Information for Applying to Elementary/Middle School Options

  • What is unique about magnet/choice schools?
    At the elementary and middle school levels, each of the magnet/choice programs emphasizes a specialized theme or adheres to a special philosophy of teaching and learning. As for the curriculum, all Guilford County schools, including magnet/choice schools, follow a curriculum prescribed by the State. Magnet/Choice schools, however, provide unique opportunities for in-depth study and enrichment experiences in specific areas of interest such as math, science, the arts, foreign language and communications. Also, subjects in the core curriculum are taught with a focus on the school's theme. These experiences greatly expand a student's exposure to particular areas of interest beyond those available in other schools.

    The schools with special philosophies, such as the Montessori schools at Triangle Lake, Washington, and Erwin; International Baccalaureate schools like Falkener, Northwood, Ferndale and Hairston; and Murphey Traditional Academy use unique teaching and learning strategies delivered by teachers who have been specially trained in these methods.

    How do you choose the right magnet/choice program?
    Choosing the right magnet program is important. Some parents select a program based on their child's special interests, talents and abilities. Others base their choices on the recommendations and experiences of friends with a child already in a program. It is very important for parents to visit the schools they are considering to see the programs first and before making a final decision. All magnet schools schedule open houses and tours during the application period and at other times also. To take advantage of these opportunities, call the school for dates and times.

    Do families pay tuition to attend magnet/choice schools?
    No. There is no tuition for students whose parents live in Guilford County. Occasional costs that may occur during the year would be similar to those in any other school. The state-of-the-art technology, equipment and/or the unique instructional strategies not available in other schools are funded by the school system and a special magnet/choice school grant.

    Applications from students whose domicile is outside Guilford County will not be considered.

    Are there exceptions to the application process?
    Spanish Immersion:  Students who live in the Jones or Kirkman Park district and want to be a part of the Spanish Immersion program must complete and submit a magnet/choice application during the application period.

    Brown Summit Center for Advanced Academics:  There is a separate criteria-based application required for Brown Summit Center for Advanced Academics.  The application is also completed online. Submission of the Brown Summit application does not prevent you from also submitting an application for up to three other middle school magnet/choice programs.  If the student is selected for both Brown Summit and another middle magnet/choice school, the parent must decide which program they are accepting by the deadline communicated.

    Click here to visit the Brown Summit Center for Advanced Academics website.

    Who is eligible to apply?
    The elementary and middle magnet/choice application process is open to all students who wish to apply. The Spanish Immersion Programs only accept students for kindergarten or first grade and the Montessori programs only accept PreK through second grade students due to the uniqueness of these programs.

    How do you apply for enrollment?
    The elementary/middle school application will be available online January 13, 2023 - February 20,2023. Click here to access the online magnet/choice application Applications received after the deadline may be considered on a space available basis. Applications entered after 5 pm on February 20, 2023 will be considered in the second round selection process, if space is available.

    In cases where there are duplicate programs, the residence of the parents/guardians will determine the school to which the student is eligible to apply. The duplicate programs are listed below:          


    Expressive Arts – Morehead or Parkview
    Global Studies – Brooks or Johnson Street
    Montessori – Erwin, Washington or Triangle Lake
    Spanish Immersion – Jones or Kirkman Park
    International Baccalaureate – Falkener or Northwood


    Middle School for the Arts – Lincoln or Penn-Griffin
    Middle School Global Studies – Lincoln or Johnson Street
    Middle School Science and Technology – Swann or Welborn
    Middle School International Baccalaureate – Hairston or Ferndale

    To verify the school to which your child should apply, call the Student Assignment Office at (336) 370-8303


    Click here to view the elementary school magnet/choice feeder patterns.

    Click here to view the middle school magnet/choice feeder patterns.

    No advantage is given to applications based on when they are received within the official application period. Applications received after the deadline may be considered on a space available basis.

    When is the application period?
    The application period for elementary and middle schools for the 2022-2023 school year is January 13, 2023 - February 20, 2023.

    Applications received after 5 pm on February 20, 2023 will be considered in the second selection round, if space is available.

    How are students selected for admission?
    Acceptance into magnet/choice programs is based on a random selection process. Every effort will be made to provide parents notification of their child's enrollment status by March 11, 2022. Applicants who are not selected in the initial process due to lack of space will placed in a waiting pool and maybe offered the opportunity to enroll later in the year, if space becomes available. If no space becomes available during the year, those in the waiting pool must reapply the following year if they still wish to attend the magnet/choice school.

    Is transportation provided for magnet/choice students?
    GCS will make a reasonable effort to provide transportation for magnet/choice students who are county residents.

    Are siblings guaranteed acceptance?
    Applicants to an elementary/middle school magnet/choice program who have a sibling already enrolled who will continue in that program next year, will be provided a preference and will be made an offer, if space is available. However, siblings must submit an application during the official application period in order to be considered.  A sibling preference is not applied at Brown Summit Center for Advanced Academics.  All students must individually meet the entrance criteria. 

    For siblings who are applying and do not have another sibling already in the program of choice, applications will be considered individually. Multiple birth siblings (i.e. twins, triplets, etc.), however, will be considered as one application. For example, if one twin is accepted, both will be accepted.

    Do magnet/choice parents have special obligations?
    If a child is accepted into a magnet/choice program, and the student is registered at the magnet/choice school, the parent is making a commitment to keep their child in that program for one full school year. Also, magnet/choice parents and guardians are expected to play an active role in their child's education.  Magnet/choice students are expected to have good attendance and to arrive at school on time.  Excessive unexcused tardies and/or absences could cause the student's magnet/choice placement to be rescinded.

    My child will not be five years old by the deadline for entering Kindergarten but I would still like to apply for Kindergarten.  What criteria must my child meet?
    Without meeting the early admission kindergarten requirements, a student must be five years old on or before August 31 to be eligible for kindergarten. For kindergarten early admission where the child will be four years old on or before April 16 the child must meet specific qualification requirements (see Early Admission to Kindergarten criteria).

    For more information about magnet/choice schools
    Call the schools you are interested in exploring and ask to speak with the principals, magnet/choice coordinators, and/or other parents who already have children in the school.                          

    Invite a magnet/choice principal or school system administrator to talk to your civic club, church group or neighborhood gathering.

    Tune to Channel 2, Guilford County Schools' cable TV station, for special programming on magnet/choice schools during the months of January and February.

    For general information about magnet/choice programs or the magnet/choice application process, call the Magnet/Choice Office at (336-370-3293).