The Connecticut State Department of Education’s Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) offers a broad variety of school choice opportunities that empower families to choose opportunities for their students and to enable student success.
Did you know that your School Choice options extend beyond your own home district? Families have amazing opportunities available to them in the Greater Hartford Region, with transportation provided from most areas. RSCO offers students entering Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 with a wide array of choices, including Open Choice, Magnet, Technical, and Agriculture schools, that meet the individual needs of students and families.
Make an informed decision for your family by learning more about our programs and your options.
Open Choice Program (Greater Hartford Region) (Grades PK4–12)
The Open Choice Program is an incredible opportunity for students to experience learning in a culturally diverse school district outside of their town. Students learning with people from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, which promotes creativity and prepares students for adulthood. This program is available to:
Hartford residents entering Pre-Kindergarten (age 4) through Grade 10 may apply to attend certain Open Choice School Districts located outside of Hartford. Choose up to five (5) school districts and rank them in order of preference.Search
Greater Hartford suburban residents entering kindergarten through 8th grade may apply to attend certain public schools located in Hartford with unique programming. There are four (4) schools available to select and rank them in order of preference.Search
Magnet Schools (Interdistrict) (Grades PK3–12)
Both Hartford and non-Hartford residents can apply. Magnet schools are unique programs that focus on specific themes, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); visual and performing arts; International Baccalaureate; and the Montessori method of teaching. These programs are designed to develop the natural talents and interests of the student and fuel their passions. With smaller class sizes and higher teacher-to-student ratios, magnet schools provide an enriching environment based on shared values and interests.
Magnet schools are available for Pre-Kindergarten Age 3 through Grade 12. When applying, you may choose up to five (5) schools and rank them in order of preference.
Magnet School Themes
These are just a few of the incredible themes available at magnet schools in the Greater Hartford Region that might be the perfect fit for your child:
Early College/College Prep
Early College and College Preparatory themed schools focus on college and career readiness at graduation, using a college model environment and providing an early start on earning college credit.
These magnet schools are for our youngest students and focus on developing a love of learning and creating a sense of wonder about the environment, culture, and our world.
The Character Education theme focuses on educating the whole child and prepare students for success in middle school, high school, and beyond as citizens and contributing members of society.
Computer Science and Engineering
This theme offers opportunities in computer science and engineering for students to learn coding and design for websites, applications (apps), and game development –all important 21st century skills!
Global Studies & World Travel
Geared toward the 21st century global environment, this theme challenges students with rigorous academics and prepares them to become responsible, civic-minded citizens with intercultural understanding and respect.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The IB theme is geared toward the 21st century global environment by preparing students for college and beyond through rigorous academics, critical-thinking, and independence. IB uses the international baccalaureate learner profile to challenge students through global-minded academics to get them ready to participate in the world with intercultural understanding and respect.
Through active student government and academic engagement, students participate in decision-making for their school society and connect learning to the real world to become engaged and active citizens. By creating miniature societies within the school, students experience a wide variety of learning environments.
The Montessori theme offers students a nurturing and supportive learning environment that provides rigorous academic challenges while focusing on developing students’ social, emotional, academic, and physical needs. The curriculum is delivered through a hands-on approach to learning and puts students at the center of their skill development. The Montessori principles encourage respect, independence, curiosity, and diversity.
This theme transcends the traditional classroom and creates a unique learning environment for students through partnerships with museums as an educational resource and site for exiting and stimulating excursions. Students learn to think for themselves and ask questions through a strong inquiry-based and exploratory learning environment.
The Reggio theme supports an individualized learning environment inspired by the Italian Reggio Emilia approach. The curriculum is designed to respect a child’s point of view, and students are empowered to direct their learning. With the teacher acting as a guide, project-based learning opportunities inspire high levels of creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative problem solving.
With a focus on social justice, character education, and civic leadership, these schools promote social and individual responsibility, global understanding, community engagement, and student empowerment. Academics, field experiences, and leadership skills help students develop tenacity, accomplishment, courage, community wellness, and a commitment to justice.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
An emphasis on 21st century science and technology drive the core curriculum at STEM and STEM-related schools. This theme also includes programs with a focus on environmental sciences. STEM prepares students for our global, technology-driven future and fosters inquiring minds, logical reasoning, and great collaboration.
STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Math)
This theme is closely related to STEM but adds Art and Reading to the mix. STREAM focuses on inquiry-based learning and inspires students to become lifelong learners from an early age. STREAM teaches students to interact with the world through both artistic and scientific processes.
Visual and Performing Arts
Specifically geared toward students interested in art, music, dance, digital arts, creative writing, theater design, and other art forms, this theme integrates a rigorous core curriculum with instruction by professional artists focused on fine and performing arts.
Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS) (Grades 9 to 12)
Students entering 9th grade may apply to these regional schools, which include A.I. Prince (Hartford), E.C. Goodwin (New Britain), and Howell Cheney (Manchester). When applying, families submit one application for all three (3) technical high schools and rank them in order of preference.
By integrating 21st century trade education with rigorous academics, Hartford Region technical high schools prepare students to begin working immediately after graduation or to enter the college classroom. Students graduate with a high school diploma and certificate in their field of study. Many receive college credit or work experience that leads to apprenticeships during high school.Search
Agricultural Science and Technology Education Schools (ASTE) (Grades 9 to 12)
Hartford students entering the 9th grade who are interested in attending an ASTE program apply to 9th grade using an ASTE Application, not the on-line RSCO Application.
Application Deadline: Friday, January 14, 2022.
ASTE schools prepare students for college and careers in the fields of animal science; aquaculture; biotechnology; food, environmental, and plant sciences; marine technology; agricultural mechanics technology; and agriculture business. Many programs provide opportunities for college credit during high school. Hartford Region ASTE schools are in Glastonbury, Bloomfield, and Suffield.Search