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Applying and Enrolling in Magnet Schools

Applying to Magnet Elementary Schools

Cincinnati Public Schools uses an online lottery application process for applications to magnet elementary schools. The online lottery was introduced in October 2015, and, after a successful pilot, was adopted by the CPS Board of Education as the application process for magnet elementary schools.

Magnet Lottery Application for 2017-18 school year

 Aplicación de lotería para escuelas Magnet (con Programas Especiales) - 2017-18

CPS' magnet elementary schools offer a variety of content focuses and teaching styles to give parents and students educational choices. Parents choose to send their children to magnet elementary schools by applying during the district's annual application process - applying a school year ahead. (Other options are CPS' thriving neighborhood elementary schools, to which students are assigned based on home addresses.)

Magnet School Guide 2017-18 - Information about magnet schools and the online lottery application process. The 2018-19 Magnet Guide will be mailed out October 2017.

Chart explaining CPS' online magnet application process 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about CPS' online magnet application
CPS Magnet Schools 2017-18 (chart)

Magnet Program-Specific Application Requirements

Application dates for magnet elementary schools to apply for the 2018-19 school year:

  • Early Application Period - Siblings — September 19 - October 6, 2017 (NOTE: Paper applications only; this is not part of the online process)

Early Application Form for 2018-19; (also available at magnet schools)

• Regular Application - Online lottery application - Round 1:  6 a.m.  Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 2017
• Round 2 -  January 22 - February 16, 2018  (for applications not submitted in Round 1)
• Round 3 - March 26 - April 13, 2018 (for applications not submitted in Round 1 or 2)

Board Policy No. 5113.01 explains in detail how student applications for preschool and magnet elementary schools are prioritized in the lottery. 


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 to complete the enrollment process. Only a parent or legal guardian may enroll a student in school. A legal guardian must present proper documentation (i.e., custody granted by a court or accredited agency).

(Translations of registration form)

To enroll a child in Cincinnati Public Schools, parents/guardians must bring the following documents to the school - with the completed Student Registration Information Form:

  • One item showing proof of residency
  • Valid photo ID of parent or guardian
  • Child's birth certificate
  • Child's health record
  • Final report card
  • Verification of kindergarten attendance, if entering first grade

Magnet Application 

Early Application Period - Siblings — September 19 - October 6, 2017

Parents must go to the magnet school to put in a paper application form for a sibling. Call the school for application hours. (Early Application is not part of CPS' online application process.)

Students participating in the Early Application Period must meet a school's eligibility requirements, if any.

Who may apply during this Early Application period?

  • A sibling of an in-district student already enrolled in a magnet school may apply to the sibling's magnet school.  Entering students will be given priority to enter a sibling’s magnet school. The sibling must live within the CPS district and must currently attend the magnet school in grades preschool to 5 (or, at AMIS, AWL, Roberts or Roselawn Condon, to grade 7), and must live at the same address.

Regular Application - Magnet School Online Application (lottery)

Applications to Cincinnati Public Schools' magnet elementary schools are submitted online and seats are given out via random lottery.

Parents may submit online applications from any computer or tablet with Internet access, or from CPS' mobile app. Entry time of an application during a Round does not matter, but it is important to submit an application during the four-week Round 1 application period to have the best opportunity to get into a desired magnet school before it fills up.

Application Dates (see above)

Online Application is for

  • In-district students who live within the areas (East or West) of the magnet elementary schools they want to attend.
  • In-district students who want to apply to citywide magnet schools.

If needed, parents may enter the Magnet School Online Application Process using computers in

Residents Out-of-Area (East & West) Application Period — Begins May 1 - 31, 2018

Sign-up begins for any in-district student who lives outside the East or West area of a chosen magnet elementary school. A magnet school may accept out-of-area applications only if the school has no waiting list.

Parents must go to the magnet school to put in a paper application form for out-of-area application. Call the school for hours. (Out-of-Area application is not part of CPS' online application process.)
The application form for 2017-18 will be posted here in October 2016, and also will be available then at magnet schools.

Magnet Preschool and Kindergarten Requirements

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, April 1-30.  In-district students get priority for seats in CPS schools.

Information or assistance for all Magnet school applications and enrollment:
CPS Customer Help Center
(513) 363-0123

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