ACES Open Choice was established through state legislation for suburban students to attend schools in New Haven and for New Haven students to attend schools in the suburbs.

The goals of Open Choice are to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation and to increase academic achievement. Families in the Greater New Haven area are given opportunities to enroll their children in schools with available openings in a variety of grade levels. ACES is one of three Regional Educational Service Centers that oversees this effort in Connecticut.

ACES collects data on available seats in our area, manages the application and selection process, manages the transportation of those selected students, and works to support the students, families, teachers and administrators who participate in the program.

Families must complete the application online. If you are unable to access a computer, please contact Lynn Bailey at or (203) 498-6843.

Apply now

Key Dates

  • March 1, 2019: Applications available
  • April 1, 2019, 3:30pm: Application deadline

Participating Districts

The following school districts participate in the ACES Open Choice program:

Ansonia Cheshire Milford North Haven Wallingford
Bethany East Haven New Haven Orange Woodbridge
Branford Hamden North Branford Reg. Dist. #5  

Not all of the above districts provide NEW Open Choice seats. For information about districts with current offerings, see below or refer to the online application.

Districts Providing Free Transportation

Suburban parents from any Connecticut district may apply to send students to available seats in New Haven schools.  However, transportation is provided only from the following districts for grades K-12. Pre-K students have to be transported by parents/guardians. Transportation to New Haven Public Schools is available free of charge for students who live in the following towns:

Amity Regional



North Haven







Beacon Falls




West Haven


East Haven






North Branford



2019-20 Open Choice Seats

Out of New Haven

District School Grade Level # of Seats
Bethany Bethany Community Kindergarten 2 seats
Branford Branford High 9th Grade 4 seats
Branford Francis Walsh Inter. 5th Grade 2 seats
Branford John B. Silney Kindergarten 2 seats
Branford Mary R. Tisko Kindergarten 2 seats
Cheshire Chapman Kindergarten 2 seats
Cheshire Chapman 3rd Grade 3 seats
Cheshire Doolittle 2nd Grade 2 seats
Cheshire Highland Kindergarten 3 seats
Cheshire Highland 1st Grade 2 seats
Cheshire Norton 1st Grade 2 seats
East Haven East Haven High Grades 9-12 2 seats
East Haven Deer Run Kindergarten 1 seat
Milford Calf Pen Meadow Kindergarten 1 seat
Milford John F. Kennedy Kindergarten 1 seat
Milford Orchard Hills Kindergarten 1 seat
North Branford North Branford High 9th Grade 3 seats
North Branford North Branford Inter. 6th Grade 2 seats
North Branford Totoket Valley 3rd Grade 1 seat
North Branford Jerome Harrison Kindergarten 1 seat
North Haven Clintonville Kindergarten 5 seats
North Haven Green Acres Kindergarten 5 seats
North Haven Montowese Kindergarten 5 seats
North Haven Ridge Road Kindergarten 5 seats
Woodbridge Beecher Road Kindergarten 3 seats

Into New Haven

School Grade Level # of Seats
James Hillhouse High 9th Grade 5 seats
James Hillhouse High 10th Grade 5 seats
Wilbur Cross High 9th Grade 5 seats
Wilbur Cross High 10th Grade 5 seats
Bishop Woods Kindergarten 5 seats
Brennan/Rogers: The Art of Communication & Media Magnet Pre-K-3 8 seats
Celentano Biotech Health & Medical Magnet Pre-K-3 8 seats
East Rock Community and Cultural Studies Magnet Kindergarten 5 seats
Elm City Montessori Magnet Pre-K-3 2 seats
Harry A. Conte/West Hills: A School of Exploration & Innovation Pre-K-3 5 seats
Harry A. Conte/West Hills: A School of Exploration & Innovation Kindergarten 8 seats
John S. Martinez Sea and Sky STEM Magnet Kindergarten 5 seats
Quinnipiac Real World Math STEM Magnet Kindergarten 5 seats
Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy for Global Awareness Magnet Kindergarten 5 seats
Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet and SCSU Lab Kindergarten 5 seats

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Why Choose ACES Open Choice?

Program Benefits

  • Parent meetings are held to provide information regarding this program.
  • After school activities transportation are provided for middle and high school students.
  • Family/School Liaison fosters communication among families, students and schools to help adjust to a new environment. She attends PPTs, does home and school visits.
  • Open Choice helps to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation. It brings diversity to the districts where your child attends school.
  • College prep activities are provided to 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade students.
  • Student Profiles are completed on a yearly basis from your child’s school to help ACES keep track of how well the students are doing academically & socially.

Program Outcomes

  • Student academic achievement has improved.
  • Students have expressed their appreciation for the program and the benefits for their future endeavors. Parents have spoken about the difference Open Choice has made in their child’s life and what they have accomplished.
  • Long lasting friendships have been created.
  • Students, families, and school staff work to overcome stereotypes.
  • Over 90% of the ACES Open Choice students have continued their education at colleges & universities of their choice.


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