ASK DPS: Are magnet applications still open

Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

What are your questions about Durham Public Schools? Email them to and the Office of Public Information and Community Engagement will connect you to the experts.

Q: Can I still apply for a magnet school seat for my child? When will I find out if he or she was accepted?
You can, but time is running out! We are accepting applications to our magnet schools and high school career pathway programs through Friday at 11:59 p.m. You must apply using our online portal at Once you’re there, you may review the entrance requirements, learn more about the schools and make your requests.
You may apply for up to three choices including calendar magnets, program magnets and career pathways. Please rank your first, second and third choices, and be sure that you are only applying to those programs you are truly interested in your child attending.
At the end of February, we will conduct a lottery for the magnet seats. We will exhaust all first-choice selections before moving on to second and third choices, but please keep in mind that in most cases we will have more first-choice applications than available seats. You should receive a letter during the first week of March notifying you of whether your child was admitted.
Q: Why does Durham Public Schools offer a magnet program?
When the DPS Board of Education adopted its guiding principles for our magnet program, they articulated three specific purposes:
• to use our school facilities effectively,
• to promote school diversity and
• to provide diverse, relevant program offerings throughout our district that meet student interest and provide expanded learning opportunities.
We apply for federal grants to help launch our magnet programs in schools where they would help us draw students to under-used facilities and reduce minority student isolation. It is a program that provides choice within Durham Public Schools for the benefit of the entire district, as the unique academic offerings at our magnet schools attract students with specialized interests.
You can find academic innovation across our district, not only in our magnet schools. For example, each of our non-magnet middle schools has adopted new Instructional Focus Areas such as project-based learning and leadership development. DPS is determined that every school, magnet and traditional, will help your child succeed.
Q: It actually snowed last week! How can I get the fastest notification of school closings or delays?
When the call is made to delay school openings, dismiss early or cancel school entirely, we reach out to families in many ways at once. We send an automated phone message, update our website, notify our employees and contact local media. We have also ramped up our use of social media, so your fastest means of receiving a school notification may be to follow @DurhamPublicSch on Twitter or “like” Durham Public Schools on Facebook. We look forward to connecting with you online!