• About Magnet Programs

    What are magnet programs?
    Magnet programs offer a theme or focus that is designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill. A magnet school may feature one or more magnet programs.

    Do I have to apply for a magnet program?
    No. It’s up to each family to decide whether to go to their neighborhood school, apply for one of the District’s many magnet program offerings or opt for another of Duval County’s Choice programs.

    Why do we have magnet programs?
    Magnet programs were started during the 1991–1992 school year as a voluntary desegregation plan. Today, Duval County’s magnet programs are the centerpiece of the District’s School Choice Program and promote diversity in our schools.

    What is a dedicated magnet school?
    A dedicated magnet school does not have a set boundary. All students who attend the school apply for acceptance through the magnet lottery. Students who live in the former attendance area of a dedicated magnet school receive first preference for admission.

    When do I have to decide?
    The application season is January and February, with applications submitted online by February 28 for the 2019-2020 school year. Applications received by the deadline are processed in the magnet lottery. Applications will not be available after the deadline. 

    How do I apply?
    You may submit an electronic application to the Magnet Programs office through a parent Focus account between January 1- February 28, 2019 for the 2019-2020 school year.

    How do I get an application?
    Each student currently enrolled in a Duval County Public School in Grades Pre-K–11 will be able to access the magnet application for 2019-2020 by logging into the FOCUS Parent Portal beginning January 1, 2019.  

    Does a magnet student give up the chance to get a traditional education?

    No. Every student receives instruction in all subject areas that are required for promotion and/or graduation. In fact, in many cases, the magnet theme is integrated into the core curriculum.

    Is a magnet school better than the non-magnet school that is close to my home?
    No. Magnet Programs offer something different, but they are not designed to be better than any other school in the District.

    Am I guaranteed to get in if I apply?
    Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Admission is determined by a lottery that is based on the number of openings and the number of applications received for a school or program.

    What is the advantage of attending a magnet school?
    Students are able to participate in the program theme and meet other students from different areas of the city.

    Can anyone apply to a magnet school?

    Yes! With very few exceptions, all of Duval County’s magnet programs are “open admissions.” This means that all students may apply and have a chance to be selected through the magnet lottery.  Applicants from out of county are not processed through the lottery but may be placed after the lottery runs if seats are still available.

    About Special Transfer Options

    What is a Special Transfer Option School?

    DCPS is beginning a new initiative known as Reinventing School Choice. This means that all schools will offer one or more “special programs” designed to attract students to the school.

    Are there any exceptions?
    Yes. Dedicated magnet schools are still known as magnet schools.

    What about the elementary magnet schools and programs?

    There is no change for the elementary magnet schools and programs.

    Do the Special Transfer Option Schools offer a special program or theme?

    Yes. Each Special Transfer School will offer something special. There are Special Transfer Option Schools with a Career Academy; Special Transfer Option Schools with an Acceleration Program; Special Transfer Option Schools with a Special Program; and there are Special Transfer Option Schools with a Magnet Program.

    How do I apply for a Special Transfer Option School?

    A Special Transfer Option application is used for most non-magnet “Programs.” The exceptions include charter schools and the High School Acceleration Programs. You may submit a Special Transfer Option application for the 2019-2020 school year online January 1, 2019 - February 28, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST.
    Am I guaranteed to get in if I apply?

    No. Just like the magnet programs, there is a lottery that is based on the number of openings versus the number of applicants for each grade level. Schools that are over utilized cannot open seats for applicants from outside the school’s attendance area.

    Is there transportation to a Special Transfer Option School?

    No. Parents are responsible for transportation to and from a Special Transfer Option School for a student who does not live within the attendance boundary of the Choice School.

How do I apply for a High School Acceleration Program?
    High School Acceleration Programs are designed to serve their own neighborhood students first. Schools that have space after serving the neighborhood population may open seats for students from outside the attendance area. High School Acceleration Programs have admissions criteria, and applications are submitted to the Office of School Choice. Applications are rank ordered, and placement is offered to the most highly qualified students. Students accepted into a High School Acceleration Program from outside the attendance area must also submit a Special Transfer Option application.  

    What is a Charter School?
    Charter Schools are public schools that operate on a performance contract or "Charter" with the Duval County School Board and are intended to expand school choice options for students. Charter Schools are freed from many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools, but they are held accountable for academic results and financial solvency.

    How do I apply for a Charter School?

    Each Charter School manages its own application process at the school. If a Charter School receives more applications than can be accommodated, a lottery is conducted at the school to determine which students may attend. Click on the charter school link to the left for a complete listing of Charter Schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

    What is a Career Academy?
    A Career Academy is a “school within a school” program that features a family-like atmosphere, integration of academic and career-related curricula, and the involvement of employers in a variety of roles. The academic course work is coordinated with a career focus, and normally there is a small group of teachers who work as a team to plan and manage the program.

    What is a Middle School Acceleration Program?
    A Middle School Acceleration Program is a middle school version of the High School Acceleration Programs—such as International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP),Cambridge Secondary 1 or Early High School.

    What is a Special Transfer Option School with a Magnet Theme?
    A Special Transfer Option School with magnet theme is the new way of referring to a non-dedicated magnet middle or high school. The magnet theme is still in place at these schools.