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Huntsville City Schools Magnet Programs

Huntsville City Schools Magnet Programs

Huntsville City Schools magnet program
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Huntsville City Schools magnet program

Huntsville City Schools Magnet programs offer specialized pathways of learning along with focused themes that attract a diverse population of students throughout Huntsville City Schools. We were able to ask Leah Edgecombe,  the Magnet Programs Coordinator for Huntsville City Schools, some questions about the different options and share information with you! Also included below: Info about this week’s Zoom Sessions on HCS Magnet Schools.

Huntsville City Schools Magnet Programs

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Phone: (256) 428-6987

Q: What is a Magnet school and why should a parent consider it as an option instead of just sending their child to their “home” school?

Our Magnet Schools are specialized programs that focus on themes and attract a diverse population of students throughout Huntsville City Schools. Since our magnet schools and programs are a part of Huntsville City Schools, students still study a complete range of core subjects, however, our programs have unique qualities engaging students each day in learning environments that are theme based and highly driven by student interests.

Q: What are the different Magnet options available in Huntsville?

I am proud to say that we have a variety of options for the community of Huntsville. Our goal is to ensure all students find something of interest to help encourage them to apply to our programs. We offer educational opportunities in the following themes:

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  • Creative and Performing Arts – Academy for Academics and Arts (PK-8) and the Creative and Performing Arts program at Lee High School (9-12)
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Foreign Languages Opportunities- Academy for Science and Foreign Language (PK-8)
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)- New Century Technology High School (9-12)
  • Gifted Education/Honors Based Program- Academy for Gifted and Talented Program at Williams Middle School (6-8)
  • International Baccalaureate (International Education that focuses on global learning opportunities in academics challenging students to excel in academics and personal development)- Academy for Science and Foreign Language (PK-8) and Columbia High School (9-12)
  • Early College- The College Academy at Jemison High School (9-12)


Q: How is the selection process conducted? Is it different for different grade levels?

Because the application and selection process has particular variables, I always encourage our interested families to visit our webpage to read the magnet FAQs to understand particular details. However, to provide a “quick answer” to the readers, our application and selection process, in general, is the same for all grade levels.

The application for all programs is available online and can be retrieved on our webpage during the application season. The selection process is lottery based. For grades Pre-K through 5th grade, families will complete the application and await the selection (which runs through the lottery system generally 4-6 weeks after the application opens). For grades 6-12, there is a next step process that is dependent on the program. The next step involves either an essay, interview or audition. The next step is reviewed by a committee, and students who receive a qualifying score are eligible for selection. That selection also runs through the lottery system generally 4-6 weeks after the application opens.

AAA clowns at the Good Day Kids Festival at Lowe Mill in Huntsville
AAA students perform at Lowe Mill.

Q: My child is interested in several of the schools, how many can they apply to?

The application allows for applicants to apply for two programs. This HCS Magnet Schools overview is helpful for families deciding which magnet school is best for them.

Upcoming Info Sessions for HCS Magnet Schools:
Join us on Zoom! Click here to RSVP to any session below.
– International Baccalaureate session – February 1st and 3rd from 5-6 PM
– Performing Arts at AAA and Lee High session – February 2nd and 4th from 5-6 PM
– Academic Magnet programs at AGT, ASFL, New Century & College Academy – February 9th and 11th from 5-6 PM


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Q: Can a student with an IEP apply to a Magnet school?

Yes, our schools thrive by having a diverse student population where students are learning and interacting with students from various backgrounds.

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Q: Is transportation provided for students in HCS Magnet schools?

Yes. Transportation is provided for all students to all of our programs. Buses that have routes to our magnet schools are provided at all Huntsville City Schools so that magnet students are able to catch a bus from their zoned school to a magnet school.

New Century High School students celebrate holidays around the world.

Q: Are siblings given preference for Magnet programs?

Siblings of students who are already participating in the magnet program that a new applicant is applying for are given a priority through the lottery selection. Since our programs are also enrollment based, there could be instances when seat availability for the grade in which the sibling is applying for may not be available. However, I must say that we make every concerted effort to have siblings in the same program. It is always nice to hear from families where all of their students were able to experience our offerings in the same program!

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