Frequently Asked Questions About Our Magnet Elementary School

Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College

connecticut magnet elementary school

What is Riverside Magnet School (RMS)?

Riverside Magnet School is a magnet elementary school serving the educational needs of students from all over the state of Connecticut ranging from age 3 through grade 5. With fully certified teachers, low student-to-adult ratios, a state-of-the-art building, and abundant technology and creative materials, we offer an inviting and inspiring environment for all learners.

What are the benefits of attending a magnet school?

As a magnet elementary school, Riverside offers several benefits including:

  • Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of academic achievement
  • Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy, and collaboration
  • Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme

How does RMS incorporate the Reggio Emilia approach in its teaching?

The world-famous Reggio Emilia approach encompasses our purposeful and reflective practices that empower students to reach their full potential by:

  • Developing effective relationships with peers and adults
  • Encouraging student voice and choice in all areas of learning
  • Having all adults serve as facilitators of learning
  • Providing students with multiple opportunities to be creative and represent their learning

What grade levels does RMS serve?

We are a pre-K through grade 5 magnet elementary school. We have established a pathway preference into CREC Two Rivers Middle School (grades 6 − 8) to provide a continuum in the magnet school system for RMS students. In addition, there is an established pathway preference from CREC Two Rivers Middle School into Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin College (grades 9 − 12). This provides the potential for a complete educational experience for your child, from pre-K through grade 12. Pathway school preferences are not a guarantee of placement.

Who is eligible to attend?

Any student residing in the state of Connecticut and eligible to attend the local public school is eligible to attend RMS.

Is before/afterschool care available?

We provide a tuition-based afterschool enrichment program that extends the day until 5:45 p.m. to help support our working parents. This program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis with our currently enrolled students receiving priority.

How does enrollment work?

Students interested in attending RMS must go through a lottery process conducted by the State Department of Education’s Regional School Choice Office (RSCO). Families must submit a lottery application online during the lottery application period. The lottery application period for the 2019-2020 school year has closed. Read more about the lottery process and how to apply.

Is transportation provided?

Bus transportation is provided for all students in grades kindergarten through grade 5 that reside in the Greater Hartford Regional Transportation Zone. Pre-K students residing in Hartford are also afforded transportation.

Families living outside the zone have the choice of transporting their child to the closest existing bus stop within the zone or providing their own transportation to and from school. A stipend is available to those families who choose to drive their student for the school year and is based upon attendance at the end of the year. For additional information call the RSCO Transportation line at 860-524-4077 or go to

Will there be programs for children during vacations and holidays?

As a public school, we follow the East Hartford Public Schools calendar and are closed during holidays and vacations. However, we do offer a tuition-based, 4-week summer program.

Will children of different ages be grouped together in the classrooms?

Pre-K 3 and pre-k 4 (children ages 3 and 4) will be grouped together in classrooms. All other students are separated by grade.

Are special education services provided?

The responsibility for holding planning and placement team (PPT) meetings belongs to the district where the student lives. The inter-district magnet school is responsible for ensuring that the student receives the services required by the student’s individualized education program (IEP), whether those services are provided by the inter-district magnet school or by the school district in which the student resides. For more information, contact the Bureau of Special Education at 860-713-6910.

How are parents/guardians involved in the schools?

Families and the surrounding community play an essential role in our school. Families are recognized as children’s first teachers, and we support them in being active and engaged co-responsible partners in the learning process. We have a newly formed parent/teacher organization (Riverside Community Council) that meets on a regular basis.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

Each classroom will have between 18-21 students depending on grade level with a low student-to-adult ratio. We have a fully certified teaching staff supplemented by highly trained paraprofessionals and curriculum specialists.

Will there be a rest-time?

Rest-time is part of the pre-K daily schedule.

Are students provided with breakfast and lunch?

Breakfast and lunch can be purchased daily. Free and/or reduced meals are available to those families who qualify.

Do children need to be potty trained before starting school?

If your child is not potty trained, we will work with you and your child on a potty-training plan.

Are there any costs to attend?

As required by the State of Connecticut, we charge a tuition fee for preschool students only. For families whose income is above 75% of the State Median Income, tuition for SY 2019-20 for newly enrolled preschoolers will be $4,000 for the first preschool student and $500 for the first preschool sibling. New families will not be charged more than $4,500 for preschool tuition for the 2019-20 school year. Families whose income is at or below 75% of the state median income will not be required to pay a tuition fee. Verifying documentation will be required.