The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

2370 - MAGNET PROGRAMS/SCHOOLS

Magnet programs/schools broaden public school choice, stem declining enrollment, mitigate overcrowding, help comply with Federal and State-mandated public school choice provisions, accommodate parent/student interest, improve the quality of education, and promote diverse student enrollments. Magnet programs/schools are unique educational programs operating within the District, for which additional resources and/or ancillary services may be provided in order to help make such educational experiences available to students beyond a single attendance boundary area.

Magnet programs/schools encourage academic excellence in basic areas of study as well as intensive educational experiences in areas in which students demonstrate unusual talent, interest, and/or aspiration. In addition, magnet programs/schools offer students a chance to acquire or develop the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to pursue post-secondary aspirations in highly specialized areas of interest. Another goal of magnet programs/schools is to recruit students whose unique language needs or abilities, socio-economic circumstances, race, ethnicity, gender, and exceptional education needs are underrepresented in the magnet program/school.

Magnet programs/schools are classified under a broad definition of school choice in which an application/random selection or audition process is used to select and admit students. Application to magnet programs/schools is voluntary and no other transfer provisions, other than the admission processes in this policy, may be used to access magnet programs/schools.

The overarching purpose of magnet programs/schools is to provide an optional educational environment for students that is/are pedagogically and/or geographically distinct from what is offered in their assigned home school. In addition to unique curricular offerings, magnet programs/schools may also be conceptually-based, under such models as commuter schools, professional development/laboratory schools, single gender schools, etc. Prior to October 1st of each year, the Superintendent will transmit to the School Board the list of all magnet programs/schools that are operational in the District and to which this policy applies.

Types of Magnet Programs/Schools

 

A.

Magnet Program (School-within-a-School): A magnet program affords a unique instructional program or setting to a specified number of students from more than one attendance area in a school which also provides a regular program to students from a specific attendance boundary. Students from both the magnet and the regular program are provided opportunities to interact with each other to the extent possible.

     
 

B.

Magnet School (Schoolwide): A magnet school offers unique instructional programs or settings to all students attending the school and is categorized as follows:

     
 

1.

Magnet School with an Attendance Boundary: A magnet school with an attendance boundary is a school which serves all students from its designated attendance boundary as well as a specified number of students from schools throughout the District.

     
 

2.

Magnet School without an Attendance Boundary: A magnet school without an attendance boundary is a school which serves eligible students throughout the District, and which has no designated attendance boundary of its own.

Guidelines and Procedures

The Superintendent shall establish administrative procedures and guidelines to address the following issues related to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of magnet programs/schools.

 

A.

Planning

     
 

1.

To determine the need for a magnet program/school, special consideration shall be given to the following:

     
 

a.

public interest in particular magnet themes;

     
 

b.

the need to stem declining enrollment or mitigate overcrowding;

     
 

c.

improving the quality of education through proven curricular and instructional approaches;

     
 

d.

expanding public school choice options for parents/guardians, including commuter and workplace magnet schools;

     
 

e.

ensuring equitable access for all students;

     
 

f.

budgetary constraints;

     
 

g.

availability of support, fiscal or otherwise, from outside sources (e.g. municipalities, grants, etc.); and/or

     
 

h.

enhancing diverse student enrollments.

     
 

2.

Proposals for new magnet programs/schools shall be annually considered by the Superintendent. Recommendations by the school's administrative and instructional staff, Region and District staff should play a major role in the selection of the programís theme/focus.

     
 

3.

To determine the enrollment level needed to offer a viable program, staff, including representatives from the school, corresponding Region and District will establish both a minimum number and a maximum number of students to be served by each magnet program/school.

     
 

B.

Implementation

     
   

School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department) will conduct countywide marketing and recruitment activities with the goal of achieving a broadly diverse student population reflective of the diversity in the student population District-wide.

     
 

1.

Each magnet program/school will conduct marketing and recruitment activities specific to their programís/schoolís theme or purpose, including but not limited to:

     
 

a.

mailed brochures;

     
 

b.

automated phone messages;

     
 

c.

open houses and school tours;

     
 

d.

presentations at feeder schools; and

     
 

e.

social/digital media outreach.

     
 

2.

Annually, each magnet program/school principal, in conjunction with the corresponding Region and School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department), will identify the number of magnet program/school seats available at the magnet program/school by grade level. The overall diversity of the magnet program/school will be reviewed annually by the school, corresponding Region, and School Choice and Parental Options office/department utilizing the initial Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) reporting week in the fall.

     
 

3.

Recruitment for magnet programs/schools for the subsequent school year shall begin on or about the first day of October and conclude on or about the 15th day of January. A series of promotional/informational events and materials will be planned and disseminated District-wide to coincide with this timeframe by each school and the School Choice and Parental Options office/department.

