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Online Lottery Will Replace CPS Magnet School Campouts

File photo of parents camping out at Fairview.

The scene at Fairview-Clifton German Language School, and other popular CPS schools, in years past was all too familiar. Parents of would-be kindergartners camped out for days in the first-come first-served application process to assure their child would be enrolled at their preferred school.

Monday the Cincinnati Board of Education voted to suspend, for one year, the district's policy of assigning magnet school seats on a first-come application basis. Instead, CPS will use an online lottery system for the 2016-17 school year.

The new Magnet School Lottery will accept applications for five weeks from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 29, 2015.

CPS says between November 30 and December 4 it will run the lottery in random order. Application entry will not matter.

Letters will go out December 4 to let parents know about their child's lottery status.

The new lottery system for magnet elementary schools is modeled after the district's online lottery assigning students to high schools, in use since 2006.


  • The new lottery does not impact the traditional Early Application Period for in-district siblings of current magnet school students. Parents of siblings will submit paper applications.
  • The district will continue to run the limited Magnet Kindergarten Lottery, in use for three years, for students assigned to specific schools. The kindergarten lottery and the new Magnet School Lottery will accept applications online simultaneously.