Steps to Choosing a School

  • 1. Consider
    Consider schools that have services you need and if bus transportation is available from your home or daycare address.

    2. Review
    Visit spps.org/apply and enter your home address in School Finder to confirm your Area and Community School Zone, then review your school choice options.

    3. Attend a Virtual Open House
    A virtual open house is a perfect opportunity to learn more about schools that interest you. Meet staff, “tour” classrooms and discover the programs, activities and services available to your child.

    4. Prioritize
    List up to two schools on your application. Your school choices are considered in the order you list them.

    Students who are not accepted at their first choice school will be placed on the school’s waiting list.

    Please note that due to several factors, students may not be accepted at either of their school choices.

    5. Apply
    Apply online at spps.org/apply by March 5, 2021, for the best opportunity to get into the school of your choice.

    Early Notification for Kindergarten
    Kindergarten families who want to attend their community school can get early notification of acceptance by applying on or before Friday, January 15.

Who Should Apply?

  • An application is required if:

    • Your child is currently enrolled and requests a different school
    • Your child is new to Saint Paul Public Schools

    Applications are typically not required for students who are:

    • Continuing at their current school or magnet program to the next grade level
    • Residents of Saint Paul currently enrolled and who are entering kindergarten, grades 6 or 9 by following their school’s pathway.

Admission Priorities

  • During the enrollment process, students are given a ranking based on several criteria (known as priorities) before acceptance to a school. The priorities do not guarantee acceptance.

    Pre-Kindergarten Admission Priorities:

    1. Community School Zone
    2. Area
    3. Regional
    4. District
    5. Out of District

    Please note: All Pre-K programs give priority enrollment consideration based on a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals, a home language other than English and/or requires special education services.

    Elementary School Admission Priorities:

    Elementary Community Schools:

    1. Community School Zone
    2. Reflecting St. Paul
    3. Specific Employee Consideration
    4. Area
    5. District
    6. Out of District

    Elementary Regional Magnet Schools:

    1. Regional
    2. Reflecting St. Paul
    3. Specific Employee Consideration
    4. District
    5. Out of District

    Elementary District Magnet Schools:

    1. Reflecting St. Paul
    2. Specific Employee Consideration
    3. District
    4. Out of District

    Middle and High School Admission Priorities:

    1. Magnet/Pathway
    2. Area
    3. Specific Employee Consideration
    4. Regional
    5. District
    6. Out of District

    Admission Priorities Definitions:

    Community School Zone: These zones apply to all elementary students. Priority is given to students who live within a school’s Community School Zone so that many students from the same neighborhood can attend school together.

    Reflecting St. Paul: Reflecting St. Paul: This admission priority is based on residential addresses in high-need neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are defined by the number of residents eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; with a home language other than English; and low test scores in reading and math for students in those neighborhoods.

    Up to 25 percent of available seats in certain low-poverty schools will be set aside for students residing in these neighborhoods.

    The current list of low-poverty schools includes Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented, EXPO Elementary, Horace Mann School, Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy, J.J. Hill Montessori, L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion (Lower and Upper Campus), Randolph Heights Elementary, and St. Anthony Park Elementary. 

    For more information, please call the Student Placement Center at 651-632-3760.

    Area: Priority is given to students who live within the identified Area (A-F1/F2), but outside a school’s community school zone.

    Regional: Priority is given to students applying to a school that is identified as a regional magnet school for their home address.

    District: Priority is given to Saint Paul residents applying to a school that is identified as a district magnet.

    Out of District: Students living outside the city of Saint Paul are admitted to district schools if space allows.

    Specific Employee Consideration: Priority is given to children of identified Saint Paul Public Schools bargaining units. Families applying to Capitol Hill and Pre-K programs do not qualify for this consideration.

    Siblings: An application is required for all students who are new to Saint Paul Public Schools. Siblings of students who currently attend the requested school receive priority within each of the priority categories, unless otherwise noted. To qualify for sibling priority, you must have had a child enrolled in the requested school during the 2020-21 school year who will continue at that school in 2021-22.

    Please note:

    • Sibling priority does not guarantee acceptance into a school.
    • Siblings are defined as children who have the same parent or guardian and are living together at the same address.
    • Enrollment priorities and school capacity are taken into consideration before sibling priority.

Waiting Lists

  • Waiting lists are created for schools and programs that receive more applications than they have room available. Students will only be added to a waiting list for their first-choice school. If room becomes available, students will be admitted to their first-choice school. Waiting lists expire two weeks after the start of the school year for most schools and programs (does not include Pre-K programs, language immersion programs or Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented).

    Please note: Students identified as gifted and talented are not guaranteed enrollment at Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented.

2021-22 School Application

Enrollment Workshops

  • Choosing a school is a big decision, and the enrollment process can be overwhelming. The Student Placement Center will be hosting five virtual enrollment workshops in multiple languages to help walk you through the process. 

    6:30 p.m., Thursday, January 14

    10 a.m., Thursday, January 28

    6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 11

    10 a.m., Saturday, February 20

    6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 25

    If you miss the workshops, call or email the Placement Center with your questions at 651-632-3760 or spc@spps.org.

Contact Information

  • Student Placement Center

    • Main: 651-632-3700
    • Enrollment Services: 651-632-3760
    • Español: 651-632-3751
    • Hmoob: 651-632-3706
    • Karen: 651-632-3716
    • Soomaali: 651-632-3709