The School Selection Process At A Glance

  • Step 1: Learn about your school options

    School Selection Booklets
    Elementary and Secondary selection booklets are a great place to start learning about the many unique school offerings in the Rochester City School District. In addition to explaining the school selection process and school choice lottery, each zone booklet gives you a detailed overview of each school or program to help you decide what offering is your right for your child. 

    School Profiles
    School profile pages also offer an overview of your school choice options. Each profile also provides links to school data, websites, location and contact information. To view Elementary and Secondary school profiles, visit the School and Program Directory.

    RCSD School Finder
    Information about schools can also be found using the RCSD School Finder. RCSD School Finder allows parents, staff, and the community to easily find a child's home school by using simple search options, including home address, grade level, distance, and more. 
    Learn more about the RCSD School Finder >

    Visit the Office of Student Equity and Placement
    Student Placement Specialists are available to work with families to discuss school options and assist with registrations. For support, please call (585) 262-8241 or visit the Office of Student Equity and Placement, 131 West Broad Street, Floor 1. The Office of Student Placement and Equity is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm.

    Step 2: Rank your school selections
    Talk with your child and rank each school offering based on their interests and each school's unique features. Visiting a school by arranging an in-school visit could help you make the most informed choice.

    Step 3: Documentation, Forms and School Compacts
    Pre-Kindergarten: Before applying, please visit our Pre-K website for a current booklet and more information about program locations. Be sure you have the proper documents needed for registration before visiting the Student Placement Office to register.
    Kindergarten: Before applying, please be sure you have the proper documents needed for registration before visiting the Student Placement Office to register.
    7th and 9th grade: Secondary School Choice booklets and Online registration is availble for both 7th and 9th grade. A School Compact is a one- or two-page form that outlines each high school’s expectations and requirements. Typical points addressed in compacts include adherence to the District’s Code of Conduct; academic expectations; special orientation or learning time requirement; and school policies, such as cell phone rules or dress code. While compacts are not legal requirements, students and parents are expected to understand and agree to the school’s expectations. The compact process encourages families to visit schools and meet with administrators before making their top choices. Families who have signed a school’s compact will get preferential placement in the lottery. All high school compacts are available at the Office of Student Equity and Placement, 131 West Broad Street, (585) 262-8241.
    Step 4: Apply
    Kindergarten: To register your child for Kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year, please be sure you have the proper documents needed for registration (see step 3) and visit the Office of Student Placement and Equity to complete your enrollment.  

    Students entering 7th and 9th Grade: If your child is entering 7th or 9th grade for the 2020-21 school year, parents can now register online for the School Choice lottery and indicate their top 5 choices.

     Before registering, parents are encouraged to view the Parent and Guardian Registration Guides and Checklist.
    Common Questions about the Process
    When will I be notified?
    You will be notified of your Kindergarten, 7th, or 9th-grade placement in May. High school students accepted by application schools can choose admission to that school or enroll in their lottery placement school.
    Does my child qualify for immediate placement for Kindergarten?
    There are two ways your child can qualify for immediate placement in a school you want for Kindergarten.
    • You live within a half-mile of your neighborhood school
    • You have a sibling attending a school in your zone
    Even if your child qualifies for immediate Kindergarten placement, you must apply by March 27, 2020, to be assured an immediate placement seat. If your child regularly attends a District Pre-K program, the lottery is designed to give you preference at that school. The school must be in your zone and selected as your first choice.   
    Does every student in 8th grade need to choose a new school for 9th grade?
    If your 8th-grade student attends a school that offers 9th grade and does not want to change schools, you do not need to complete an application. Your child will automatically be enrolled at his or her current school. If your 8th-grade student wants or needs a new school, you have a wide range of choices. Your child is eligible to attend any RCSD school that offers 9th grade, but you must complete an application to participate in the School Choice Lottery on or before March 27, 2020.
    What happens if I don't participate in the school choice lottery or miss the deadline?
    Students who do not participate in the School Choice Lottery by the deadline can be registered at the Office of Student Placement & Equity. Students who do not participate in the School Choice Lottery will be placed in a school where space is available after the selection process is complete. Due to the current closure due to COVID-19, our district's lottery deadline has been extended and more information is forthcoming.
    What happens if my selected schools closes before the 2020-21 school year?
    Occasionally, the District or the State decides that a school does not have the academic performance to remain open. Sometimes the facility is no longer adequate to meet the academic standards of the cutting edge technology expected to be delivered to today’s students.
    • If the lottery process has not begun, you will be asked to resubmit your school choices.
    • If the lottery program is already in motion, that school will be removed from your selection, and your other rankings will move forward in order. In other words, if your first choice school closes, your second choice school becomes your first choice.
    What if we speak another language other than English at home?
    Parents of children who speak a language other than English can arrange for a language assessment for their child by calling (585) 324-3220. The assessment will help determine the best placement for the student in an academic program.