Skip To Main Content

GPS Elementary Magnet FAQs - Winter / Spring 2023



Who can apply to Groton Public Schools intra-district magnet schools?

  • Groton's intra-district magnet schools serve families who are residents of Groton with students who are districted to attend Groton Public Schools. Residents of surrounding towns are not eligible to apply in the lottery to Groton Public Schools magnet schools.  
Do I need to complete an application if I plan to attend my districted school?
  • No. Students who live in the districted attendance zone of the school they wish to attend do not need to enter the lottery and will be assigned to that school, based on enrollment. 


How do I know which school is my districted school?


How do I apply to one of the magnet schools?
  • Groton families interested in having their child attend one of Groton's intra-district magnet schools, other than their districted school, may complete the online district application to be entered into the lottery. 
    • Students must also complete the online registration form (if they are not already registered with Groton Public Schools) to be eligible for the Lottery.  


Is there a separate application for each school?
  • No, there is one district application, which is available online here.


Do I need to reapply each year?
  • Students who previously accepted a seat through a lottery do not need to reapply and can continue at that school through fifth grade or until the student exits that school.
  • Students who were not accepted may reapply in the following year's lottery.


My elementary student entering Grades 1-5 is interested in one of the magnet schools. Can my child apply?
  • Yes! Any Groton Public Schools student who will be entering grades K-5 in September 2023 is eligible to apply. 
How are all schools the same academically and what services are available?
  • All Groton elementary magnet schools will follow the district curriculum for literacy, math, science and other core subjects
  • Each school pursues the same grade level expectations and student achievement and students will take the same state assessments. 
  • All students will have specials including art, music, health and PE.
  • All of our elementary magnet schools have special education teachers and related service providers.
  • District family and student services including, School Based Health Centers, Free & Reduced lunch and Before and After Care are available to all students regardless of what school they attend.


How are the magnet themes linked to the curriculum and what makes each school unique?
  • Each school offers a unique magnet theme and approach to teaching and learning that is integrated into the curriculum
  • Themes provide students the opportunity to explore an interest that will make teaching and learning most enjoyable and meaningful to them.
  • Partners from the community, region and beyond also provide coaching to staff and unique curricular opportunities and partnerships.
  • Students exposure to the theme is enriched and expanded through in-class experiences, field trips, before and after school programs and more.
  • Partners from the community, region and beyond also provide coaching to staff and unique curricular opportunities and partnerships.


Which schools will offer Preschool and Pre-K programs?
  • Mystic River Magnet School and Thames River Magnet School are home to Groton Public Schools Preschool and Pre-K programs.  Acceptance into the Early Childhood Programs is though a screening process that is separate from the lottery, as the Elementary lottery is only for students entering grades K-5 in September 2023. Please note, students who attend one of the Early Childhood Programs will return to their home school for Kindergarten, but like all K-5 students may enter the lottery.


How is admission determined?
  • Selection is through a random, district-wide lottery. Each school will determine the available number of seats available per grade based on enrollment and fill those seats.


Is there a waitlist?
  • Families offered a seat through the lottery will have the option to decline or accept a seat for their child.  Students who were not accepted will be placed on a waitlist, should a seat become available.


What is sibling preference?
  • Groton Public Schools prioritizes keeping families together and offers a sibling preference.  
    • Parents interested in a school, other than their districted school, must enter the lottery by filling out a magnet application.
      • You will be asked on the form if you already have a student attending the same school.
    • Students who are siblings of currently enrolled students will be offered the next available seat in their grade, pending one is available. 

*Students who are siblings must live in the same household, at the same address, to be offered a seat through a Sibling Preference.


If one of my children accepted a seat in a lottery, can my other children attend?
  • Students interested in attending the same school as their sibling who previously accepted a seat in the lottery get a 'sibling preference' (defined above). 
  • Reminder: You still need to enter the lottery and your child/children will be accepted, as long as a seat is available in their grade.  

*Students who are siblings must live in the same household, at the same address, to be offered a seat through a Sibling Preference.


If my children apply to the same school and one gets offered a seat, will my other child also be accepted?
  • If two or more siblings apply to the same school and one is offered a seat in the lottery, their sibling will be offered the next available seat in their respective grade, if one is available.
  • Siblings may apply to different schools, but will not receive any preference.

Students who are siblings must live in the same household, at the same address, to be offered a seat through a Sibling Preference.


Does applying early increase my chance of getting a seat at a specific school?
  • No.  Families can apply anytime within the application period up until the deadline and will receive the same chance of receiving a seat in the lottery. 


Can I tour the schools?"

  • Currently we are planning to host information sessions during the winter / spring of 2023.  


Is bus transportation provided to intra-district magnet students?

  • Yes. In-district student bus transportation is provided to students that are accepted through the lottery.  


My child currently has an IEP or Section 504 Plan?  Will he/she continue to receive the services in their individual plan in their new school?
  • All of our elementary schools have special education teachers on staff in addition to related service providers such as a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, school psychologist, school social worker, and physical therapist. Each school’s student support team will be available to provide students with the services required in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan within the general education setting and in the resource room. Students who have IEPs that require specialized instruction in district-wide programs will attend the schools where these programs are located. 
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions parents have about our intra-district magnet schools, application and lottery process below. If you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us at 860-572-2100 or 

We encourage all K-5 families and students to explore all the Groton magnet elementary school choices and the exciting opportunities each offer your child.