Magnet Program FAQ
1.) Q. Does it matter when I submit my child's magnet application?
A. Parents sometimes think that because their child's application was submitted early in the registration period, they are guaranteed acceptance. Magnet selection is based on an electronic lottery (audition process for Pittsburgh CAPA). All applications received by the lottery deadline (December 8, 2017 for applications for the '18-'19 school year) are entered into the same electronic lottery. Only applications that are received after the lottery application deadline are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis, for students to be enrolled for vacancies or added to existing waiting lists.
2.) Q. Should I select more than one magnet program on the application?
A. 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.
3.) Q. If my child is accepted to their 2nd or 3rd choice, can they remain on the waitinglist for their 1st choice?
A. No. If you are accepted to any of your general magnet choices, it eliminates your spot on the waitinglist of any other program to which you applied. Refer back to the answer to question #2. 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.
4.) Q. How does the weighted lottery work?
A. It is an electronic lottery that randomly selects students. Each program offers different opportunities to receive additional weights toward the lottery. (i.e.; geography, attendance, PPS scores, etc...) Keep in mind that additional weights increase a student's likelihood of being accepted, but DO NOT GUARANTEE acceptance to a program. Availability varies by program and grade level, depending on the capacity set by each Principal to accept new students.
5.) Q. If my child has a sibling in the program to which we are applying, is acceptance guaranteed?
A. Sibling preference only applies for K-5, and is completely based on availability in a program. If you are applying your child for the school's entry level grade (e.g. Kindergarten in an elementary school) and you submit your application in time for the lottery then yes, your child will be guaranteed acceptance. If the same scenario applies but you submit your application after the lottery and all spots have been filled, then your child will be added to the wait list. If you child is applying for a higher grade level (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grades), it will be completely based on availability.
6.) Q. What is the chance of my child getting into a program at a specified wait list number?
A. 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.
7.) Q. How is transportation determined for magnet students?
A. Yellow school bus transportation is guaranteed for elementary/middle school students that live more than 1 1/2 miles from the school. Transportation for high school students that live more than 2 miles from the school is determined by the Pittsburgh Public School's Transportation Department. Visit https://www.pghschools.org/transportation to learn more about the District's transportation eligibility criteria.
8.) Q. My child was not eligible for acceptance into the Allderdice Pre-engineering, Obama 9-12 IB, or the Brashear Teaching Magnet Program. What can I do to appeal this decision?
A. The programs mentioned above require a minimum 2.5 Final GPA at the end of the most recent completed school year. There is no appeal process because this is magnet policy. If your child's grades improve and you would like to be reconsidered, parents can submit the final GPA at the end of the current school year. If there is a wait list, they will be added to the end of the wait list in the order in which we receive proof of eligibility.
9.) Q. Will my twins be accepted into a magnet program together?
A. In grades K-8, twins are entered as one application. We process the application under on twins name but that student will reserve two seats. When doing our mailing, you will only receive one letter. This letter will be for both students. You can call our office to confirm that the twin has been accepted as well.
10.) Q. What is the process for an employee that applies for a magnet program with a tuition waiver?
A. These applications will not be processed through the lottery. They will be processed August 1st at which time they will either be added to an existing wait list or accepted if space is available.