     
 

4.

One of the goals of magnet programs/schools is to recruit students whose unique language needs or abilities, socio-economic circumstances, race, ethnicity, gender, and exceptional education needs are underrepresented in the magnet program/school. Another goal is to ensure that students have adequate opportunities to enroll in educational programs which may not be available in their boundary school. In order to meet these goals, each school, in conjunction with School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department), will annually develop targeted recruitment goals and strategies.

     
 

5.

School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department), in conjunction with the Information Technology Services (or comparable District office/department), will process all magnet applications centrally via an on-line application process. Parents/Guardians may also mail or hand-deliver paper applications to School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department) prior to the deadline.

     
 

6.

Applications and all required support documentation for admission to magnet programs/schools must be received by January 15th of the school year preceding the year for which admission to the program/school is sought. Application forms for magnet programs/schools shall be freely available at all District schools and through the Districtís website at the commencement of the application period.

     
 

7.

Applicants who are part of a multiple birth (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) will be admitted when one of them is selected for admission to the same magnet program/school through the random selection process. However, each of the multiple birth siblings must meet the eligibility requirements for the selected magnet program/school. This does not pertain to audition-based magnet programs.

     
 

8.

Magnet programs/schools through the School Choice and Parental Options office/department will advise applicants who have met the application deadline of the initial application outcome on or about March 15th. For applicants receiving an offer of acceptance, parents/guardians must accept or decline the admission offer into the applied for magnet program(s)/school(s) on or before March 31st. Failure to respond by March 31st shall be considered a rejection of the offer of admission to the program. Notwithstanding the application deadlines, open enrollment shall be allowed into programs that reflect available capacity.

     
 

9.

Students who are eligible to be enrolled in a District school, or will be enrolled in a grade level served by a magnet program/school, may apply for admission. Various admission criteria have been established for entrance into each magnet program/school appropriate to the specific theme or focus.

     
   

Eligibility may be determined by, but are not limited to, such factors as skill, talent, academic performance, conduct, written essay, and interest. However, no single factor may be used to exclude a student from access to a program. At no time may a single standardized test score, be the sole determination of eligibility.

     
   

Eligibility criteria must be related to the educational needs of the magnet program/school and must not create unnecessary barriers to equitable access. The School Choice and Parental Options office/department will facilitate, along with School Operations, Academics, and Assessment (or comparable District offices/departments) a review and approve eligibility criteria annually. Entrance level criteria which differs from the approved factors must be authorized by the Superintendent.

     
   

Principals must annually review and submit any requested revisions to the entrance level criteria for magnet programs/schools to School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department) and upon approval make such criteria readily available to parents/guardians for review when applying. Applications to magnet programs/schools will become void upon the conclusion of the calendar year after the beginning of the school year for which they were submitted.

     
   

Upon approval by the Region and the District (School Choice and Parental Options and appropriate District program staff when applicable), magnet programs/schools may establish goals and benchmarks which students must meet in order to remain eligible and enrolled in the magnet program/school.

     
 

10.

Enhancement opportunities may be provided to prepare students, including at-risk, handicapped, underserved, and limited English proficient students for magnet program/school entry. These opportunities may include internships, outreach, summer enrichment, and mentoring programs.

     
 

11.

Notwithstanding the admission processes in this policy, the Superintendent may override any of these processes when determined by the District to be in the best interest of a student or a group of students.

     
 

12.

Once students have met eligibility, admission into programs is based on space availability and priorities for admission will be applied for random selection programs in the following order: Federal mandate, State law (e.g., military), Board policy (e.g., sibling), other (e.g., Memorandum of Understanding).

     
 

13.

In the event that the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of available seats (e.g., more siblings than seats available) a random selection process will be used.

     
 

14.

Upon submission of a completed application, including all required support documentation, by the designated deadline and fulfillment of all applicable eligibility requirements, students will be admitted to non-talent magnet programs/schools on a random selection basis according to the following process listed below:

     
 

a.

Magnet Program (School-within-a-School):

     
 

1)

Up to fifty percent (50%), but not less than twenty-five percent (25%), of the available seats at entry level of the magnet program shall be randomly selected from eligible applicants residing in the schoolís attendance boundary areas with admission priority given to eligible applicants with siblings already attending the magnet program whose enrollment will be concurrent with that of the currently attending sibling(s) for at least the initial year of their admission. Sibling applications must meet all eligibility requirements and admittance will be dependent upon space availability.

     
 

2)

The remaining seats will be randomly filled with eligible students outside of the schoolís attendance boundary with admission priority given to eligible applicants with older siblings already attending the magnet program whose enrollment will be concurrent with that of the currently attending sibling(s) for at least the initial year of their admission.

