Kindergarten Enrollment Information

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New Haven Public Schools offers an exciting array of schools with unique themes and programs, community partnerships and rigorous academic learning.
This year, we are making some BIG CHANGES that respond directly to what parents have been asking for!
For the first time, there will be ONE enrollment process and ONE lottery for all Magnet Schools, Charter Schools, and Kindergarten seats in Neighborhood Schools. Pay close attention to the new deadlines, because the dates are changing. Also, check out our new Kindergarten Fair on February 26.  We hope you’ll find the new process clearer and simpler to navigate.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Feb. 3 – School Choice Enrollment Catalog available and online applications open
Feb. 5 – Citywide Magnet Fair at the Floyd Little Athletic Center (6-8 p.m.)
Feb. 8 – Inter-district Magnet Fair at Hill Regional Career High School (12-2 p.m.)
Feb. 10- March 7 – Open houses for all schools - Click here for Open House flyer
Feb. 26 – Kindergarten Fair at Floyd Little Athletics Center from (6-8 p.m.)
 Click here for Kindergarten Fair flyer
March 14 – Application deadline
April 9 – Lottery for all schools
For questions, contact the School Choice and Registration Office at 203-946-7415 or 203-946-8501.
Because we offer different kinds of schools in the New Haven, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with each type of school.
Neighborhood Schools give New Haven families the choice of sending their child to a school that is closer to home and strongly rooted in the community. Like all New Haven Public Schools, neighborhood schools offer students access to quality education with talented and passionate teachers and administrators, a rigorous curriculum, vibrant arts and music programs, and strong community partnerships.The lottery is only for kindergarten seats – other admissions happen through a transfer process.
Magnet Schools are designed to voluntarily reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation. They seek to attract students by offering high quality-curriculum and a range of themes, including performing arts, environmental studies, math, science and technology, international studies, business, early childhood and multicultural education. Admission to these schools is open all students in New Haven and participating school districts. Many of our magnet schools give preference to students who live nearby.
Charter Schools are authorized by the State Board of Education. Amistad, Elm City Prep and Common Ground are charter schools funded by the state. They provide small-scale educational programs managed by a governing board comprised of teachers and parents or guardians of the students enrolled in the school and may include community members. Charter Schools offer a range of educational programs, small class size, and a focus on teacher-parent communication.
New Haven Public Schools Proudly Provides:

  • Free full-day kindergarten
  • Free Transportation at all Magnet and Charter schools and most Neighborhood schools
  • Free Pre-Kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds at Magnet schools

Who can apply?
New Haven residents can apply to any magnet or charter school in the city. Neighborhood schools are open to New Haven residents who live within the school’s defined zone. We serve special education students, English language learners, and talented and gifted students. No student may be denied enrollment because of race, ethnicity or disability. There are no admission requirements, tests, or prerequesites.*
Understanding the Process
With the new unified School Choice enrollment process, you will be asked to fill out one application that allows you to select up to FOUR school choices, including PreK—12 for Magnet and Charter schools and Kindergarten for Neighborhood schools if you live in the attendance zone. Remember, you do not have to pick FOUR choices. In fact, you should ONLY select schools that you would be happy to send your child to.
How to Apply
The School Choice Enrollment Catalog and application becomes available on Feb. 3, 2014. In addition to a paper application, we will offer a new online application available at Here are the steps:
1.       Apply using the paper or online application. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 14, 2014
2.     You will receive a Receipt Letter of your Application within two weeks for paper applications and immediately for online applications.
3.     The Lottery will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Gateway Center, 54 Meadow St, 2nd floor. The Lottery is open to the public but not mandatory. You will also be notified of the lottery results by email!
4.     Lottery results will be emailed on April 9 and letters will be mailed by April 11.
5.     You must accept or decline your seat by April 23. More information will be included in your notification email and letter.
Understanding Neighborhood and Sibling Preferences
In many schools, New Haven offers preference to students who live within the attendance zone of the school. All Neighborhood schools and some Magnet and Charter schools have attendance zones. To find your child’s attendance zone, or New Haven is also committed to giving priority to families wishing to have their children enrolled together in school. This is called Sibling Preference, and it applies when a student applicant has a sibling already enrolled at the school of choice.
The order of preference goes like this:
1.       Sibling & Neighborhood (top preference) – has sibling in the school and lives in attendance zone
2.       Neighborhood Only – no sibling in the school, but lives in the attendance zone
3.       Sibling Only – has sibling in the school, but lives outside attendance zone
4.       No preference – no sibling in the school and lives outside the attendance zone
Due to seat limitations, there is no guarantee that any child will be placed in a particular school.