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Applying and Registering in Magnet Schools

About Magnet Elementary Schools

Cincinnati Public Schools provides the best educational options to students and families in our region — including 22 Magnet schools and programs offering a variety of content focuses and teaching styles to support students’ interests and learning preferences.

Magnet Lottery Application

The Online Magnet Lottery Application will be available for Round 2 at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

2020-21 Magnet Lottery Application Rounds

Enrolling your child in a Magnet school or program requires participation in the Online Magnet Application Process, also known as the Magnet Lottery. Applying is easy from any computer with Internet access. This online process offers families a fair and convenient application experience.

Magnet Lottery at a Glance

  • Six Citywide Magnet schools and programs
  • Eight East Area Magnet schools and programs
  • Eight West Area Magnet schools and programs
  • Applications are submitted online; seats are assigned via random lottery.
  • Only one online application per child per school year accepted.
  • Select up to five Magnet schools and programs, ranked by preference.
  • All Magnet schools and programs are open to Students with Disabilities.
  • Magnet schools and programs may accept Out-of-Area Applications if there are no waiting lists after Round 3 ends.
  • Preschool applications for Magnet schools are submitted using the Magnet Lottery

All parents or guardians living within CPS' 91-square-mile district can apply for their elementary-age children to attend Magnet schools or programs in their geographic area — East, West or Citywide. Interstate 75 serves roughly as the dividing line between the East Area and West Area. Citywide Magnet schools and programs accept students who live anywhere in the CPS district.

CPS' neighborhood schools also offer strong educational choices to children living in each school's attendance boundary; the Magnet Lottery is not required to attend neighborhood schools.

Families also can visit each school's website to see what’s special about each school.

No matter the CPS school choice, families can be assured their children will receive a solid educational foundation that prepares them for successful futures.


Board Policy No. 5113.01 — details about how CPS' lottery prioritizes applications for preschool and magnet elementary schools

Preschool Applications

Applications for CPS' Magnet school preschools are submitted using the Magnet Lottery. The timeline for processing Magnet preschool applications varies due to funding and licensure requirements.

More preschool information.

Or, contact CPS' Early Childhood Education Department: (513) 363-0240

How the Magnet Lottery Works

Magnet applications are submitted a school year ahead of when the child would enter the Magnet school or program.

To Apply

  • Parents or guardians create an account and password, then enter the requested student information.
  • If you have an existing account and have forgetten your lottery ID number or password, send an email here to have your ID/password emailed to you. (Although the email address is active, the application doesn't go live until 8 a.m. Tuesday, October 29.)
  • Note: Parents of current CPS students must have their child's PowerSchool ID number and a valid email address to submit a magnet lottery application. 
  • Parents or guardians submit an online application.
    • Only one Magnet application may be submitted per child per school year.
    • Each online application allows parents or guardians to select up to five Magnet schools or programs, ranking them in the order of preference.
    • Magnet seats are given out via random lottery.
  • Only parents or guardians may submit online applications.
    • Only the first lottery application will be accepted; any subsequent applications for the same student will not be considered.
  • Parents or guardians may enter Magnet applications from any computer with Internet access. If needed, parents or guardians may access computers in CPS schools and at the CPS Customer Care Center, located inside the CPS Education Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue, Corryville, 45219.

Each online application is given a computer-generated lottery number, which determines the order in which space at each Magnet school or program is assigned.
Magnet seats are assigned until spaces fill up, starting with the lowest numbers. If a student’s first-choice Magnet school or program is filled, the student will be placed in the second- (or third-, etc.) choice where space is available.

Changes to a student's Magnet placement, based on assigned lottery number and application preferences, will be updated as Round 2 and Round 3 are run. For example, a student placed in a second-choice Magnet school could move up into a first-choice Magnet slot if space opens.

Magnet waiting lists are created as capacity limits are reached. Applicants to magnet programs with entrance requirements also are placed on waiting lists, pending confirmation that requirements have been met.

Waiting lists are in effect until June 30; if a child who applied in the Magnet Lottery has not been placed by June 30, the child's parents or guardians should register the child at the assigned neighborhood school.

Parents or guardians may submit applications any time during Round 1, which is open for six weeks. There's no rush to be the "first in line" in Round 1.

Applying in Round 1 gives students the best chance to receive their first-choice Magnet school or program. Many Magnet spaces fill up during Round 1. Rounds 2 and 3 are for new applications only.

Sibling Application Period

Process: Siblings are given priority to enter magnet schools. Paper applications must be submitted at the magnet school during the Sibling Application Period; this application is not part of the online lottery process. Parents should call the magnet school for office hours for handing in paper applications.

Who may apply during the Application Period for siblings?

Siblings of in-district students already enrolled in magnet schools may apply to the sibling's magnet schools. The entering student must meet the magnet school's eligibility requirements, if any, and live within the CPS district at the same address as the current student.


A student enrolled in the assigned area Magnet school or program, or in a Citywide Magnet, is eligible for bus transportation if the student lives one mile or more from the school. If a student is enrolled in a school outside the assigned East or West Area, families must provide transportation to and from school.
Bus transportation is not provided for preschoolers.

CPS is not responsible for any incorrect information entered on a Magnet Lottery application.


After a child is accepted into a magnet school and before the school year begins, the parent/guardian must fill out the Student Registration Information Form and complete the registration process, which includes required documentation.

Only a parent or legal guardian may register a student in school. A legal guardian must present proper documentation (i.e., custody granted by a court or accredited agency).

Important: The information on this page applies only to in-district students (living within the Cincinnati Public School District's boundaries). Students who live outside CPS may apply to CPS schools ONLY during the Open Enrollment Online Application Period. In-district students get priority for seats in CPS schools.

Information, assistance for magnet school applications and registration: CPS Customer Care Center (513) 363-0123

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