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Contact for more information

Eric Nyquist
Open Choice Coordinator   
nyquiste@cestrumbull.org   
203-365-8857
 
Karen Barnes
Administrative Assistant
barnesk@cestrumbull.org
203-365-8930
 
Jacquelyn Owens
Family & Community Outreach Coordinator
203-365-8982
About Open Choice
 
The Open Choice program was established by state legislation to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation among students by allowing residents in urban centers to attend schools in neighboring suburban districts. The Open Choice program that CES has successfully administered for many years places Bridgeport students in available spots at six participating suburban school districts.
 
The state authorized expansion of the Open Choice program to Danbury and Norwalk students beginning in the 2022-23 school year.  While Norwalk will open the program on schedule, the decision has been made to postpone the Danbury region program until 2023-24 in order to allow neighboring districts more time to make decisions about providing opportunities. Parents who live in Bridgeport or Norwalk may submit applications from Jan. 15, 2022, through March 15, 2022.  
 
How Open Choice works
Each Open Choice program accepts applications from students and conducts a selection process to fill a predetermined number of available “seats” that suburban school districts are providing for each grade. Unfortunately, not every student who applies is guaranteed a placement. For example, if 85 students apply for a seat in Grade 4 and only five seats are open, only five applicants can be selected from that city. 
 
Parents may not select the district they want to have their child attend.  Rather, parents submit an application for their child or children for the program.  If upon acceptance to the program a parent decides to decline placement of their child to a particular district, another student is offered the position and the declining student goes to the bottom of the queue. Only students who are chosen through the selection process will receive notification of placement.

 
Although there are openings in higher grades, the majority of open seats usually come in kindergarten or first grade because districts seek to bring students in during their early years. Once enrolled in a district, students are guaranteed spots in the district through high school graduation, with all of the rights and privileges of a student who resides in the receiving town.  
 
Transportation is provided by the state and coordinated by Open Choice. Bus rides can be long because students are picked up all over each city and then driven to neighboring district schools during morning traffic.  
 
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me. 
 
Eric B. Nyquist
Open Choice Coordinator, CES
203-365-8857 / nyquiste@cestrumbull.org