• The Application Window to Apply to a Magnet Program for the 2023-2024 School Year CLOSES January 31, 2023. 

    Each of the magnet school programs offers unique philosophies to draw students from all over the district. Programs range from structured environments in which children wear uniforms to a curriculum that encourages independence. 

    American Dreamer STEM Academy (K-8) provides a strong STEM education, emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math. The Academy has been designed to foster innovative thinking through STEM teaching and learning, a passion for inquiry, and compassion for others so students can enrich our world. We provide a challenging learning environment in STEM, which maximizes individual potential and ensures students are well-equipped to meet the challenges in the world around them. American Dreamer STEM Academy guidelines are required to be met by parents, students, and staff. Click the school logo to the left to view a video about American Dreamer STEM Academy.

    Johns Hill Magnet School (K-8) has the longest history as a magnet school in Decatur and houses the district’s English as a Second Language program. In addition to the core academic subjects, we integrate the arts in all of our programs. We offer solid programs in foreign language, fine arts, music, and sports. Many students excel in several areas, and most students participate in a variety of activities. There are multiple languages spoken by students who attend Johns Hill and students have opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity. Click the school logo to the left to view a video about Johns Hill Magnet School.

    The Montessori Academy for Peace (PreK-8) program is based on the philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori, world-renowned physician and educator. The Montessori curriculum is designed to encourage respect, responsibility, cooperation, manners, and a sense of community.  The emphasis on reading, math, language, science, geography, and cultural and practical life experiences are encouraged as part of the Montessori environment. Self-discipline, independence, and the development of personal responsibility are also a strong focus of Montessori. Click the school logo to the left to view a video about Montessori Academy for Peace.

    Plan to attend one of three Parent Information Meetings + Magnet School Open Houses in January

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022 @Decatur Public Library @5:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2022 @5:30 p.m. via Zoom; click here to register to receive zoom meeting details

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022  @5:30 p.m. via Zoom; click here to register to receive zoom meeting details

    Johns Hill Open House Thursday, January 12, 2023 @5:30 p.m.

    Montessori Academy for Peace Open House Tuesday, January 17, 2023 @6:00 p.m.

    American Dreamer STEM Academy Open House Thursday, January 19, 2023 @5:30 p.m.

    Applying to a Magnet Program

    The magnet application process for the 2023-24 school year will open in December 2022. The District’s central office will then conduct an electronic lottery in March 2023 to fill the available seats in each magnet school program for the 2023-24 school year, and parents will be notified by email and/or phone call shortly after. 

    Key Magnet Dates

    • Last day to apply to a magnet program: January 31 each year for the following school year
    • Magnet lottery will be held in March
    • Following the lottery, parents will be notified of the lottery results
    • Parents have until mid-March to accept or decline a magnet seat

    How to Apply

    Applications are due by January 31 each year for the following school year. Any student living within the District #61 boundaries can apply to a magnet school. Parents of students who already attend a magnet program must submit an application for new siblings entering PreK/Kindergarten or any other grade. The District’s central office runs the lottery after the deadline closes. Families who create Guardian Accounts in SchoolMint will receive an email and/or text notifications throughout the magnet application process using the contact information used when setting up your account. Waitlists DO NOT carry over from year to year — students must reapply the following year if they have not received a seat within a magnet program.


    There is no additional cost to attend a Magnet School (grades K—8) as long as the family lives within the District #61 boundary.


    Magnet Programs are open to any Decatur Public Schools student entering the appropriate grade level. Students must be five years old by September 1 of the upcoming school year to enter Kindergarten.


    School bus transportation is provided free of charge for families living outside of a one-and-a-half mile radius of the school.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If my child is currently enrolled in a Magnet Program, does he/she need to reapply and what about brothers and sisters?

    Current Kindergarten through 7th grade magnet school students do not need to reapply to remain in their present magnet school. Parents must submit an application for siblings new to the magnet program, even if an older sibling is a current student. If the current student has a sibling from the same household, the sibling will be given priority preference if space is available.

    How and when will I be notified of my child’s acceptance into a magnet school?

    You will receive an email and/or phone call from the magnet school in late February after the lottery is held to notify you if your student has gotten a seat or been placed on the waitlist.

    What if I miss the application deadline?

    Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

    If my student is accepted into a magnet program, will I still need to register them for the next school year?

    Yes. Magnet applications are not the same as school registration — all students must still be registered for school in the spring/summer before the next school year.

  • Click on the SchoolMint logo below to apply to a Magnet Program.

    🚨TECH TIP: Select/Use the pre-populated address when entering your address on your application.


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