Battle Academy students paint

Magnet Schools

A magnet school is a school that offers special instruction and programs that are not available elsewhere and are designed to attract a diverse community from all areas of the school district. The draw or “magnet” for HCS magnet schools can be found to the right of each school listed along with a link to each of the schools to find out more about them. Hamilton County Schools has three types of Magnet Schools when it comes to admissions. 1) Lottery – Families submit a school choice application. If there are more applicants than seats, a lottery is run for placement. Any remaining students are moved to a waitlist until school begins. 2) Balanced Lottery - Students applying to Battle Academy (K), CSAS (K), CSLA (K), Normal Park (K, 6), and STEM School (9) must complete a choice lottery application during the choice lottery window. A student will be entered into a random lottery based on the school board district in which they live. Each school board district will allocate a percentage of seats to Battle Academy (K), CSAS (K), CSLA (K), Normal Park (K), and STEM School (9) based on the number of students living in each school board district. Any further openings are filled first from the waitlist per the school board district. The waitlist expires on the first day of school for the applying year. 3) Audition - Center for Creative Arts requires applicants to have an audition with the school in their area of arts interest. Successful applicants are offered admission by the school.

Application – Only the student’s parent or guardian may apply for admission to the School Choice Lottery. The Office of School Choice has established an admissions procedure that will provide transparent and equitable opportunities for all applicants. If an application is not made during the application time frame, or denied, students shall report to their zone school at the beginning of the new school year. Only ONE application will be considered for each student. Duplicate applications will be voided.


Admissions – How do I apply?
Families interested in HCS Magnet Schools must fill out an application through the Parent Portal in PowerSchool. The application timeline is here.

Application, Selection, and Admissions Processes for Choice Lottery Schools

  • Admission to Choice Schools/programs is on a space-available basis through the application. The application period runs annually from mid-November through January 31. Seats will be first filled by those applications received during the official application period. Applications may be filled out online at

  • Magnet seats are not available to Out of County or Out of State families unless there is no wait list in the grade level desired. Families residing outside the district who choose to attend an HCS school are required to pay tuition (set by the school board annually). There could be additional expenses depending on each family's situation.

  • In the event there are more applicants than available seats, a lottery will be used to assign students a seat number according to their choice(s) indicated on their application. Any further openings are filled first from the waitlist. Waitlists expire on the first day of school of each school year and are not carried over to future years.

  • If there is space available, children of full-time staff members may attend the choice school where their parent/guardian works full-time, but a choice school application must be completed. The exception to this procedure is the Center for Creative Arts where the applying student must have a successful audition.

  • Incomplete applications will not be processed. Falsifying any information on the choice lottery application automatically disqualifies the application. Duplicate applications will be voided.

  • Placement to any choice school is not confirmed until the parents/guardians accept the offered seat within 7 business days of the offer.
  • Once enrolled in the desired choice school, the student must remain at the school for the entire school year unless a Zero Tolerance offense occurs. Any other requests for a transfer during the school year must be approved by the Chief of Opportunity & Access or their designee.

 – Most Workforce Development programs and some College Schools  are considered a non-processed . This means that families still submit a school choice application and are run in the lottery, but rather than receiving a letter of acceptance, schools must first review the transcripts of applicants to make sure they meet the prerequisites set forth. Schools then contact the students who are accepted. Waitlists expire on the first day of school of each school year and are not carried over to future years.

Sibling Preference at Magnet Schools

  • Definition of sibling for preference at Magnet- brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, or stepsister of a student currently enrolled at applying magnet and resides at the same address as the currently enrolled student. This does NOT include aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, etc. In cases involving joint custody, legal documentation is required.

  • Sibling Status: If space is available and a choice lottery application has been completed, siblings are accepted into the choice school in which their brother or sister currently attends.

  • Current families will be given a Sibling Identification Form to notify the school of incoming Kindergarten students. All families must complete the choice application process by January 31 to be eligible for sibling preference.
  • There is no sibling preference at the Center for Creative Arts where the applying student must have a successful audition.
  • The sibling preference is not considered until the currently enrolled student has been at Magnet or Open Enrollment school for one year and both the student and the parent(s) have successfully met the school’s requirements.

