This section on our website provides the most critical information families should know for applying to school choice and includes, the placement process steps, strategies for applying, the placement rules, priority definitions, and other key information. Be sure to review these pages to make the most of your application. Application Assistance is always available through the RSCO Parent Resource Center, which you can reach Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm by phone at 860-713-6990 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Application Assistance or Contact pages for more information about contacting RSCO.
We’ve developed a handy visual of the application and placement process for your reference to ensure you meet deadlines for the RSCO application and placements and understand what to expect through the application and placement process.
* Hartford residents can decline their first Open Choice offer and remain eligible for a second Open Choice offer.
There are certain tips and strategies to keep in mind to help ensure you submit your application with the best chance of a placement you want. Here are some tips to think about as you explore your options.
To learn more about placement priorities and how they are applied to a school or district, go to the Placement Priorities web page.
The placement process involves a complex protocol that considers a variety of factors that can vary by school, program, and operator. Key factors in assigning placements are the number of seats available, the grade level, and the applicants’ choice order, along with socioeconomic factors and priorities (such as sibling, staff pathways, and neighborhood). To maximize opportunities for students, the placement process also prioritizes students who are not currently enrolled in a choice program and applicants who have applied for multiple years without an offer. Read on for important information about placement priorities...
Many of the schools and programs have “priorities” that are used in the placement process, based upon an applicant’s connection to a school or program. It is important for families to know their priorities and check that they are included in the Family Profile on the application because they can increase the likelihood of a placement.
Below are few important facts to keep in mind to maximize the impact of your priorities:
These priorities listed below do not guarantee placement at a school or program, but they may increase your chance of a placement offer for your child. Not all programs/schools offer the same priorities. Applicants without priorities are ordered after priority applicants. Priorities are ordered as follows.
Go to the online school directory to review the school program descriptions to determine which priorities may apply to your child’s application.
Priority is given to 9th grade applicants applying to a technical high school (A.I. Prince, E.C. Goodwin or Howell Cheney Technical High School from which a parent/legal guardian, sibling, or grandparent has graduated.
Applicants applying to the three Hartford Region Technical High Schools (A.I. Prince, E.C. Goodwin and Howell Cheney) as their only school choice option may receive priority based on available seats.
Some magnet schools offer a prekindergarten (PK) to grade 12 continuum experience through a shared theme and curriculum. Students attending an elementary or middle school with a direct pathway will receive the highest priority for placement at the direct pathway school’s entry grade. To be considered for this direct pathway placement, you must submit an on-time RSCO online application with your direct pathway school as your first choice.
Employees of a CTECS or magnet school may receive priority for their children when applying to the school where they work. Employees of Goodwin University, University of Hartford, CT State Community College Manchester, CT State Community College Capital, and Trinity College as well as students of Goodwin University may receive priority for their children when applying to their partner magnet school.
Priority may be given to applicants who move in or out of Hartford and apply to continue attending their Open Choice school district or school.
Applicants who only apply to the Open Choice program may receive priority based on available seats.
Priority may be given to an applicant based on how close the applicant lives to a nearby magnet school that uses a neighborhood priority.
For a limited number of seats, priority may be given to students coming from one magnet school at the end grade to another magnet school at the entry grade. This increases a family’s chance of remaining in the magnet system as students transition from elementary to middle and middle to high school. For example, a student in 5th grade of a PK–5th grade school may have multiple pathway school options for 6th grade. In addition, Hartford resident students enrolled in PK4 at Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet may receive a pathway priority to the Open Choice districts associated with their zone.
Some schools have partnership agreements with specific towns. In these cases, a set number of seats are reserved for residents from the partner town at specific grades. Once these seats are filled, there is no advantage to residing in the partner town.
RSCO has a policy of trying to keep families together in school and district placements. These priorities apply to siblings to accomplish that policy:
Priority may be given to Hartford resident students living in specific residential zones and applying to certain schools located in Hartford:
It is important to understand how the placement process affects your application and your chance of receiving a placement offer so that you can apply in a way that maximizes your chance of an offer.
Listed below are scenarios related to the Placement Process. Review them carefully, especially if you are applying for more than one program (e.g., magnets plus Open Choice, magnets plus CTECS, Open Choice plus CTECS, or magnets plus Open Choice plus CTECS), to help inform your application decisions.
Impact on Magnet, Open Choice, and CTECS Selections: The application is removed from all other magnet, Open Choice, and CTECS waitlists. Receiving a magnet school placement makes the applicant ineligible for any other offers for magnet schools, the Open Choice program, or a CTECS Hartford Region technical high school (A.I. Prince, E.C. Goodwin, Howell Cheney).
Impact on CTECS, Magnet, and Open Choice Selections: The application is removed from all other CTECS, magnet, and Open Choice waitlists. Receiving an offer for a CTECS school makes an applicant ineligible for any other offers for CTECS, magnet, or Open Choice.
Impact on Magnet and Open Choice Selections:
The application is removed from all other magnet and Open Choice waitlists. Receiving an Open Choice offer makes the applicant ineligible for any other offers for magnet schools or the Open Choice program.