Magnet School Application Lottery Process

Understanding the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) application process

Acceptance into Riverside Magnet School is determined through a random lottery process conducted by the State of Connecticut Regional School Choice Office (RSCO).

RSCO was created by the Connecticut Department of Education to assist families interested in learning about, and applying to, public school choice options in the Greater Hartford region. Any student entering grades pre-K through grade 12 and who resides in Connecticut at the time of application is eligible to apply for the lottery. Preschoolers, however, must be three years of age by December 31 of the school year for which you are applying.

RSCO programming includes over 45 magnet schools and 29 participating Open Choice districts. However, applications outnumber seats available. At Riverside Magnet School, we generally do not get through all of our first choice applicants. In order to make it fair and equitable for all interested families, a lottery system was created to allow for that to happen. It’s very important when considering your choices to get all the facts regarding the likelihood of being awarded an offer at any particular school of choice.

Make an informed decision

With the increasing number of educational choices in the State of Connecticut, taking the time to make an informed decision will be worth it in the long run. We encourage parents to ask the right questions and inquire about the likelihood of being awarded an offer at a particular school of choice.

We understand that finding that perfect fit for your child is important, so we offer multiple ways to learn about Goodwin University Magnet Schools. Families can attend a virtual information session, speak one-on-one with an administrator about the school, or even shadow one of our current scholars — see our schedule of events for details.

How to apply

1. Submit an Application online

Parents must submit a new application each year, for each child, if you wish to be considered for the lottery. You will need to register online for the lottery through the RSCO website. A computer-based method sorts and places students who submit an application into the RSCO lottery.

2. The RSCO Lottery Run(s)

Once the application period has come to a close, the State will run an initial lottery round typically in early spring. RSCO will contact you directly when the initial round of the lottery is conducted. Applicants will either be offered a school placement or placed on the wait list. Once a placement is offered, your student will be removed from all other magnet school and Open Choice waitlists. Additional lottery rounds are conducted until all seats have been filled.

3. Accept/Decline Your Offer

Applicants will be given a deadline on which to respond to their seat offer. You must go online to accept or decline your seat offer and/or your wait list opportunity by the date specified or your seat will be forfeited.

4. Complete registration and all required paperwork and visit school

Once you have accepted your seat at our school, we will contact you to continue the registration process. A registration packet will need to be completed along with additional documentation, school records, residency verification, etc.

What to do if your student is not offered a placement

If your student is not selected for placement through the RSCO lottery, then she/he will be placed on a wait list for each school or program choice. In order to confirm your student’s wait list position, you must respond online to RSCO by the specified deadline.

It is important to confirm your student's waitlist position. By doing so, you preserve the opportunity to have your student placed in a school or program that you selected, if a seat becomes available and your student is next on the waitlist.

Students should register and attend their district school until they receive a placement letter/offer. In some cases, students may be placed in a RSCO magnet school or Open Choice after the school year begins.

Wait list information also guides RSCO's future planning and program expansion to increase school choice opportunities. Please visit for more information regarding RSCO and the lottery system.

Interested in RMS?

Contact us!