- What is a Magnet School?
- Magnet Schools at Goodwin University
- Magnet School Applications at Goodwin University
- How to Apply to Goodwin's Magnet Schools
- Magnet School Info Sessions
Why Choose a Magnet School?
As a parent, you hope to see your child succeed in an academic setting that is safe, motivating, and nurturing. We understand that making the right choice for your child’s future means everything to you. Choosing a magnet school education may be exactly the right step for your child — and you.
A Magnet School Education Offers Several Benefits Including:
- Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme
- Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy, and collaboration
- Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
- Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of academic achievement
- Small class sizes that ensure connection to the content and foster positive student/teacher relationships
What Is a Magnet School?
With a theme-based education and hands-on learning approach, your child will be prepared for a bright future. The diverse student body allows for increased cultural competencies you will not find at your local schools. Magnet schools even offer more opportunities for parental and community involvement.
Riverside Magnet School
Magnet elementary schools are the perfect fit for a child you want to immerse in a world of educational possibilities. Riverside Magnet School is based on the Reggio Emilia model and offers a curriculum focused on building cognitive, social, language, creative, and physical skills that empower students to take active roles in directing their own learning. At Riverside Magnet School, your child will be able to start on a limitless educational journey.
Connecticut River Academy
Magnet high schools benefit teens who want a supportive educational environment surrounded by motivated students interested in similar themes. The Connecticut River Academy, provides the opportunity to earn over 35 transferable college credits while still in high school — all at no tuition cost. The Connecticut River Academy centers on a sustainability theme that promotes global awareness and respect for the environment through critical thinking and action.
School Choice...Magnet Schools vs. Charter Schools
We understand that making the right choice for your child’s future is a difficult task and realize the importance of making an informed decision. As a parent, you hope to see your child succeed in an academic setting that is safe, motivating, and nurturing. There are so many choices for families in Connecticut to choose from and it is important to gather as much information as possible about school options that may best suit your child.
Considered cutting edge, charter schools usually challenge standard education practices and sometimes specialize in a particular area, such as technology or the arts, or adopt a basic core-subjects approach. They usually have smaller classes and offer more individual attention than conventional public schools.
Like public schools, Charter schools are funded by the state and receive tax dollars, but they may also have private funding. Charter schools do not charge tuition. Charter schools provide small-scale educational programs that are independently run separate from school districts and some are run by for-profit agencies. They are not subject to the scrutiny of a public school board of education, self-governance is the fundamental differentiator between charter schools and other forms of public education. Charter schools must adhere to the basic curricular requirements of the state but are free from many of the regulations that apply to conventional schools.
The Department of Education describes a charter school as having these characteristics:
- Has been granted a charter, usually by the state legislature, or other designated authority.
- Its governing body may be a group, organization, or corporation.
- May have specific academic themes or serve particular populations.
- Is granted more authority than other public schools, but has accountability and mission statements written into its charter.
- The charter is periodically reviewed, and may be revoked.
Magnet schools are public schools of choice, so named because they "attract" students to their specific educational focus or theme. Magnet schools give parents and guardians the opportunity to choose quality programs for their children throughout the state of Connecticut. Magnet schools allow students to focus on specific talents or interests while studying a challenging core curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and languages in a diverse environment.
The Department of Education describes a magnet school today as having these characteristics:
- Aims to eliminate or reduce racial or ethnic isolation by bringing together students from a variety of backgrounds.
- Focuses on a specific academic theme.
- Has no tuition.
- Follows same laws and regulations of other public schools.
- Administrators and staff are required to have state certifications.
Magnet School Highlights
- Have helped desegregate public education
- Offer specialized programs that challenge students more
- Level of academic achievement is often greater
- Lower teacher — student ratios and smaller class sizes often offer deeper hands-on learning
- Increases motivation since students are enrolled based on interest not location
The Benefits of Attending a Goodwin Magnet School
We’ve created an educational community in which each student will thrive in an environment that is inclusive, challenging and inspiring. Unlike many traditional local public schools, we offer unique and diverse learning experiences that combine the best parts of a public school education with the benefits of individualized learning. We empower our students to pursue their passions and encourage them to be thoughtful leaders — both in the classroom and in the community. We offer a theme-based education and hands-on learning approach. These provide a more personalized learning experience, driven by individual interests and talents.
Our magnet elementary school is the perfect fit for a child you want to immerse in a world of educational possibilities. A curriculum focused on building literacy, numeracy, social and physical skills empowers students to take an active role in directing their own learning. At Riverside Magnet School, your child will be able to start on a limitless educational journey.
Our magnet high school benefits teens who want a supportive educational environment surrounded by motivated students interested in similar themes. The Connecticut River Academy, provides the opportunity to earn over 35 transferable college credits while still in high school — all at no tuition cost.
Application Process and Timeline for Goodwin's Magnet Schools
Understanding the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) Application Process
Acceptance into the Connecticut River Academy and 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. 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.
At the Connecticut River Academy (grades 9 through 12) we typically have 130-140 seats available each lottery season. Most seats available are in our incoming grade 9 class.
Riverside Magnet School (pre-K through grade 5) typically has 35-50 seats available. Again, primary seats are available at the entry grade levels (pre-K and kindergarten).
At both Goodwin Magnet Schools, we generally do not get through our first choice applicants. 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 visit a RSCO fair, come to an open house, attend a parent information session, take a personal tour, or even shadow one of our current scholars.
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.
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.
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.
Complete Registration and All Required Paperwork and Visit School
Once you have accepted your seat at our school, we will set up a time for you to come in and register your student. A registration packet will need to be completed along with additional documentation, school records, residency verification, etc. You will be provided an opportunity to visit the school and make the necessary arrangements so as to make transition into our school as smooth as possible.
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 the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) for more information regarding RSCO and the lottery system.
For More Specific Information on Each of Our Goodwin University Magnet Schools Choose Below:
Acceptance into the Connecticut River Academy and/or Riverside Magnet School is determined through a random lottery process conducted by the State Regional School Choice Office. The lottery opens on December 4, 2023 and closes on March 15, 2024.
To Contact RSCO:
Regional School Choice Office
Parent Information Center
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite P28
Plaza Level (part of Constitution Plaza)
Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1841
The office is open weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except state holidays).
Join us at Riverside Magnet School, Connecticut River Academy Middle Grades, and Connecticut River Academy High School on the following dates to learn more:
- Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, January 11, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, March 21, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.