More Anne Arundel County Public Schools students than ever before – over 2,700 – submitted applications for seats in magnet programs for the upcoming school year, an indication that interest in programs of choice across the school system continues to rise sharply.

The record number of students submitted nearly 4,400 applications – each student could submit up to four – for just 1,600 total seats available for the 2016-2017 school year. Applications were accepted for seven magnet programs housed at 16 schools. The number of applications represents a 10 percent increase over the current school year.

“We are incredibly proud of the engaging and enriching curricula that we continue to enhance across our school system,” said Mary Tillar, Assistant Superintendent for Advanced Studies and Programs. “It is clear that specialized coursework and partnerships we are developing with higher education and industry leaders are producing programs that more and more students want to take part in, and that is extremely exciting. As interest in our magnet programs continues to exceed our capacity, we are integrating some of the curricular and co-curricular components into other programs, courses, and school offerings so that more students can have similar learning experiences.”

The number of applications means that lotteries were held for seats in six of the seven programs for which applications have been accepted:

  • BioMedical Allied Health high school magnet program at Glen Burnie High School
  • International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Annapolis and MacArthur middle schools, and Old Mill Middle School North
  • International Baccalaureate Middle Years/Diploma Programme at Annapolis, Meade, and Old Mill high schools
  • Performing and Visual Arts middle school magnet program at Bates and Brooklyn Park middle schools
  • STEM middle school magnet programs at Central Middle School, Lindale Middle School, and Old Mill Middle School South
  • STEM high school magnet program at North County High School and South River High School

The lone program not to need a lottery is the Performing and Visual Arts High School Magnet Program at Annapolis and Broadneck high schools

As with previous years, magnet lotteries were conducted by an outside agency. Lottery status will be announced today with email notification of magnet program seat offers and waiting list placements letters. Website postings will also be uploaded today.

Next year, 14,000 students from grades 6-12 – 18 percent of the AACPS population for those grades – will be enrolled in a magnet program at the start of the school year.

Applications for enrollment in AACPS’ two Centers of Applied Technology are not counted in these totals. Those applications are due on April 1, 2016.