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Generally speaking, a magnet school refers to a public school that offers a special curriculum to students throughout the entire school district. Magnet school programs may offer a language immersion program for elementary or middle school students, where part of the day is spent exclusively being taught in a foreign language such as French or Japanese. Other magnet programs may specialize in engineering, culinary arts, visual and performing arts, or offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

  • Admission
    While magnet schools are free to attend, enrollment is restricted and based upon an application process. For many elementary magnet schools, enrollment is based upon an open lottery. For middle and high school programs, an application must be submitted. For some programs, students are required to take a test, participate in an interview, or submit a portfolio.
  • Creating Your Homeschool Transcript
    Middle and high school magnet school applications may require a transcript of elementary or middle school classes and grades, even from homeschoolers. This may feel like a daunting task, but begin by taking a look at the form that must be filled out. Oftentimes, it's a standard fill-in-the-blank form. Even if you've never given your child a grade, do your best to determine how well your child has mastered the material you've taught in the last year. If you honestly think your child earned straight A's, record that on the form. At the same time, don't be shy about putting down a B or even a C in certain subject, if that best captures your child's achievement. Remember, it's likely that your child will be taking some kind of test as part of the application process that will add support to the grades you report.
  • Deadlines

    • September and October: Attend an informational meeting sponsored by your school district's office on magnet school programs to get out details on the specific application process you must follow.
    • November and December: Application deadlines vary by school district, but they are generally due before December 1 of the year before you wish for your child to attend.
    • January and February: Auditions, interviews, and testing are scheduled.
    • April: Notice of acceptance to a magnet program are sent out.


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