Magnet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Read through the FAQs for more details about our magnet programs. If you have a question that is not answered below, submit your own question via the Magnet Question Form.

General

What is the difference between a magnet program and the Gifted Program?

Gifted services are available at ALL Garland ISD schools for qualified Gifted students.  Magnet programs are available at select schools and have district defined criteria for enrollment.  Each magnet may have specialized curriculum and programs for students who meet qualifications.

Who needs to complete a Choice of School Form?

Students who do not wish to continue in a magnet program for the next school year, students who would like to attend a different non magnet school for the next school year, students who are new to Garland ISD.

What if there are more qualified applicants than there are spaces available in the selected magnet program?
  • All qualified applicants are placed in a lottery. All students will then be offered spaces in the order they are chosen in the lottery. Magnet placement and waitlist information will be made available to parents in Skyward (see timeline).
  • Academy for Excellence magnet applications will be ranked according to combined scores and offered seats in rank order. Students are also placed on the waitlist in rank order.
What if I have a question that is not answered here?

You may submit your question in writing on the Magnet Question Form.  

Applying and reapplying

Can I apply to more than one magnet?

Students may apply for two Magnet programs. If the applicant is selected to their first choice, choice two is not considered. If the applicant is selected into any program of their choice, the student will not be placed on any waiting list.

If my child is currently in a magnet program, do I need to reapply every year?

Magnet students will not need to complete a new magnet application or a choice of school form if they wish to remain in the same magnet program for the next school year.

If I qualified for a magnet last year but was on the waitlist, do I need to apply again this year?

Yes, the waitlist does not carry over from one application year to the next.  Students on the waitlist will not be called after the second week of school.  

Can I apply for a magnet program for next year if my student does not currently attend GISD schools?

Yes, you must pre-enroll your student in Skyward or in person at the Manuel and Maria Valle Center at 720 Stadium Drive, Garland, TX, 75040, in order to have access to the magnet application form in Skyward. 

If my child lives in Garland ISD but does not attend a GISD school, can I apply as a new resident?

No. A student who lived in Garland ISD prior to the regular or second chance application deadline, whether or not the student attended a GISD public school, is not eligible to apply as a new resident.  Any student who lived in GISD prior to the regular or second chance application deadline was eligible to apply during the regular or second chance application cycle.

Should I select more than one magnet program on the application?

You should only select program(s) that you are interested in your child attending. If you are only interested in one program, then you should only select that one program. If you are interested in more than one program, then you can select up to two in order of preference. Please do not list schools that you do not want your child to attend. There is no guarantee that they will be accepted to their 1st choice. 

If my child is accepted to their 2nd choice, can they remain on the waitlist for their 1st choice?

No. If you are accepted to any magnet, it eliminates your spot on the waitlist of any other program to which you applied. You are not guaranteed acceptance to your 1st choice so please do not select a program that you are not interested in your child attending.

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

Late applications are not accepted. There will be a second chance application in May/June for any student who missed the application window.  Empty seats will be filled with qualified applicants from the second chance application.

How do I know my application was submitted?

In Skyward family access, click on Portfolio and select “Magnet Application Report”.  Skyward will generate a report that lists your magnet choices. 

How am I notified about my child’s acceptance into a magnet school?

Parents will be notified via Skyward (see timeline).

How do I know where my student is on the waitlist?

Skyward notification of magnet placement will indicate place on the waitlist.

What happens if I miss my testing appointment?

You may reschedule for another testing appointment if available or you can reapply during the second chance application window.

What are my child’s chances of getting into a program from the waitlist?

Parents often contact our office and ask the likelihood of their child's specific number being reached on the wait list. We are not able to guarantee acceptance of any wait list number, whether it is #1 or #20. Calls from the wait list are solely based on space becoming available in that particular program and grade level. 

Transferring

After I accept a seat at a magnet, can I still transfer my student to the home/neighborhood school?

No. After the accept deadline, your magnet seat is final for the next school year.

Board Policy EHBB Local

Is it possible for my child to transfer from one magnet program to another?

No.  Students may not transfer from one magnet program to another.  Students wishing to change magnet programs must apply, qualify, and be offered placement for the program during the regular application cycle.  

Appeals

Can I appeal my child’s test score?

A parent may appeal a test score based on the following criteria:

  • Test results indicate a testing irregularity (significant drop in score in subject area compared to prior year results).
  • Student experienced a medical event on or near date of testing (illness, diagnosis, change in medication).
  • Student experienced a death in the family within 10 days of testing.
How can I appeal my child’s ability score?
  • Parent submits a written request to GISDMagnetPrograms@garlandisd.net for reconsideration of ability test scores along with supporting documentation before the end of the magnet application window for the level to which you are applying.
  • If a retest is granted, parents will be notified for scheduling.