School Choice –> Interdistrict –> OPEN CHOICE

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Open Choice1
This part of the choice program in Hartford focuses specifically on racially integrating schools in the city of Hartford as well as the suburbs.  To begin research on the way Open Choice works in Connecticut, the brochure that the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) offers2 helps parents start the application process.
The way it works is that for no extra cost to the families, students have the ability to go to a city public school in Hartford if they live in the suburbs, and students that live in the city are able to go to suburban public schools as well.  Transportation is available to get the students to a location that is generally further away from their homes than their local school, and the program has been successful in providing opportunities for participating students to continue on to four-year colleges.  All children in the Hartford Public School district are able to take advantage of the Open Choice program; “currently,over 1,300 Hartford Open Choice students attend school in 28 suburban districts.”
If you are a parent living in a Hartford suburb and you want your child to attend one of the many Hartford Public schools within the city, you need to download the application form3 and fill it out according to where you live, and where you want your child to go to school.  Once the application is completed, it can be submitted to the RSCO and the student’s name is placed in a lottery.  If their lottery number is chosen, the student will have their choice of public schools in the city and suburbs of Hartford.  If the student is not chosen, they will be placed on a wait list until room opens up.  If the student’s lottery number is not chosen, the RSCO urges families to re-apply to the Open Choice program every year.

  1. “Regional School Choice Office for the Greater Hartford Region,” CT State Department of Education, 2011,
  2. “Open Choice: Knowledge Through Diversity” (Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office, 2010),
  3. “RSCO Lottery Paper Application” (Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office, 2011),