Find the right choice for you

Are you a Hartford resident?

CREC Welcome Center

111 Charter Oak Ave. Hartford 06106

Monday-Thursday | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

860-509-3700 |

Have questions?

CONTACT US! We are here to help you! CREC staff is available to help you at or 860-509-3700

Click Here to View our RSCO Application Tutorial Videos

Centro De Bienvenida De CREC

(860) 509-3700 
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My son has attended Reggio since he was 2yrs old. Because of the curriculum, we see such great achievement and success of Tanner now a second grader. Communication is awesome with staff members and the security when your child is away is heartwarming.

Tanner Robinson
CREC Reggio Magnet School of the Arts

I love that the teachers and administrative staff care about the students. With so many opportunities to engage with students from abroad, my daughter Trinitee hosted a student from China and traveled to Puerto Rica to volunteer to assist people who needed help during hurricane Maria. This past summer my son went on a school trip to Belize where he was able to spend time volunteering at an orphanage. All of these opportunities came their way because they were MLC CREC students.

Trintee Williams
CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies

While our home district has wonderful options, we did find that the regional magnet system would provide a broadened world perspective and diversity of student body, opinion and experiences for our child. In addition, we were appreciative that the CREC system provides opportunities for students who are willing to be engaged, along with their families, to experience a wide range of choices for in class and out of class learning.  We found that CREC provided individualized attention within a comfortable community to allow students to follow a path from elementary school through secondary school suiting their particular needs and varied interests. Throughout her journey through the CREC schools our daughter has developed as a student and an active participant in extra curricular activities and athletics within an incredibly supportive community, with committed teachers and an inclusive student body and great friendships.  It has given her a solid base of learning plus many tools to navigate an increasingly complex and internationally focused world where she can truly become an engaged global citizen.

Stephen Wood

The Academy of the Arts truly was a safe space for me to start to hone in on something I knew I was passionate about. It was the place where my confidence was birthed and was nurtured by all of my teachers’ valuable insight. It was also an amazing transition into college where I acquired the tools, experience, and most importantly DISCIPLINE to be where I am today: a professional vocalist on cruise ships traveling the seven seas.

Sasha Renae Brown
The Greater Hartford of the Academy of the Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Open Choice and Magnet schools?

Open Choice:
• Residency matters
• Students living in Hartford can apply to attend non-magnet public schools outside of Hartford.
• Students living outside of Hartford can apply to attend participating non-magnet themed Hartford public schools.
• Hartford resident students do not wear uniforms.
• Suburban students wear uniforms

Magnet Schools:
• Anyone in Connecticut can apply to the magnet school.
• Schools have themes
• Students wear uniforms (except PK students)

Will my child get preference if I already have a sibling in Open Choice?

  • Yes, you must submit an RSCO application and say “yes” to apply to Open Choice.
  • You must answer “Yes” that you have a sibling enrolled and will continue to be enrolled in that district next year.
  • You must answer “Yes” that you want that sibling’s district to be your application. This question makes you eligible for the sibling preference.
  • Sibling and enrollment statuses are verified before placements are run.
  • Placements are based on seat availability and are not guaranteed.
  • Have questions? Call the CREC Welcome Center at (860) 509-3700.

I've submitted my RSCO application, now what?

  • If you applied to Open Choice, use this time to learn about the schools in the districts you’ve selected.
  • You can make any desired changes to your application(s) up until February 28.
  • Attend Open Choice and CREC magnet school information sessions.
  • SDE will begin the placement process from April to June. Visit the RSCO website at www.choiceeducation.orgfor updates.
  • If you receive a placement, respond to accept or decline your placement before the designated deadline in your RSCO email.

What are my chances of receiving a placement?

  • Those who select only Open Choice (they do not apply to magnet schools) will receive a placement preference.
  • Placements are based on seat availability.
  • We only encourage this option for those entering kindergarten as that is where we receive the majority of our seats.

What happens to my placement/status if I move out of Hartford?

  • Those who apply as a Hartford resident must remain a Hartford resident to be eligible for placement in or to continue attending school in a suburban Open Choice district.
  • If you move out of Hartford, your child(ren) is no longer eligible for Open Choice.
  • If you move to another zone within Hartford, you will have to re-select your district choices. If you move while on the waiting list, this will put your child at the bottom of the waitlist for those new district selections. If your child is already placed, the bus ride to school will be longer.

What happens if I move to Hartford?

  • Those who apply while living outside of Hartford must remain a suburban resident to be eligible for placement in or to continue attending a participating Hartford public non-magnet school.
  • If you move to Hartford, your child(ren) will continue attending the Hartford public non-magnet school through the Hartford Board of Education and will be withdrawn from Open Choice.
  • Moving to another town outside of Hartford will not affect your child’s enrollment in the Hartford public school.

Who can apply to a magnet school?

You must be a Connecticut resident to apply to a magnet school. Applications are accepted for students entering PK3 through Grade 12.

How old does my child have to be to attend PK3?

To attend PK3, your child must turn 3 by December 31st of their first year in school. For example, if your child turns 3 at any point next year, you want to submit your RSCO application now, before the deadline.

What schools are managed by CREC?

CREC is one of five partners who manage and operate magnet schools across the Hartford region. CREC Schools are comprised of 17 magnet schools, all with a unique theme including the International Baccalaureate (IB), the arts, STEM, leadership and more.

Do CREC schools offer athletics programs?

Yes, our secondary schools offer interscholastic athletic programming. Offerings include cross country, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, indoor track, baseball, softball, indoor track, as well as football for students enrolled in 9th through 12th grade who attend the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, Metropolitan Learning Center, or Civic Leadership High School.