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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 entering Kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade need to complete a Choice of School form and a magnet application.

Students will need to complete a Choice of School Form if:

  • They do not wish to continue in a magnet program for the next school year
  • They would like to attend a different non-magnet school for the next school year
  • They 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 offers and waitlist information will be sent by email to the email address entered in the magnet application (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.
  • All Early College and P-TECH applicants will be placed in a weighted lottery that prioritizes at-risk students and economically disadvantaged students in alignment with the TEA Blueprint for Early College and P-TECH.
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 three Magnet programs. If the applicant is selected to their first choice, choice two and three are not considered. If the applicant is selected into any program of their choice, the student will not be placed on any waitlist.

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

Students entering Kindergarten, 6th or 9th grade will need to complete the magnet application. This will indicate if they are choosing to continue in the current magnet program at the next school level, or if they are choosing from the other application options.

Magnet students in other grade levels will not need to complete a new magnet application or a choice of school form if they wish to continue 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 in order to have access to the magnet application form. 

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 three 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 or 3rd choice, can they remain on the waitlist for their 1st choice?

No. If you accept a seat 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?

You will receive an email to the email address entered on the magnet application.

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

You will receive an email to the email address entered on the magnet application.

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

You will receive an email to the email address entered on the magnet application. This email will include a status link with updated waitlist numbers until the end of the accept/reject window. After that time, you can email the Magnet Office for an updated waitlist number. Please include your child's name, ID number, grade and program you are inquiring about.

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. 

What if I change my mind after I submit a magnet application?

You can submit a new magnet application if you change your mind. Our offices use the most recent magnet application submitted.

Transferring

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

Board policy states magnet seats are binding for a full school year. If you would like to request a withdrawal exception, please email the Magnet Office for more information.

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.