It's time to apply for magnet schools. Wake County Public School System's online magnet school application period begins Thursday and runs through Jan. 22.
During this time, families with children who want to attend a Wake County magnet school can fill out the online application, ranking their top choices. (My family will be right there with you! We're considering magnet middle schools for next fall!).
Big note: If you have a rising kindergartner and would like to apply for a magnet elementary school, you will need to register your child at her base school first to get the ID number that's required for the magnet school application. Kindergarten registration in Wake County also begins Thursday. Wake schools' website has more information about that.
We focused on the magnet application process last fall in our Stepping Up series and live web chat. I checked back in with Tamani Anderson Powell, director of marketing and communications for Wake's office of magnet and curriculum enhancement programs, to get some answers to some frequently asked questions.
Here's our email chat:
Go Ask Mom: Does it matter when I put my application in? Is it first come, first served?
Tamani Anderson Powell: You may submit your application (and make changes to it) anytime from Jan. 7 until it closes on Jan. 22.
GAM: How should I rank my selections?
TAP: You may rank between 1-5 schools listing them first, second, third ... choices. Rank them in the order that you really want to be considered for them. ANYTIME you are not selected for your first choice, even if you are selected for a second or third choice, you are assigned to the wait list for your first choice school.
GAM: When and how will I find out if my child has a seat?
TAP: Notifications will be made in the parent account that you create. You will receive an email about when to check for notification on Feb 5.
GAM: How does the wait list process work? Can my child get placed in her second or third pick, but still have the opportunity to be on the wait list? If we are on a wait list, when will we find out if we have a spot?
TAP: ANYTIME you are not selected for your first choice, even if you are selected for a second or third choice, you are assigned to the wait list for your first choice school. Wait list processing will be sometime in April - no confirmed date has been set. You will receive an email prior to the wait list processing. If you no longer want to be considered for that school, you will be able to remove yourself from the wait list.
GAM: If I get accepted to a magnet school, does that mean I lose a seat at my base school if we change our mind?
TAP: If you are selected for a magnet school, you will automatically be assigned to that school and you will no longer be assigned to your base school. You may request your base school from Feb 8 to Feb. 12 during "base declaration" period.
GAM: Is there an appeals process?
TAP: While there is not an appeal process with the magnet application, a family who is not selected may submit a hardship transfer request May 2-16. If denied, there is an appeal process.
GAM: What do I do if I do get into my first choice (other than celebrate!)?
TAP: LOL ... nothing!! Your magnet school will host a "welcome event" that you can attend and learn even more about the school.
Wake schools' magnet school application page has more information. Good luck!