Need Assistance Filling out the Lottery Application?

CREC Central Open Office Hours
Monday through Friday
Now until February 28th
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
111 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT 06106 map

Family Resource Center Open Office Hours
Monday through Friday
Now until February 28th
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Wilson-Gray YMCA, 444 Albany Ave, Hartford, CT 06120 map

Or contact us at or (860) 713-6972

Ready to Apply? Know your choices!

Are you a Hartford resident?



Hartford Region Open Choice Program
(Formerly Project Concern)

The Open Choice program offers students who live in Hartford the opportunity to attend a non-magnet public school outside of Hartford. Open Choice is free, and transportation is provided.

The towns available to Hartford residents who choose Open Choice are:

East Granby
East Windsor

Region 10
Rocky Hill
South Windsor
Tolland (New for 2017-2018)
West Hartford
Windsor Locks

Helpful Hints

If you select the Open Choice option on your lottery application, it is best to know your zone, and you should know that you can select as many as five school districts that you would be willing to accept a seat in. You can also choose “all districts,” which means you will be offered a seat in whichever district is available.

Districts Providing New Seats

Zone 1 – Avon, Canton, East Granby, Granby, Simsbury, Suffield, and West Hartford

Zone 2 – Bolton, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Somers, South Windsor, Tolland, Vernon, and Windsor Locks

Zone 3 – Berlin, Farmington, Newington, Plainville, Southington, West Hartford, and Wethersfield

Zone 4 – Berlin, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Newington, Portland, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield

What to Expect as Part of the Open Choice Program

  • Free, full-day preschool and kindergarten
  • Once enrolled, there is no need to reapply to the lottery each year. Your child is enrolled through high school graduation.
  • Summer programs and after-school academies
  • Transportation provided for high school athletic programs
  • Prepares children for the workforce by learning from and interacting with other students from different backgrounds.
  • Students will be placed at a school outside of his or her home district, but that means new experiences with new people without having to move.
  • Longer bus rides (between one and two hours each way). Learn to use time wisely! For example, do homework, read, or take a nap on the bus.

For more information and to apply to the Open Choice program, visit

CREC Magnet Schools

Choose from CREC’s 17 award-winning magnet schools, which are located in state-of-the-art facilities and have the latest technology, prepare students for college, and have high student achievement. Join 8,500 students from more than 85 Connecticut towns who have chosen a CREC education.

Choose CREC and provide your child with a themed-based curriculum that allows students to develop their talents and interests in diverse learning communities and participate in real-world experiences that enhance their daily learning.

A CREC education is waiting for you at one of the following schools:

CREC Elementary Schools (Pre-K3 – Grade 5):
  • Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School
  • Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School
  • Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School
  • Discovery Academy
  • International Magnet School for Global Citizenship
  • Montessori Magnet School (Pre-K3 – Grade 6)
  • Museum Academy
  • Preschool at Academy of Science and Innovation (Pre-K3 and Pre-K4)
  • Reggio Magnet School of the Arts
  • University of Hartford Magnet School
CREC Middle and High Schools:
  • Academy of Aerospace and Engineering (Grades 6 – 12)
  • Academy of Science and Innovation (Grades 6 – 12)
  • Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School (Grades 6 – 8)
  • Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies (Grades 6 – 12)
  • Public Safety Academy (Grades 8 – 12)
  • Two Rivers Magnet Middle School (Grades 6 – 8)
  • Two Rivers Magnet High School (Grades 9 – 12)

What to Expect at a CREC Magnet School

  • Diverse learning communities
  • State-of-the-art facilities that provide the latest technology and resources to all students
  • Quality early childhood programming for 3- and 4-year-olds and kindergarten students
  • Interscholastic middle and high school athletic program
  • Advanced Placement and early college opportunities
  • Attending a school outside of your home district to help prepare your child for real-world experiences by learning from, and interacting with, students from different backgrounds
  • Longer bus rides (between 1 and 2 hours each way). Learn to use the time wisely! For example, do homework, read, or take a nap on the bus.

For more information and to apply to CREC Magnet Schools, visit

The Open Choice program offers non-Hartford residents the opportunity to attend a non-magnet Hartford Public School. Open Choice is free, and transportation is provided. Non-Hartford families can select to up to five (5) Hartford public non-magnet schools in order of preference. For specific schools and additional information, click here.

Lottery Myth Busters

  • CREC does not run the lottery. It is managed by the Connecticut State Department of Education.
  • The lottery is based on the school you apply to, the student’s grade, and the town you live in.
  • The Open Choice program and CREC magnet schools are options on the lottery application. You can apply to both, or one, on your application.
  • CREC magnet schools are free public schools.
  • Free transportation services are provided to eligible students.
  • Transportation is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade 12. Preschool students residing in Hartford, but who attend a school outside of the city, also receive transportation.
  • Students placed on a waitlist and who are not offered a seat placement by October 1 must reapply to the lottery each year.
  • Whether you apply the day the application opens or the day the application closes, you have an equal chance of a placement.

Visit us at one of our Upcoming Events

Lottery Application Assistance
Feb. 23, 2017
4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center
444 Albany Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06120
CREC Magnet School Info Sessions for Prospective Families
Click here to view dates/locations
Regional School Choice Office Fairs
Feb. 25, 2017
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Conard High School
110 Beechwood Road,
West Hartford, CT 06107

Application Helpful Hints

  • Submitting an on-time Regional School Choice Office lottery application (before the February 28, 2017 deadline) increases your chances of receiving a placement offer. However, if you miss the on-time deadline, a late application period is available to families.
  • Research your options, and know where you want to apply.
  • Be sure that all selections on the application are placements that you’d be happy receiving.
  • Provide accurate contact information, including accurate telephone numbers and email addresses. If your contact information changes, please contact the Regional School Choice Office at 860-713-6972 to update your information.
  • The majority of seats available are in entry level grades. This includes Pre-K3, kindergarten, and grade 6.
  • You can access the RSCO lottery application by visiting