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Applying and Registering in Magnet Schools

About 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.

CPS' magnet elementary schools offer a variety of interesting content focuses and teaching styles to give parents and students educational choices while appealing to students’ different interests and learning preferences.

Parents choose to send their children to magnet elementary schools by applying during the district's annual application process in the prior school year. Other options are CPS' thriving neighborhood elementary schools, to which students are assigned based on home addresses. To find the elementary school assignment for a specific address, use our online Interactive Cropper Map System in School Finder.


Application Dates, Process for Magnet Elementary Schools

Early Application Period – Siblings

Process: Paper applications are required to be submitted at the magnet school during the Early Application Period for siblings (it is not part of the online process). Parents may call the school for application hours.

Who may apply during the Early Application Period for siblings?

A sibling of an in-district student already enrolled in a magnet school may apply to that magnet school. 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 to be given priority to enter the magnet school.

Download the Early Application Form for siblings for 2018-19 (also available at magnet schools) The Early Application Form for Siblings will be available soon for the 2019-2020 school year.

Regular Application – Magnet School Online Application (lottery)

Process: Applications to Cincinnati Public Schools' magnet elementary schools are submitted online and seats are given out via random lottery. The youngest grade to participate in the application and lottery process is kindergarten. Information about magnet preschool is below.

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

The Regular Application period is for:

  • In-district students who live within the East or West areas  of the magnet elementary schools they want to attend
  • In-district students who want to apply to citywide magnet schools
  • Siblings who did not apply during the Early Application Period for siblings

If needed, parents may enter the Magnet School Online Application Process using computers in CPS schools or at CPS' Education Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue, 45219 (Corryville) in the Customer Care Center, (513) 363-0123.

Residents Out-of-Area (East & West) Application Period

Process: A magnet school may accept an out-of-area application if the school has no waiting list. The Out-Of-Area Application Period is not part of the online application process. Paper applications must be turned in at the magnet schools where applying. These applications will be available in October 2017 on the CPS website and at magnet schools. Parents must provide transportation to out-of-area magnet schools.

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

Magnet Preschool Requirements

CPS’ preschool programs give children a strong start as they begin their educational journey. Preschool is not mandatory, but children who attend preschool gain valuable skills—such as how to count, to share and play with others, and to follow instructions—while enjoying many new experiences.

•    Preschool Magnet Application

Not every magnet school offers preschool. Parents who want to apply for a seat in kindergarten at a magnet school are to participate in the regular application process, detailed above.


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 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).

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

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

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