• Applying to a Magnet Program

    Enrollment to magnet schools and programs is done via an application process and lottery (audition process for Pittsburgh CAPA), or through post-lottery registration (not available for Pittsburgh CAPA).

    The magnet application period for the 2018-2019 school year opened on September 18, 2017.
    • Applications for the magnet lottery are due by 5 pm Friday, December 8.
    • Applications to Pittsburgh CAPA are due by 5 pm Wednesday, October 25.
     
    All applications received by the deadline will receive equal consideration, so take your time to consider your options.
     
    2018-2019 Guide to Offerings and Options

    View our guide outlining everything related to enrolling in PPS, explaning the process for applying to a magnet program, and showcasing our magnet and CTE programs. 
     

    Step 1: Review Your Options

    Learn about magnet program offerings based on the grade level(s) of your child/ren.

    If you are applying during the lottery application window (before December 8, 2017), pay attention to information about the eligibility criteria, weights and preferences that apply for each program. These impact your child’s chances of getting accepted in to the program(s) of your choice.

    If you are applying during the post-lottery registration window (after December 8, 2017), look for information about available spaces in magnet programs, and/or consider the length of the waiting list at the program(s) of your choice.

     
     

    Step 3: Learn Your Status

    All applicants will receive a letter informing them of their status.

    If you are applying during the lottery application window (before December 8, 2017), your letter will arrive the week of January 15, 2018.

    If you are applying during the post-lottery registration window (after December 8, 2017), your letter will arrive approximately two weeks after you submitted your application.

    Magnet Eligibility Criteria

    Some magnet programs have eligibility criteria that students must meet. This criteria is outlined in the District’s Administrative Regulation that sets guidelines for magnet schools and programs. All applicants must meet this criteria in order to be considered for admission.

    • Language Proficiency
      • Students applying to a language magnet program for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12 must pass a language proficiency test in the emphasized language at that school. (At K-2, 6th, and 9th grade, students can enter in to the language program with no prior language experience.)
      • Tutoring is provided in the spring to children in grades 3-5 applying to a language magnet program.
      • Applicants are considered for admission via the magnet lottery, but acceptance and enrollment is dependent on successful completion of the proficiency exam.
    • CAPA
      • All applicants must submit an essay explaining their interest in the particular arts area to which they are applying (specific instructions are included in the online application).
      • All applicants must also submit an artistic recommendation form, completed by an adult who can attest to their artistic skill and background, as well as a guidance counselor authorization form (specific instructions are included in the online application).
      • Applicants participate in an audition process or submission of a portfolio prior ot the year in which they are applying for entrance. The audition is scored on a rubric and determines the applicant’s status (accepted, waitlisted or not accepted).
    • Sci-Tech
      • All applicants must submit an essay along with their application in order for it to be considered complete (specific instructions are included in the online application).
      • All accepted students must attend a parent orientation. Dates and times of orientation sessions will be shared with accepted students in January.
    • Allderdice Pre-Engineering, Brashear Teaching Academy, Sci-Tech, and Obama
      • All applicants to Allderdice, Brashear, Sci-Tech and Obama must have performed at least basic on their most recent PSSA exam (spring 2017 test) in order to be considered for admission via the lottery
      • All applicants to Allderdice, Brashear and Obama must also have a 2.5 GPA in their core academic classes in order to be considered for admission via the lottery.
      • For students new to Pittsburgh Public Schools, evidence must be submitted with the application in order for a student to be determined as eligible. The online application includes prompts for uploading documentation including a transcript and/or report card.

    Magnet Preferences

    Applicants can receive preference for a magnet program, meaning that the applicant is automatically placed on the acceptance list at their first choice magnet program. Preference is not applied to magnet programs that are not listed as first choice. Program continuation peference is only granted for applicants who submit an application before the lottery application deadline (before December 8, 2017).

    Preference is granted under two categories:

    • Sibling Preference A child applying for a magnet program or school in grades K-5 will receive preference if they have a sibling that will be attending the building to which they are applying at the same time. Siblings are defined as children who officially reside in the same household and share a parent/guardian with another child. 

    Note that sibling preference is most easily granted for students entering kindergarten. At other grades, sibling applicants are only accepted if space is available, and is not guaranteed.

    • Program Continuation Program continuation allows a child to progress through a magnet theme across schools, e.g. from an elementary language program in to Pittsburgh Obama 6-12, or through the STEAM pathway from Pittsburgh Woolslair K-5 to Pittsburgh Schiller 6-8 to Pittsburgh Perry 9-12. Refer to program-specific information to learn about program continuation for each magnet theme.

    Magnet Lottery Weights               

    Applicants can receive weights (extra chances for admission) for the magnet lottery based on a variety of factors outlined in the District’s Administrative Regulation that sets guidelines for magnet schools and programs.

    For current Pittsburgh Public Schools students, weights are automatically added to a child’s application based on data in our student information system.

    For students new to Pittsburgh Public Schools, evidence must be submitted with the application in order for weights to be applied.

    While having multiple weights increases the likelihood that a student will be admitted via the lottery, it is not a guarantee. Weights are program-specific, so an applicant may have a different number of weights for their first choice program than their second choice program.

    Weights do not apply to applications received during post-lottery registration (after December 8, 2017). All post-lottery applications from city residents are considered on a first come, first served basis.

    • K-5th Grade Program Weights
      • Living within the geographic region where the school is located (North/Central, East, or South/West)
      • Economically disadvantaged
      • Having attended a PPS Pre-K program
      • Having attended a PPS Pre-K program in the building to which they are applying
    • 6th – 8th Grade Program Weights (except for Pittsburgh CAPA and SciTech)
      • Living within the geographic region where the school is located (North/Central, East, or South/West)
      • Economically disadvantaged
      • Having 95% or better attendance in the previous school year
      • Having had no 4-10 day suspensions in the previous school year
      • Having attended a PPS elementary school
    • 9th – 12th Grade Program Weights (except for Pittsburgh CAPA and SciTech)
      • Living within the geographic region where the school is located (North/Central, East, or South/West)
      • Economically disadvantaged
      • Having 95% or better attendance in the previous school year
      • Having had no 4-10 day suspensions in the previous school year
      • Having attended a PPS middle school
    • CAPA
      • All applicants are evaluated equally based on materials submitted with their application, and the audition process.
    • SciTech Program Weights
      • Scoring proficient on most recent PSSA math and reading tests
      • Economically disadvantaged
      • Scoring in the top 50% of their class on their most recent PSSA math test
      • Having 90% or better attendance in the previous school year
      • 5th grade applicants from Pittsburgh Lincoln receive a weight for admission at 6th grade
      • 8th grade applicants from Pittsburgh Carmalt receive a weight for admission at 9th grade