Principal, or District Pupil Personnel at 843-398-2269.