  • Multiple Births: If during the lottery, one twin or triple is drawn and receives a seat, then the other sibling(s) will have an automatic entrance for that year.


Kindergarten may defer after the K screening. No other grades may defer their offer. If declined, they will be removed from that school’s waitlist, but remain on any other waitlists they may be on.

Legacy Lists for CSAS & CSLA

In 1986 CSAS opened its doors as an eventual K-12 Paideia school and began waiting lists for those families wanting to enter at each grade level. In 1991 CSLA opened its doors as a K-8 Paideia sister school to CSAS. CSLA followed suit with an identical waiting list and rising 9th graders could matriculate to CSAS to complete their high school careers in a Paideia School. In 2020 the lists at CSAS & CSLA could no longer be added to and it was agreed that these “Legacy Lists” be fulfilled and eventually exhausted before each grade level would become a lottery. Once a Legacy List at a grade level is exhausted, that grade level will run a lottery and be announced with the School Choice options in November. Below are answers to some FAQ’s regarding the Legacy List.

  • Sibling preference - siblings go to the top of the list of the year they submit their application. A seat is only offered if there is one available.

  • Students on the list may defer their choice for one year. If they do not accept the next offer, they are removed from the list.

  • After the first day of school of a list’s 11th-grade year, the Legacy List is retired as no students are admitted to CSAS in their Senior year.

  • Known available seats will be filled in February along with Lottery seats and could be ongoing if seats become available until the first day of school.

  • CSLA’s 8th grade class of 2029 will be the last group from CSLA to be able to transition to CSAS (as its former sister school) for high school without an application.

  • Some grade levels of the Legacy Lists have been exhausted. These grade levels are reflected in the School Choice Lottery two weeks prior to the application process opening along with all school choice options.



Application, Selection, and Admissions Processes for the Center for Creative Arts

  • Acceptance into Center for Creative Arts requires BOTH an application through the choice lottery process and successful completion of an audition, as specified by the school administration and shared with applying families.

  • Sibling preference and staff children are not considered at CCA due to the nature of auditions.

  • A link to CCA’s audition website is here:

Student Status for Choice Lottery

  • After enrolling at a magnet school, the magnet student is not eligible to transfer to his/her zone school until the following school year. They may apply to a choice school when the next application period opens for the following school year. The Office of School Choice may make exceptions to this policy. All students who attend the first day of school are expected to remain in the choice school for the entire school year.

  • Current choice students do not need to reapply to remain at their choice school beyond the current school year. However, for Magnet students to remain enrolled, the parents/guardians must attend required parent conferences and complete required parent volunteer hours.

  • Zone students who attend a Magnet school for which they are zoned may apply to change their status to Magnet by going through the choice lottery process. Their place in the choice lottery pool will determine whether they receive magnet status.

  • If a zoned student at a choice school moves out of the zone and wishes to continue at that choice school the following year, they must complete a choice lottery application. Zone students who attend a magnet school are not guaranteed a magnet seat when they move out of the school’s zone.

  • Magnet schools with zone students will automatically accept those students with two proofs of residency. Proof of residency for zone students in a magnet school will be confirmed each year.

  • Student athletes who transfer from a zone or any School Choice option to another zone or magnet school, Open Enrollment School, or Future Ready Institute will still fall under the TSSAA and TMSSA transfer guidelines.

  • Reciprocal agreements to participate in a sport that a magnet school does not offer will be at the discretion of the principals involved in the request.

  • Magnet schools do not accept transfer or hardship students.

  • If a magnet student fails a grade, they may return to the same school the following school year to repeat that grade if all other parent/student commitment requirements are met. That student will be placed on academic probation and the school and family should meet to set up a plan for success for that student.

