Is a Magnet Program Right For My Child?

By Diane Hernandez

If your wide-eyed student is extra curious about math or technology, you might want to consider a magnet program. 

Alachua County Public Schools opened its magnet school application on Jan. 10. The program offers six elementary, four middle school and two high school magnet options alongside 15 career and technical education academies. Students apply online and are chosen based on a set of requirements and a lottery system. 

To apply, students must rank schools in order of preference and upload two files that highlight their strengths before Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. Rankings are taken into account, especially when using the lottery system. 

If your student lives outside of the county, they might have to take a few extra steps and upload supplemental academic documents such as report cards, attendance records and disciplinary records to apply. 

Similarly, homeschooled students are expected to upload their Annual Report of Progress, an annual summary of academic performance, to apply. 

Requirements vary depending on the student’s age. But, overall, students shouldn’t have more than 10 unexcused absences or major referrals. Depending on their age, students should meet an academic standard as well. 

Overall, magnet schools focus on a specific academic skill, so students can study math, science, technology or what interests them. 

Technical options do the same and allow students to chase something they enjoy. Some of their choices include a culinary art, teaching and engineering academy. It all depends on what they want to learn and become involved with. 

Elementary Programs 

Program Name Location
The Center for Gifted and Talented Studies Archer Elementary School
The STEAM Magnet Metcalfe Elementary School
Center for Fine Arts Rawlings Elementary School
The STEM Magnet Stephen Foster Elementary School
Dual Language Immersion Magnet Terwilliger Elementary School
Williams Magnet Program Williams Elementary School

Middle School Programs

Program Name Location
Academy of Technology & Advanced Studies Howard Bishop Middle School
The Lyceum: Center for Advanced Studies Lincoln Middle School
Biomedical Mustangs Mebane Middle School
Center for Advanced Academics & Technology Oak View Middle School


High School Programs 

Program Name Location
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program Eastside High School
The Cambridge Program Gainesville High School


High School Career and Technical Education Academies 

Program Name Location
Academy of Entrepreneurship 

Academy of Finance 

Buchholz High School
Institute of Culinary Arts Eastside High School
Academy of Health Professions

Academy of Future Teachers 

Gainesville High School
Academy of Agriscience 

Academy of Veterinary Assisting 

Institute of Biotechnology 

Santa Fe High School
Academy of Agribusiness  Hawthorne M/H School
Academy of Automotive Technology 

Academy of Fire &EMS

Academy of Gaming & Mobile Apps

Institute of Graphic Art & Design 

Academy of Robotics & Engineering

PAM @ Loften High School
Academy of Criminal Justice Newberry High School


High School Here We Come!

Homeschooling and Scouting: An Inexpensive Curriculum Even for Non-Scouts

Dip It, Dip It Good!

#BossMom: Meet Karen Miner