Find the right choice for you

Are you a Hartford resident?

The Extended RSCO Application for the 2024-2025 school year is now open!

Apply Now

Visit for more information on the State Department of Education's School Choice process.

CREC Welcome Center

111 Charter Oak Ave. Hartford 06106

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

860-509-3700 |

Have questions?

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

CREC Welcome Center 2022

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  CREC students at the Academy of International Studies.

Trintee Williams
CREC Academy of 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.

Magnet Schools:

  • Anyone in Connecticut can apply to the magnet school.
  • Schools have themed curriculum.
  • Select schools have uniforms (never in PreK).

Will my child get priority if they already have a sibling (brother/sister) in Open Choice?

  • Yes, update or add your currently enrolled student(s) profile in your RSCO account with the school, current grade, and the next school year grade, then add or update the profile for your new applying student to submit a RSCO application from your Dashboard.
  • You must apply your eligible student to Open Choice, and make your enrolled student’s school district your first choice.
  • 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) the RSCO deadline.
  • Attend information sessions.
  • SDE will begin the placement process in April. Visit the RSCO site Announcements for updates.
  • If you receive a placement, respond to accept or decline your placement before the designated deadline in your RSCO email.
  • Once you accept the offer, be sure to complete registration at the school to secure your seat.

What are my chances of receiving a placement?

  • Check the data on available seats: The application provides past data on applications and the number of seats available to help families select schools and programs that may increase the chance of receiving an offer.
  • Those who select only Open Choice (and DO NOT apply to magnet schools) will receive a placement preference (for Kindergarten only).
  • 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 to Open Choice 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.
  • Prior to the placement announcements, 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.


  • Students in Magnet Schools are able to move within Connecticut without affecting their placement. 

What happens if I move to Hartford?

  • Those who apply to Open Choice 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.

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 PreK-3 through Grade 11.

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

Applicants must be 3, 4, or 5 years old by September 1 of the school year, if their family intends to apply for PreK-3, PreK-4, or Kindergarten, respectively.

What schools are managed by CREC?

CREC is one of five partners that manage and operate magnet schools across the Hartford region. CREC Schools are comprised of 16 magnet schools and two magnet programs, all with a unique themes.

Do CREC schools offer athletics programs?

Yes, CREC’s secondary schools (grades 6-12) 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, Academy of International Studies, or Academy of Computer Science and Engineering.