Magnet School Programs 
 
Durfee Magnet School
French Academy
Garfield Montessori Magnet School    
Hope Academy 
Johns Hill Magnet School
 
The Decatur Public School District is proud to offer five quality Magnet School Programs.  Magnet Schools offer educational choices.  While similar courses and programs are available in most of our schools, Magnet Programs attract students by offering unique   opportunities that emphasize a specialized theme. 
 
How to Apply
Applications are due by January 31 each year for the following school year.  Parents must attend an orientation session at the school in order to apply.  Call the appropriate school for orientation dates. The District’s central office runs a lottery each February after the deadline closes.  Principals will notify families soon after the lottery is held.
  • Durfee:  217-424-3255
  • French Academy:  217-424-3240
  • Garfield Montessori:  217-424-3244
  • Hope Academy:  217-424-3333
  • Johns Hill:  217-424-3196 
Magnet School Open House
Each January we offer an Open House at Pershing Early Learning Center School (2912 N. University) to give families an opportunity to learn more about all five of our magnet school choices.
 
Cost
There is no additional cost to attend a Magnet School (Grades K—8) as long as the family lives within the District 61 boundary.
 
Eligibility
Magnet Programs are open to any Decatur Public School student entering the appropriate grade level.  Students must be five years old by September 1 to enter kindergarten.
 
Transportation
School bus transportation is provided free of charge for families living outside of a 1 1/2 mile radius of the school.
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:  If my child is currently enrolled in a Magnet Program, does he/she need to reapply and what about brothers and sisters?
A:  Current Magnet School students do not need to reapply to remain in their present magnet school.  If the current student has a brother or sister from the same household, he/she will be given priority preference if space is available.
 
Q:  How and when will I be notified of my child’s acceptance into a Magnet School?
A:  You will receive a letter from the Magnet School Principal in late February after the lottery is held.  You must accept only one school.
 
Q:  What if I miss the deadline?
A:  Applications submitted after the January 31st deadline will be placed on a waiting list.