  • Attendance is incredibly important to a student's success.  If they miss school, they miss learning.  We believe students gain the most from being in front of our instructors.  Attendance is a responsibility of both the parents and the student, and we understand that circumstances do come up in the game of life.  When it does, please know we are here to partner with you.  Eight unexcused absences or ten unexcused times of being late to school is considered excessive absences/tardiness.  This could jeopardize your child's magnet seat and the possibility of being accepted to any other magnet school for the following school year.  Early dismissals must be kept to a minimum.  Parents that bring their child to school should arrive no earlier or depart any later than your school's start and end times.  If the school determines that any child is being consistently dropped off early or picked up late, the parent must enroll their elementary child in a before/after school program such as Hamilton County School Age Child Care Program (SACC) at the parent's expense.   Failure to meet any of these expectations could result in loss of School Choice seat, Tiered Attendance meetings, calls/visits from social worker, or even court.


Four “Buckets” to Complete Volunteer Hours for Your School

Engaging in Education, Skills & Implementation with your student:

Earn hours by attending educational opportunities within the school or approved community events to earn hours. Earn an extra hour(s) by demonstrating skill(s) at home with their student(s).

Examples but not limited to:

  • Content Nights (Math, English, Social Studies, Science, etc) and apply skills with student at home and email teacher w/successes and/or struggles
  • Programming such as “How to help your student be a successful middle schooler, 9th grader, etc”
  • Monitoring Your Student’s social media
  • Adult or Family Book Clubs with reflection or discussion
  • Dealing with Adolescence
  • Child Development
  • Experiencing Your Student’s Day (get parents on Mastery Connect - reflect)
  • Read a monthly/quarterly article or listen to podcast - written reflection or discussion
  • Family eLab project
  • College Fair for parent

School & Community:

Earn hours by working in your school, at a school event, or in an approved community event (approved by the principal) or do a portion of your hours in another school with needs.

  • Option for hours in a different school - Parents must do ⅓ of their hours in their own school but if they desired, they could work with the Parent Volunteer Coordinator or Family Engagement Specialist to do hours in a school with needs.

Examples but not limited to:

  • School-Based: Working concessions at athletic events, making copies, chaperoning a dance or field trip, lunch or hall monitoring, coupon book sales, parent seminar nights, working with a school club, leading a parent education session, beautifying the school, building repairs, painting, etc.

  • Community-Based: MLK Jr. Day of Service Seminars or Projects, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Community Closets, connecting families with services and resources in the community.

Advocacy for School or District

Earn hours by working with a school’s administration, Parent Organization, Parent Volunteer Coordinator, and advocating for the school.

Examples but not limited to:

  • PTO/A committees
  • Fundraising committees
  • School Improvement Committees
  • Superintendent Parent Council, etc.

Resource Contributions:

Families also have the option to earn up to 6 hours through resource contributions made to the school. An hour can be earned for a contribution of $10 not to exceed $60. These could be items used for the school by students and teachers, food or water for a dance or other school event, etc. A receipt with your name and your student’s name on it should be submitted to the person who takes hours for your school.

  • Families w/ economic needs can have some flexibility with the total number of hours. If you find yourself in this position for this school year, please reach out to a school administrator or Parent Volunteer Coordinator/Family Engagement Specialist to discuss options..

Deadlines & Important Information:
* The deadline for Parent Volunteer Hours is the last Monday of each school year. Hours for the next school year may begin on the last Tuesday unless you have a senior.  If you have a senior, hours should be completed prior to graduation.  If they are not completed, families will be expected to complete them by that last Monday.
* Up to 6 hours may be completed in another school.  Documentation and communication of those hours needs to be had between the two schools.
* Any family member 18 (out of school) or older may complete hours on behalf of the student(s).
If a family has students in two different magnet schools those hours should be divided evenly, 9 hours at one school and 9 hours at another. A parent should not use the resource contribution for 6 hours in each building. 6 hours is the max.

Transportation for Magnet Students

Magnet Schools are typically scheduled as Tier III transportation schools meaning they start and end later. Buses pick magnet students up at satellite stops across the county designated by the district. Transportation information can be found here or by calling 423-498-5555.