Magnet Schools

Office of School Choice & Enrollment
New Haven Public Schools
54 Meadow Street, First Floor
New Haven, CT 06519
Our Mission
In addition to providing effective and innovative educational practices, the schools are designed to foster student enrollment patterns that reflect racial, ethnic and economic diversity.
Families must apply to New Haven Public School of Choice. Students are placed in schools through a lottery.  For more information about the application process visit
Who Can Apply
The school choice placement process is open to all New Haven residents and follows basic principles of fairness.  Families can list up to four choices on their application.  Students are assigned to one of their choices through a random selection process.  If there are no openings at any of their choices, students are placed on a waiting list.
How were student placements determined?
All students applying through the choice process are considered for the schools and grade indicated on their application. To ensure the school choice application process is equitable, each applying student is considered for placement at each school they selected on their application. If a student is not initially placed at one of their choices they are still considered in the same manner at their next choice until all of their choices have been considered. For this reason, we highly recommend that all applicants select a total of four schools on their application.
What information is used to place students at schools?
All information used for the school choice process is taken from the completed application. This includes the residential address, selected schools of interest, the name and grade of any sibling currently attending a school the student is applying to and the applying grade level.
The Office of Choice & Enrollment uses the preferred list of schools submitted by each applicant, the number of seats offered at each school by grade in the upcoming school year and each school’s priority structures (e.g. sibling preference and neighborhood preference) to determine placement. In the common case that there are more applicants than seats, applicants are placed by their priority. Ties between applicants with the same priority are settled using an assigned lottery number.
Why didn’t my child get placed at a School of Choice?
There could be several reasons a child is not placed at their preferred school. Most commonly, there are no available seats in the school and grade combination your child is applying to. For example, a student applying to one of our K-8 interdistrict magnets for Grade 4 may be considerably less likely to be placed there because there may be no open Grade 4 seats, since the majority of these seats will be occupied by rising 3rd graders.
Student placements are made using a computer-based algorithm. This algorithm takes into consideration the applicant’s preferred schools and their verified preferences. In a nutshell, this is what happens:
Process Steps:

  • All applicants are temporarily assigned to their most preferred school.
  • Next at each school, the temporary applicants are sorted by their priorities at that specific school. Priority ties are settled using a lottery number.
  • At each school, seats are now filled in the above order until no more seats are available.
  • Students who do not receive a seat in Step III will now be considered for their next preferred school. The process continues until 1) all applicants are placed or 2) all non-assigned applicants were considered at all their preferred schools.

For more information about New Haven Schools of Choice and the placement process, contact the Office of School Choice & Enrollment at 475-220-1430.