     
 

3)

Application for seats open in grade levels other than the designated entry grade will be assigned through the random selection process. Seats which become available beyond the entry level will be given priority to eligible applicants with siblings already attending the magnet program whose enrollment will be concurrent with that of the currently attending sibling(s) for at least the initial year of their admission. Sibling applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and admittance will be dependent upon space availability. A priority may be allocated for successful matriculation from a magnet program/school with a similar theme.

     
 

4)

In an effort to reduce minority-group isolation (MGI) within the District, an additional priority is authorized to be provided in the random selection process for magnet school applicants residing within pre-identified zip codes for targeted magnet programs. Pre-identified zip codes will vary by school and will be selected by comparing a zip code's poverty rate to the average county poverty rate as identified by the most recent data source, such as the American Community Survey (ACS) or its equivalent.

     
 

b.

Magnet School with an Attendance Boundary (Schoolwide):

     
 

1)

Students residing in the attendance boundary area of the magnet school will be assigned first, providing they meet eligibility criteria.

     
 

2)

The remaining available seats will be filled by eligible applicants residing outside of the schoolís attendance boundary, with admission priority given to eligible applicants with siblings already attending the magnet program whose enrollment will be concurrent with that of the currently attending sibling(s) for at least the initial year of their admission. A priority may be added for matriculation from a magnet program/school with a similar theme. Sibling applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and admittance will be dependent upon space availability.

     
 

3)

In order to maintain the designation as a schoolwide magnet with an attendance boundary, a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the magnet program/school population must be filled by eligible students from outside the schoolís attendance boundary. If the twenty-five percent (25%) threshold is not achievable, the magnet school may be re-designated as a choice school site program serving a subset of the school population and resources adjusted accordingly.

     
 

4)

In an effort to reduce minority-group isolation (MGI) within the District, an additional priority is authorized to be provided in the random selection process for magnet school applicants residing within pre-identified zip codes for targeted magnet programs. Pre-identified zip codes will vary by school and will be selected by comparing a zip code's poverty rate to the average county poverty rate as identified by the most recent data source, such as the American Community Survey (ACS) or its equivalent.

     
 

c.

Magnet School without an Attendance Boundary (Schoolwide):

     
 

1)

Eligible applicants seeking admission to a magnet school without an attendance boundary will be selected through a random selection process.

     
 

2)

Admission priority will be given for eligible applicants with older siblings already attending the magnet program whose enrollment will be concurrent with that of the currently attending sibling(s) for at least the initial year of their admission. A priority may be added for matriculation from a magnet program/school with a similar theme. Sibling applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and admittance will be dependent upon space availability.

     
 

3)

Eligible students enrolled in an International Studies (IS) program may be granted direct articulation in order to continue in the program of study based on a Board approved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and space availability.

     
 

4)

In an effort to reduce minority-group isolation (MGI) within the District, an additional priority is authorized to be provided in the random selection process for magnet school applicants residing within pre-identified zip codes for targeted magnet programs. Pre-identified zip codes will vary by school and will be selected by comparing a zip code's poverty rate to the average county poverty rate as identified by the most recent data source, such as the American Community Survey (ACS) or its equivalent.

     
 

15.

Student recruitment efforts shall continue in magnet programs/schools until all available seats are filled.

     
 

16.

Students submitting an application for a talent magnet program/school will be evaluated on the specific criteria related to each art form during the required audition and will be ranked and placed on the basis of their audition scores. Magnet program/school principals, in conjunction with School Operations (or comparable District office/department), shall be responsible for selecting a diverse panel of adjudicators. A minimum of one adjudicator may be designated at auditions at the discretion of the Superintendent. Selection of students for talent programs will be based solely on the specific talent aligned to each magnet program strand. Academic achievement may not be used as the sole determination in the selection process, but may be a factor for continued enrollment in the program.

     
 

C.

Evaluation

     
 

1.

Each year, School Choice and Parental Options (or comparable District office/department) will review magnet application and enrollment data to assess the degree to which recruitment goals have been met. If necessary, the Superintendent will recommend appropriate strategies and/or modifications.

     
 

2.

Each year the Superintendent will review magnet application and enrollment data.

     
 

3.

An annual administrative review of existing magnet programs/schools shall be conducted by the Superintendent and the Assessment, Research, and Data Analysis (or comparable District offices/departments) to determine the impact of magnet programs/schools on the diversity of student enrollment, academic achievement, and student attendance.

     
 

4.

Formal evaluations of magnet programs/schools may be authorized as resources permit and/or circumstances warrant such action.

F.S. 1001.32(2)
F.S. 1001.41(6)
F.S. 1001.42(4),(a)
F.S. 1001.43(3),(8)
F.S. 1002.31

Revised 10/11/17

©Miami-Dade, 2017