What to Know Before Applying to Magnet Programs and Charter Schools
Now that the school year is well underway, it is a great time for parents to evaluate their child’s current school and consider all of their options. Those options may include magnet programs and charter schools. These school options can be great opportunities for families not happy with their current schools, but they often require detailed applications with strict deadlines. The process of finding and applying to magnet or charter schools can be overwhelming. Getting an early start on next year’s school search and knowing what to look for throughout the process can help alleviate some application anxiety.
Know Your Options
Do you know what magnet or charter schools are available are in your area? Do you know which ones are high-performing or the best fit for your child? Knowing the options available to you and your child is the first step. Use our school search to look up your child’s current school and how it is performing. Talk to your child about their education and if their current school is supporting their learning. You can also use our school search by location to find high rated schools in your area. Texas School Guide has compiled information on all Texas schools, including magnet and charter schools, and ranks them based on a number of criteria, including STAAR test scores, graduation rates and how they perform compared to their peers with similar resources.
Know Your Child
When considering magnet and charter schools it is important to consider your child’s interests are and how they align with each school’s programs. Going through the process of selecting a school only to learn it doesn’t meet your child’s interests only wastes your own time and energy. When looking for programs and schools, get your child involved. It’s a great opportunity to help them take ownership of their own education while reflecting on their own interests and goal for the future.
Know Your Deadlines
Many schools and programs have strict application deadlines that can sneak up on parents. Most programs start accepting applications in November and stop in December or early winter for enrollment in the next school year. Visit your school district website to find out how to apply to district magnet programs and when applications are due. Visit charter network or individual school websites to find out their application requirements and deadlines. Often schools and programs have different deadlines so be sure to mark your calendar or set reminders.
For more application tips and resources, check our Understanding Schools Parent Action Guide here.