The Online Application Process
Q. Will I be able to apply for more than one magnet program?
You may select up to three (3) programs.
Q. How long does it take to complete the online application process?
Typically, the process should take from 10-20 minutes. If you are unable to complete the application in one session, you will have the option to save what you have entered, exit the application, and then come back later to complete and submit the application. Please note, the application is not considered as filed with the Office of Magnet Programs until it is submitted.
Q. What if I do not have access to a computer?
The online application is accessible through most mobile devices. If you need assistance, please call the Magnet Information Line at (443) 809-4127.
Q. Is there another way of submitting an application other than online?
Yes, paper applications can be printed from the Magnet Programs' Web site (www.bcps.org/offices/omp) and submitted by a U.S. mail carrier. It is important to ensure the mailed application is postmarked by the application deadline.
Q. Once I've submitted the application electronically, how will I know that the submission is successful?
Once the application is submitted online, you will receive a confirmation message at the email address you provided when you created an account.
Q. Should I allow anyone else to use my account?
It is the user's responsibility to protect the integrity of any information entered in the system. This includes but is not limited to passwords or personal information about you or your child. You must not share your login information or password with anyone that is not legally responsible for your child.
Q. My account has been disabled because I've attempted to login too many times. Should I set up another account?
No. Call the BCPS Magnet Programs at (443) 809-4127 and an administrator will assist you.
Q. After I have completed the online application process application, is there another step to complete the process?
Elementary School Applicants - Print the summary page and the confirmation e-mail for your records. You will be notified of your child's admission status for each program selected on the application in early February.
If your child will turn 5 years old after September 1, 2018, and on or before October 14, 2018, you must also request Early Admission to Kindergarten Testing by writing to your child's zoned elementary school principal. A copy of that letter must either be attached to the online magnet programs application as a PDF document, or mailed to the Office of Magnet Programs at 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Jefferson Building, Towson, MD 21204.
Middle School Applicants - Print the summary page and the confirmation e-mail for your records. You will be notified of your child's admission status for each program selected on the application in early February.
High School Applicants - Print the summary page and the confirmation e-mail for your records. Mark your calendar with the date and time of the magnet assessment for each program and school selected. Obtain the Assessment Guidelines from the Magnet Programs' Web site (www.bcps.org/offices/omp) and review for important dates, assessment samples, self-evaluation tools, required pre-assessment activities/projects, registration information, and other important information.
If your child received grade reports from a non-BCPS school for any portion of the 2016-2017 school year, you must either attach a PDF copy of the report cards to the online application or mail a copy immediately to the Office of Magnet Programs. If your child will receive a report card from a non-BCPS school for the first quarter/trimester of the 2017-2018 school year, you must mail a copy of the report card when it is received, but not later than December 15, 2017.
Q. What if I create an account, but do not submit my application by 1:00 p.m. on November 18, 2016?
Any online application that may have been started but is not submitted by 1:00 on November 17, 2017, will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for the 2018-2019 school year. A paper application can be submitted and will be processed if it is postmarked by November 17, 2017.
Q. If I apply online by the November 17, 2017, application deadline, should I mail a paper copy of the application to the Office of Magnet Programs?
No. Apply online or by paper application. Please do not do both. If you apply online, you will be sent an email confirmation along with the summary page, which will serve as proof of timely submission. Please print both for your files.
Q. Can I change my magnet program selection even though my application has already been submitted?
Changes to magnet program selections can be made online until 1:00 p.m. on November 17, 2017. Changes to program selections cannot be made after the application deadline.
Q. My family lives in another state but I am planning to move to Baltimore County before the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Can I submit an application for my child?
In order to apply for a magnet program, the child must be eligible to attend a Baltimore County public school at the time of application. Generally, this means that the family must reside in Baltimore County prior to the application deadline, November 17, 2017. Families who move into Baltimore County after the application deadline, but before the start of the 2018-2019 school year, may submit a New Resident Letter of Interest. Information regarding the New Resident process is posted on the Office of Magnet Programs' Web site (www.bcps.org/offices/omp) in April each year.
Q. I live in a nearby school district. Will my child be able to enroll in a magnet school in Baltimore County?
School districts are independent entities governed by local school board policies. Only students who reside in or are otherwise eligible to attend a Baltimore County public school can apply and enroll in our magnet schools.
Q. I missed this year's application deadline. Will I have a chance to apply at another time?
Applications for some magnet programs are accepted for multiple grade levels, so you may have the opportunity to apply next year. Information regarding grade level restrictions is provided in the program descriptions and on the Office of Magnet Programs' Web site (www.bcps.org/offices/omp).
Magnet Selection Process
Q. Are students selected based on a first-come, first serve process?
No. Students are selected for placement through a random lottery process. At the high school level, applicants must complete the magnet assessments before they can be considered for placement. Where programs have more eligible applicants than seats, available seats are first filled by priority placements and then a random lottery is used to fill all remaining available seats and to generate a wait list.
Kindergarten Sibling Priority - kindergarten applicants receive priority placement if they have an older sibling currently enrolled in the same magnet program and continuing in the magnet program during the year for which the kindergarten applicant is seeking placement.
Child of Employee Priority - If an employee's primary work site is a school with a magnet program and the employee's child applies to a magnet program in that school, and for high school applicants, score at least 80% in the evaluation, the child will be given priority placement in the magnet program.
Secondary School Program Priority - Up to 20% of the available seats will first be filled by applicants who score 80% or higher on the admissions criteria and who earn the highest scores on the magnet assessment(s).
Q. How is the lottery conducted?
A random lottery is generated for each program at each school using the online magnet application management system. The automated process first fills available seats in a program with qualified applicants who are eligible for priority placement. The remaining available seats are filled and a wait list is generated by a random sorting of the remaining eligible applicants.
Q. When will parents be notified if they are selected to participate in a program?
Parents will receive notification by mail of their child's admission status. Decision letters are mailed from the Magnet Programs' office. Parents whose children have been admitted to a magnet program will be able to accept or decline the placement offer online.
Q. What if my child is put on a wait list?
Parents of applicants who have been offered placement as a result of the lottery must accept or decline the placement within 10 business days. When a parent fails to respond, the placement offer is revoked. Seats that are declined or revoked are then offered to the applicants on the wait list according to their wait list position, starting with the first applicant on the wait list. If offered a placement, the parents of wait list applicants have three (3) business days to respond to the offer before the seat is offered to the next person on the wait list.
Q. Can my child be offered more than one placement if we apply to more than one school?
Yes. Because the lottery is conducted separately for each program at each school, it is possible that an applicant might receive a placement offer at multiple program. When this occurs, the parent may accept only one of the placement offers and must decline the other placement offers. The placements that are declined are then offered to applicants on the wait lists for those programs.
Q. What should I do if my child is admitted to a second or third choice school and wait listed at the first choice school?
A parent may accept a placement offer and the applicant will remain on the wait list for the other program(s). If a placement offer is subsequently made for the wait listed program, the parent can decline the initial program placement offer and accept the wait list program placement offer. This can happen anytime up until the end of the first quarter of the 2018-2019 school year, when the wait lists are eliminated.