Dear Future Freshmen

It’s that special time of the year where eighth graders across Clark County wait anxiously for their high school acceptance letters, so here’s to all those future freshmen.

On January 8th of every school year, students wanting to attend Magnet or CTA schools are expected to turn in their online applications. Many students don’t understand exactly what the application processes is and how it works, so here’s everything you need to know about applying and getting into a Magnet High School.

Most students in Clark County are made aware of magnet schools and their benefits since 5th grade when magnet middle schools were encouraged for everyone. Teachers and faculty alike have told their students to attend open houses and research possible future schools and programs to learn of the many benefits that they offered.

“I choose my program and high school based on my interests and the job opportunities I could get in the future. I was nervous waiting to see if I was accepted because high school is so crucial, the high school I attend will affect my future,” freshmen Michelle Cortes said.

Many freshmen choose schools and programs in the exact same way that Michelle Cortes did, except also taking into consideration things like classes they’ve taken in the past, a school’s reputation, and how the future is adapting to new ideals and changes.

Once applications are submitted and the deadline has passed, all applications are put into a lottery. If you know anything about applications it’s that to qualify for these goods schools you should preferably have good grades, good citizenship, and good attendance. However, what many people don’t hear about is the preferences. When a student applies to a high school, there are certain details that increase chances of getting in, as explained by Magnet Coordinator and Recruiter Gina Vallari.

“Student with siblings who attend the magnet school applied to get higher chances of getting accepted because we prefer for siblings to be kept together as much as possible. The next one is a feeder preference also known attend previous magnet school and the last one is a geographical preference so we tend to chose kids living closer to the school.”

All students chosen are picked by a program that runs all of the above factors and gives available spots to as many qualified students as they possibly can.

Once the lottery is over, the results are sent to all 8th graders on February 20th, giving them one of three possible situations for each high school they applied to; being accepted, being put it the alternate pool, or not being qualified.

If students are not accepted into a magnet school, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative, it just means that the school just wasn’t a fit for them, no harm in that. When placed in an alternate pool, it means that they were chosen by the lottery, however, they were not among the first couple, but if anyone was to reject their seat, there is a chance that they could fill it. If they get accepted, they must accept their seat or reject it, which can be emailed or mailed back to the school.

Soon after, things start to get hectic with incoming freshmen being invited to orientation and scheduling night, two highly recommended events for all new students.

Scheduling night is when all freshmen students go to their future high school and fill out forms and sign ups for the classes they’ll be taking next school year. This includes talking about clubs, classes and programs, and what being in a magnet high school means.

Freshmen Orientation happens later on where all freshmen get a tour around the school with their parents and learn and ask questions about anything and everything pertaining to the school. It’s a great way to meet your peers and make friends and learn more about your school in the process.

After that, it’s just an anxious waiting game for the first day of high school to approach.

“I think our students here at A-TECH get really good college preparatory benefits and they’re going to be well prepared for what comes next,” Vallari said.  “The students that apply for magnet schools are typically the ones that are a little bit more serious about school. They’re usually the kids who like school, who have school as the center of their thoughts and their focus and it’s just an important part of their life.”

(For any additional information please visit atech.org, click on “Prospective Students” and click on “CCSD Magnet Programs”)