Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are "Magnet" schools? 
A: Magnet Schools are special programs that offer theme-based curriculum to attract students with special interests. Magnet elementary, middle, and high schools exist in many districts throughout the United States.

Q: What is the Magnet Schools Assistance Program? 
A: The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) is a competitive Federal Department of Education grant for which districts can apply. The MSAP programs is a three-year grant that enables schools in a district to start new Magnet schools with targeted curriculum and Magnet themes. There are currently 41 districts funded through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant, of which ABC USD is one.

Q: What has the MSAP program done for the 16 Magnet Schools in ABC Unified School District? 
A: The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grants awarded to ABC USD in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2011 provided over 30 million dollars for our 16 Magnet schools. The grants provided the following:

  • Full-time grant coordinators and curriculum specialists, as well as teacher specialist and instructors;
  • State-of-the-art labs devoted to the Magnet theme; 
  • New equipment in all classrooms and labs; 
  • Guided curriculum that enriches the student's educational experience.
Q: How do I choose the Magnet Program that's right for my child? 
A: Deciding on a school for your child is a very important and personal decision. The best way to begin is to learn more about our magnet programs, attend one or more of our informational events, and call the school or schools in which you are interested. Each school has a Magnet Site Coordinator who can answer your questions and provide you with more information. Finally, this website provides you with a wealth of information about our ten programs.
Q: Who can apply for our Magnet Schools? 
A: All students who will be entering Kindergarten through 12th grade in the next school year can apply to Aloha, Artesia HS, Burbank, Carver, Elliott, Fedde, Furgeson, Gahr HS, Haskell, Leal, Niemes, Nixon, Palms, Ross, Tetzlaff or Stowers.

Q: Will my child need to take an admissions test? 
A: No special testing or audition is required for admission to any ABC Magnet School. Admission is by application and lottery (when necessary). Magnet Schools are open to all families residing in and outside the district.

Q: Do I have to pay tuition at a Magnet School?
A: There is no cost to attend ABC Magnet Schools. They are educational options in the ABC Unified School District.

Q: How will I know if my child(ren) is/are accepted? 
A: The priority deadline to apply to our magnet schools is the close of business the last business day in March. Within a few weeks of the application deadline, you will be informed as to whether your child has been 1) automatically accepted or 2) entered into a lottery.

Q: What is the lottery for and how is it conducted? 
A: This is a Federal requirement for funded Magnet schools. In the event that we cannot accommodate all of the applicants to a given school, we will conduct a lottery to determine who can be accepted. The lottery will be conducted in April, and you will be notified of the results on or before May 1.

Q: If my child is accepted to a Magnet School, does she/he have to re-apply every year? 
A: No. As long as your child makes satisfactory progress and meets all of the permit requirements for attendance and behavior, she/he can continue on in that school until she/he graduates.

Q: Do siblings have preferential treatment? 
A: Yes. If your child has a sibling already attending the school she/he will have some preference in the lottery. Additionally, siblings applying to the same school will also have some preference when one is selected in the lottery.

Q: How do I get more information? 
A: Call our Magnet Office at (562) 926-5566 ext. 21075, and we will be happy to help you! You may also contact any of the magnet schools directly. (See Contact Us page.)