“First Choice” School

What is a “first choice” school?

"First-choice" school is a component of the school choice program in which pre-K through grade 12 learners can attend an educational institution other than their local district public school. A students’ “first-choice” school is the top pick among the rest when choosing another academic school as an alternative option.

How do I apply to my first-choice school?

Pre-K through grade 12 Connecticut students interested in applying to other institutions outside of their attendance area school may do so through RSCO’s application lottery before the application deadline.

Once the application period closes, RSCO will contact students with the results until all available seats are filled. Applicants must then accept or decline the offer by the allotted deadline and complete their registration packet within 14 days of their acceptance.

How do I increase my chances of getting into my first-choice school?

To be a good fit for first-choice schools, students should match their interests and skills to the institution’s curricula or theme.

Applicants may apply to up to five (5) magnet schools and must rank the schools in order of preference. Each school typically has a set number of seats available each lottery season. To increase your chances of getting into a school, select them as first choice.

Varying by the school, program, and seat availability, placement priorities such as academic pathways, enrolled siblings, and first-choice selection may increase the likelihood of acceptance; however, they do not guarantee placement.

Please note that families receive one placement offer per child (unless multiple birth siblings apply to the same school) per year and that first-choice options are not always guaranteed.

Interested in a magnet school for your child? Visit Goodwin University Magnet Schools online at Riverside Magnet School (pre-K through grade 5) or Connecticut River Academy (Grades 6 through 12).

Magnet schools offer several benefits including:

  • Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of achievement
  • Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy and collaboration
  • Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme