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FAQs about Magnet Schools

What is a magnet school? How do I determine if it's the best fit for my child? How do I enroll my child? Answers to common questions about magnet schools.

What are magnet schools? 
APS has two types of magnet schools:

  • Neighborhood Magnets: These schools serve students who live within their neighborhood attendance area as well as those who apply and are accepted through the district transfer system.
  • Pure Magnets: These schools do not have a neighborhood attendance area assigned to them. All students must submit an application and be accepted through the district transfer system.

What is the difference between a magnet school and a charter school?
Both magnet and charter schools have focused missions and open enrollment. However, magnet schools are a part of the public school district while charter schools operate independently.  

Are magnet schools free?
Yes, all magnet schools including those in APS are free public schools. At dual enrollment schools, college tuition and textbook fees also are free.

Are there special requirements to go to magnet schools?
Anyone can apply to attend an APS magnet school, However, it is important to remember that each of these schools has a specific mission. Parents and students should be aware of a school’s mission and expectations to ensure it’s the best possible educational fit for the student.

How do I determine the best school “fit” for my child?
Here are some things to think about when considering a magnet school for your child:

  • The type of program the family is looking for
  • The future plans, ambitions and talents of the student
  • A general school history: What has worked and what has not
  • Any learning or support needs for the student/ family
  • The student’s current age, grade, and approximate number of credits earned
  • Hobbies, interests, work, transportation, family responsibilities
  • Areas of strengths and interests
  • The student’s reason for looking at a School of Choice
  • What parents want for their children.

We encourage you gather information and shop around for the best academic and social fit for your child. You can do this by:

  • Speaking to your school counselor
  • Researching schools online. All APS schools have their own website. Go here for links to APS schools. 
  • Calling the schools and asking questions (contact information is available on the APS website)
  • Visiting the schools
  • Attending open houses
  • For more support and guidance, contact the APS Charter & Magnet Schools Department at 505-855-5268 or the APS Student Service Center at 505-855-9040.

Do magnet schools offer special education?
Yes. Because they are public schools, magnets must provide special education classes and services.

Where are the APS magnet schools located?
We have magnet schools located in all quadrants of the district.

Is transportation provided for students enrolled in magnet schools? 
For students whose home school is a neighborhood magnet, transportation will be provided. For all other students, including those who attend pure magnets, transportation is not provided at this time. Please note that Early College Academy and Career Enrichment Center have bus transportation to and from every APS comprehensive high school.

Do magnet schools offer extracurricular activities and athletics?
Most magnet schools are much smaller than traditional schools, so while many have school-based clubs like student government, they usually don’t offer sports or other large-group activities. However, students attending APS magnet schools can try out and participate in many of their “home” school sports and extracurricular activities.  

Do the magnet schools offer the same credits as more traditional schools?
Yes, and sometimes more.

Learn more about APS magnet schools


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