2021-2022 School Choice

"Our goal is to ensure every child in Cleveland attends a high-quality school and that every neighborhood has a multitude of great schools from which families can choose."
- The Cleveland Plan


The school choice portal is closed for the first round of high school choices. Families that submitted applications prior to the February 5 deadline, will receive their child's assignment via email and/or text message on February 22.

The portal is scheduled to open on March 1 for the Preschool - High School Choice.

If you have questions about school choice or the portal, call School Choice and Enrollment at (216) 838-3675.



Round 1, High School Choice

November 16, 2020 – February 5, 2021


Why high school choice?

Equity and access are at the heart of The Cleveland Plan, and CMSD believes all families should have a choice in selecting the schools they feel are the best fit for their children. We encourage families and caregivers to explore the many school options available and find schools that offer programs and resources that align with their child's interests and unique talents and skills.

About Round 1

High school choice is for current CMSD 8th graders, as well as all other 8th graders who live in the area that makes up the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and need to choose a high school for the 2021-2022 school year. Current high school students who want to attend a new school for the 2021-2022 school year are also able to make their choices during this period. To participate in high school choice, families are to submit one application per student, on which they rank their top school choices in order of preference – up to a limit of five schools. CMSD then uses a computer algorithm to match students to schools based on those preferences, as well as available space and, in some cases, admissions criteria (hyperlink to criteria school admissions form).  

Here’s how it works:

  • Find: First, to prepare for high school choice, learn more about the schools in which you might be interested. Check out school websites, attend our virtual high school choice fair, register for a virtual information session and talk to school staff.
  • Apply: Create your account. We recommend using your CMSD parent portal account username and password to log in, but you may also use your email address. Then fill out and submit the application before 5 p.m. February 5, 2021.
  • Register: Once assignment notifications are sent in late February, log back into the choice portal and accept your child’s assignment. Families who will be new to CMSD for the 2021-2022 school year must submit all required registration documents within 14 days of the notification or risk losing the assignment.



Round 2, High School and PreK-8/K-8 Choice

March 1 – April 23, 2021


About Round 2

School choice is for all students, high school and PreK-8 or K-8, who want to attend a new school for the 2021-2022 school year.

New this year: Families can now submit a preschool choice using the portal. If you are submitting a preschool application, you will be required to provide necessary documents. The list of documents will be available prior to the opening of the portal in March. Preschool applications cannot be submitted without the required documents and applications and are subject to meeting all program requirements and guidelines.


Kindergarten through 11th grade families – If your child is currently in kindergarten through 7th grade or 9th grade through 11th grade and will remain at his or her current school for 2021-2022, it is not necessary to complete a school choice application.

Families of new 9th graders: Students who graduate from CMSD high schools are eligible for Say Yes to Education scholarships, which pay up to the full value of tuition, minus federal and state aid, to all public colleges and universities and Pell-eligible training programs in Ohio and more than 100 private colleges and universities across the country. To qualify, students must be continuously enrolled in a CMSD high school and live in the District or City of Cleveland from ninth grade through graduation.



How assignments are made

The matching process


Following each round, when all applications have been submitted, the system will randomly assign all participating students a lottery number. CMSD residents are always given a priority in the assignment process. Students who have siblings in the building that they are applying to attend also receive priority.

The system ranks students based on any priorities they might qualify for and randomly assigns each student a lottery number. This produces an ordered list of students for every grade at every school. The system then allocates seats to students based on the order in which they fall on this list. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats, the system assigns a waitlist number to all students who do not obtain a seat in the order of how they were ranked. Students on the waitlist are offered assignments as seats become available.

The system is highly effective in placing students in their preferred schools. Last year, more than 90% of students who submitted their choices by the deadline were placed in their first choice.



Important Dates
Portal Opens for High School Choices
Monday, Nov. 16, 2020
Portal Closes for 1st Round of High School Assignments
Friday, February 5, 2021
1st Round of High School Assignments Announced
Monday, Feb. 22, 2021
Portal Opens for PreK – HS Choices
Monday, March 1, 2021
Portal Closes for 2nd Round of Assignments
Friday, April 23, 2021
2nd Round of School Assignments Announced
Friday, May 7, 2021

*Dates are subject to change. Check website and social media for updates and changes.


Now, more than ever, it makes sense to Choose CMSD.





For all K-12 enrollment assistance, including Project ACT and Special Education, call 216.838.3675.