Check Points for the Magnet Application Period

Review the timeline below. The timeline is divided into two periods: the pre-random selection period, and the notification period. Please note the items listed for completion by each date listed on the timeline.

Pre-Random Selection Key Dates

Sep 20

Magnet Training

  • A one-hour Introduction Zoom Meeting at 10:00 am, on September 20
  • All Magnet School staff should have participated in the Online Magnet Training (Sept. 20-27)
  • Live Zoom Sessions 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 through Friday, September 24, 2021, and Monday, September 27, 2021 (participants may enter the Zoom meeting at any time within the hour)
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Sep 22

School Tours and Event Schedule

  • The School Choice & Parental Options website will be promoting Magnet Schools’ Open House and School Tours. To ensure your school is included, please provide your schedule by Wednesday, September 22nd and/or as they become available.
  • Submit at 
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Sep 22

VPA Auditions & Testing Schedule

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Oct 01

Regular Magnet Application Period

  • Between October 1 – January 15, parents apply online, School Choice & Parental Options (SCPO) will enter paper applications
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Oct 15

Student Coding & Schedules

  • By this point, all students need to have been Magnet Coded; continue coding if you have not finished.
  • All schools should have submitted their Language Proficiency Testing, VPA Audition Schedules (if applicable)
  • All schools should have submitted their School Tours and Event Schedules
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Feb 11

Available Magnet Seats

  • All schools must have entered their number of available seats by grade and by strand for the upcoming school year.
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Feb 18

Application Eligibility

  • Schools must verify military and siblings status, and complete all eligibility including for non M-DCPS students.
    ( No student should be pending after February 12 )
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Mar 01

VPA & Testing Deadline

  •  No more Visual Performing Arts (VPA) auditions and/or the Language Proficiency tests may occur after this point.
  • This is the deadline for all schools to enter the student results for Visual Performing Arts auditions and/or the Language Proficiency tests.
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Notification Period Key Dates

Mar 07

Random Selection Week

  • Magnet random selection begins March 7th and the process takes approximately one week. Once it is run, parent notifications are prepared thereafter. No action required from Magnet Schools.
  • Access to the Magnet application system will be temporarily closed to all schools for the week of random selection.
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Mar 15

Opening of Notification Period

  • All schools will resume access to the Magnet application system.
  • School Choice & Parental Options sends out initial notification emails to parents. Only non-verified emails will receive a hard copy letter in the mail with results. All schools will be able to view placement lists for their programs within the Magnet application system..
  • During this initial 2 week period, parents respond to invitations through the online system or by directly contacting the school. During this period schools are responsible to enter the student acceptance through the online system if the parent or the legal guardian chose to accept by directly contacting the school.
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Apr 05

First Deadline to Respond

  • Parents who received the FIRST wave of Magnet notification emails or letters MUST respond by this date in order to prevent their seat from being offered to the next person on the wait-list (if any).
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Apr 06

Parent Notification Recurring

  • The system will send out recurring notifications via e-mail as waiting lists move. Parents will be given one week (5 business days) to respond. All schools should be reviewing their student lists for eligibility and verifying sibling, military, residency (if applicable) status.
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Apr 06

Wait-List Begins Moving

  • Following the first wave of acceptance deadline, the wait-list becomes active and students on that list begin getting notified and invited to accept.
  • This cycle will continue until the wait-lists are exhausted or December 31st (whichever comes first)
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Apr 08

Available Remaining Seats

  • All schools need to submit their list(s) of Magnet seat availability by program/grade for inclusion to the Off-Cycle website. This applies only to schools that have exhausted their wait-lists and continue to have available seats for the upcoming school year.
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Apr 13

Magnet Off-Cycle Application Launch

  • The official launch of the Magnet Off-Cycle application period. Parent/students are encouraged to visit the Off-Cycle website and apply directly to the schools of their choice. The Off-Cycle application period runs on a first-come, first-serve basis. All participating schools will be able to review their applicant pool. Schools without waiting lists will be able to offer available seats to eligible students at this time.
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Magnet Training

The Magnet training is available year-long for your reference. Please select the link below if you’d like to review the Magnet application process.

Helpful Tips!

Magnet Acceptances During COVID

Most students declare (accept) their Magnet seat through the online system, however, some are not able to. In light of limited parent access to in-person visits at schools, consider some of these ideas to receive student acceptance letters:

  • Offer parents the option to email a signed declaration of acceptance letter to the school
  • Offer a ‘drive-thru’ type of option through your student dropoff area or similar
  • Avoid undocumented forms of acceptance such as verbal phone calls or text messages to personal mobile phones

Student Registration Durning COVID

M-DCPS has a student registration packet available online. Below are some ideas of how you can facilitate the process for your interested students:

  • Pre-printed registration packets for parents to pick up at the school site
  • Facilitated a drive-thru system for parents to register while staying in their vehicle
  • Downloadable school registration packet available through an email link
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