Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a magnet program/school?
A magnet program/school opens doors of opportunity and sparks the imagination of students preparing them to become responsible citizens in a global society. Although all students receive quality instruction based on SC State Standards, magnet programs/schools use innovative approaches to learning that engage students and promote their interests and abilities. Each magnet program/school emphasizes a particular theme such as Visual and Performing Arts, Science & Technology, Early College, STEM/Pre-Engineering, and International Baccalaureate. There are currently 7 magnet campuses, including 2 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 3 high schools.

2. How do I decide which magnet program is better for my child?
Each year in September, parents and other interested community members are invited to attend our Magnet Fair to learn more about the programs our magnet schools have to offer. DCSD also encourages parents to visit each magnet school, meet the principal, and talk with the staff members to gain more information about the unique magnet programs DCSD has to offer. Parents can contact each school to schedule an appointment or stop by during a school's open house. Parents may also visit the magnet programs/schools homepage where there are links to each schools' website and video.

3. Who is eligible to apply for magnet programs/schools in DCSD?
In order to apply for a magnet program/school, the child must be a resident of Darlington County. If you live out of county or out of state, you may still apply but at the start of school, you will need to show proof of residency as a Darlington County resident.

4. How does the magnet program/school application process work?
The process begins by completing an online application for the magnet program/school you desire to attend. The online application window will be open for 3 weeks. The link may be found on the district home page or directly on the magnet program/school web page. You may access the timeline for phase 1 and 2 here.

5. May I apply to more than one magnet program/school?
Yes, the online application will allow you to apply to more than one school. But, you may only apply to multiple schools within that particular grade band, i.e. 2 elementary or 3 high schools. A separate application must be completed for more than one child.

6. How are the students selected to attend a magnet program/school?
Student applications are evaluated by each school's magnet committee. Once the initial eligibility is determined, all eligible applicants will either be entered into the lottery/drawing OR must audition/interview for final acceptance.

7. Is transportation provided?
Yes, ONLY for students who would be zoned for that particular magnet school. The elementary magnet programs/school  will transport elementary students to and from their home/zoned school. However, there is no transportation shuttle bus for Middle and high schoo programs. 

8. Do I have to apply every year?
No, once accepted to a magnet program/school, a student can attend through the last grade at that particular school.

9. Does a student's younger sibling have to apply to attend the same magnet school?
Yes, an application needs to be completed and evaluated for the younger sibling. If the sibling is eligible, the "sibling procedure" will go in effect where they will not have to go through the lottery process for final eligibility. 

10. If I have a parent employed at the magnet program/school, will I be a part of the lottery or total numbers for final eligibility?
No, if your parent is and will be employed FULL-TIME at the magnet school you are applying to, you will NOT be included in the lottery nor included in the total allotted numbers for that school. You MUST be eligible in order to be accepted under the "employee's child" procedure.