- Magnet programs focus on specific subjects (such as science, technology, engineering, and math) or provide a specialized learning environment (such as a traditional school). Students who are accepted into a magnet program become a full-time student of the school that offers it and attend the school for all classes. Some magnet programs accept applications from students throughout the district. Others accept applications from only specific areas. JCPS provides transportation for most students who are accepted into a magnet program.
- Magnet schools offer unique, schoolwide curricula. Many magnet schools accept applications from students throughout the district, and JCPS provides transportation for most students who are accepted.
- Optional programs are small, specialized programs within a school. Students who live outside the school’s attendance area may apply, but JCPS does not provide transportation for these students. (Most optional programs are offered at middle schools, but Hawthorne Elementary has one too.)
You may register and apply to schools and programs here, but please note that the application period for the 2019-20 school year has closed. Late applications will be reviewed based on building capacity and admission criteria (if required). The application period for the 2020-21 school year begins on October 28, 2019, and ends on December 18, 2019.
The JCPS Office of Optional and Magnet Programs provides information on specialized schools and programs at all grade levels. Staff members answer questions about the programs and about application procedures and individual school guidelines. The office also:
- Hosts information sessions for schools, students, and families.
- Organizes the annual Showcase of Schools, where families can gather information and meet school representatives.
- Hosts professional-development (PD) sessions to inform school employees about procedures and policy issues so the staff members can help parents.
- Develops and distributes the district guide to schools, Choices. Check out the district's elementary, middle, and high school Choices brochures.
The Magnet Schools of America organization has reviewed 59 JCPS magnet schools and programs. Read the report.