Frequently Asked Magnet Questions

  • Q: Are magnet schools the same as charter schools? 

    A: No. Charter schools operate independently and outside county school districts. 


    Q: How can I attend a magnet school? 

    A: You may apply to magnet schools during the application period, 

    Oct. 14-Jan. 25 at 


    Q: What do I need to do if my child is selected for a magnet school or year-round school? 

    A: You don’t have to do anything else. Students who are selected are automatically assigned to that school. Students selected for a school other than their first choice are assigned to that school AND placed in an applicant pool (non-numeric waitlist) for their first choice. 


    Q: Is bus transportation available to magnet or year-round students? 

    A: Yes, in most cases, but the type of service may vary depending on your school choice and home address. To check transportation options, visit


    Q: If I get into a magnet elementary school, where will my child attend middle school? 

    A: Magnet elementary students have priority when applying to a magnet middle school. Magnet middle school students have priority when applying to a magnet high school. They have highest priority for the middle/high school in their program pathway but also have priority to any other magnet middle program. 


    Q: What is a pathway? 

    A: Pathways allow students to continue with their chosen magnet theme from kindergarten through senior year of high school, if they choose. Students get a high priority for placement when continuing to a magnet middle or magnet high school in their pathway. 

    The pathways are: • Leadership & Technology • Gifted & Talented • International Baccalaureate • Language Immersion/Global Studies. View the pathway chart at


    Q: How do I register my kindergartner in WCPSS?

    A: Rising kindergartners or students new to Wake County register at the base school – October 14, 2022 Begin at  Once you complete the enrollment process and get a student identification number, you may apply for a magnet, early college, or year-round


    Q: To how many magnet and year-round schools may I apply?

    A: You may apply to  1-5 magnet programs/schools and 1-2 year round schools ranking them first choice, second choice…Use to identify eligible magnet schools based on your address.


    Q: Is there a waitlist?

    A: Any student NOT selected for their first choice school is placed in an applicant pool (non-numeric waitlist) even if you are selected for another school to which you applied. An applicant could be in several applicant pools (early college, magnet/year-round). Selection to another school does NOT impact place in the applicant pool


    Q: Are siblings processed together?

    A: If all students in a residence (siblings) cannot be selected for the same grade level (e.g. elementary), then none are selected.


    Q: Can I decline my magnet or year-round acceptance?

    A: No, there is no decline option. To request a different school or the base school, you must submit a transfer request at Request for base is guaranteed if submitted during the initial transfer period in February/March. 


    Q: How can I return to base after applying to a magnet or year-round school?

    A: You may submit a request to attend a different school or return to base, during the transfer period (Feb 27 - Mar 10, 2023) at


    Q: Are there any entrance requirements for acceptance to a magnet school?

    A: There are no test or performance requirements to apply to a magnet program except for the AIG Basics program at the middle school level. Applicants to the AIG Basics program at the middle school level must have WCPSS AIG identification. 


    Q: Do I have to apply every year to keep my magnet seat?

    A:  No, applicants selected for a magnet school may remain assigned to that school until the final grade as long as they reside in Wake County. Magnet students MUST submit an application to continue in a magnet school at the next grade level and have high priority in selection to the program pathway school at the next level. 


    Q: From elementary to middle and from middle to high school, do magnet students get any priority in the selection process?

    A: Yes, magnet students have high priority in the selection process.