Magnet school applications for 2017-18 are now available

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It’s time to apply to a magnet program for the 2017-18 school year. HISD has more than 119 magnet programs at 111 schools throughout the district in:

  • Fine Arts/Performing & Visual Arts
  • College & Career Readiness
  • International Baccalaureate
  • International Studies
  • Dual language
  • Literature
  • Montessori
  • STEM
  • Technology
  • Vanguard (Gifted and talented)

Ten new magnet programs have been added at Atherton ES, Crockett ES, Hartsfield ES, Kashmere Gardens ES, Stevens ES, Lawson MS, Key MS, Ortiz MS, The Rusk School, Kashmere HS and Westbury HS.

Dates to remember

Sept.17-Dec. 8, 2016: School choice fairs, school visits (details below)

Sept. 30, 2016: Applications now available at or in paper from your magnet program of choice, from the Office of School Choice, or to download at

Dec. 9, 2016:  Applications due for Phase I consideration (Qualified in-district applications will be entered into lotteries or be offered auditions.)

March 23, 2017: Notifications of application status sent via mail and online system.

April 6, 2017: Deadline to notify school whether you accept a seat.

May 31, 2017: Applications due for Phase II consideration (Qualified in-district applications will be considered on first-come, first-served basis, if space is available.)

Aug. 11, 2017: Applications due for Phase III consideration (Like Phase 2, but out- of-district applications will be considered).

How to apply to a magnet program

Step 1: Weigh your options

Attend a school choice fair to learn more about the programs available across the district:

  • Oct. 1: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Chavez High School, 8501 Howard, Houston, TX, 77017
  • Oct. 22: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Heights High School, 413 East 13th, Houston, TX 77008
  • Nov. 5: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Austin High School, 1700 Dumble, Houston, TX 77023
  • Dec. 3: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Sterling High School, 11625 Martindale, Houston, TX 77048

Tour any HISD school on the following School Choice Thursdays. Arrive at 9 a.m. for elementary and K-8 schools, and at 1 p.m. for secondary schools: Oct.: 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov.: 3, 10, 17; Dec.: 1, 8

Visit or call 713-556-6947. If you are interested in a Vanguard (Gifted & Talented) magnet program, visit or call Advanced Academics at 713-556-6954 to learn about testing qualifications/dates.

Step 2: Apply online or on paper

You will have a limit of 5 choices, and you must rank them 1-5, with your top choice being ranked 1.

Note: If you apply to 5 Vanguard programs, and your student is not ultimately identified as Gifted and Talented, your student will not be considered for any of the Vanguard programs chosen.

  • Apply online at (If you have used the system before, please use your previous account) or fill out a paper application (Pick up an application at the Magnet school of your choice, from the Office of School Choice, or download here.)
  • Be on the lookout for emails or phone calls related to your application. (Check your email’s spam folder and do not use a Hotmail account – the service often blocks emails from HISD)
  • Submit your application by Dec. 9 to be considered in the first phase

Step 3: Secure your seat

  • Notification of application status will be sent by 4 p.m. March 23, 2017, via mail and online system.
  • If your student has been offered a seat, you have until April 6 to accept the offer, provide proof of residence and sign an entrance agreement. This will not affect your position on any waiting lists at higher ranked schools.
  • If your student has been placed on a wait list, watch for changes in application status through spring and summer. You may be able to submit additional applications to programs with seats.