Wake Ed

Tips for navigating Wake County’s magnet school application process

Updated to include direct link for online application.

The time has finally come for Wake County parents to apply to the district’s 40 magnet schools and Partnership Elementary School.

The online application period runs from Jan. 26 through Feb. 5. The link for the application ( bit.ly/1tgovKX) is now live on the district’s website, www.wcpss.net.

Here a few things you should know about the magnet application process.

• This is not a case of the early bird getting the worm. It doesn’t matter when an application is submitted over the next two weeks as long as it comes in before the application period ends.

• As this handout of last year’s application results shows (


), your best chances of getting in a magnet school are for kindergarten, sixth-grade and ninth-grade. But if you’re not a current Wake student, you need to register first with the school system to get a student ID number to submit a magnet application.

• Depending on where you live, your magnet choices will offer different levels of transportation or no bus service at all. Some choices will have neighborhood bus service while others will have express busing, meaning you have to go to a central location such as a shopping center to get the bus. Plug in your address at the district’s base school locator,


, to find your options.

• You can make up to five choices. School officials say that the lower-ranked choices will not impact your chances of getting your first choice. If you don’t get your first choice, you’ll be put on a wait list to see if spots open up.

• Only apply for schools you are willing to attend. Once you’re selected, that automatically becomes your assigned school for the 2015-16 school year and you will lose your seat at your base school.

• Magnet seats are filled using a selection criteria that gives priorities to factors such as whether you have an older sibling already at the school, you’re from a high-performing area or you’d be leaving a base school that is overcrowded. Go to


to view the criteria.

• The big new thing this year are the five global studies/immersion magnet schools. Hodge Road, Jeffreys Grove and Stough elementary schools will only place rising kindergarten and first-grade applicants. Daniels Middle School will take rising sixth-graders and Broughton High School will take mostly rising ninth-graders.