Elementary Magnet Program

The FCPS Elementary Magnet Program offers a comprehensive education serving the unique needs and varied learning styles of academically gifted students in grades 3–5. The program provides academic rigor and challenge to students who meet FCPS selection criteria and who are performing at advanced levels in language arts and mathematics. 

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Advanced Academics at 301-696-6891 or visit the Advanced Academics section of FCPS.org.

Students seeking placement in the Elementary Magnet Program are screened on a countywide basis. Any student offered a placement in the program is assigned to a magnet site based on his/her residence. Magnet sites are housed within New Market, North Frederick and Urbana Elementary Schools. More details on magnet site attendance areas can be found here.

For more details, check out our Elementary Magnet Program Frequently Asked Questions.

Nominating a Child

Teachers and administrators of the current school may nominate students for the magnet program. Parents/guardians also may nominate their child. It is recommended that parents consult with the child’s current teachers and principal to help gauge the appropriateness of the magnet program for their child. Parents of students who are home schooled or enrolled in private schools should contact the Office of Advanced Academics for nomination procedures.

Parents of FCPS students wishing to nominate their child must submit a nomination form and completed Parent/Guardian Rating Form.

Parents of home-schoolers or non-public school students who reside in Frederick County and wish to nominate their child must submit a nomination form and completed Parent/Guardian Rating Form directly to the Office of Advanced Academics.

Parents of gifted students who will be relocating to Frederick County, MD, prior to July 31, 2017, should contact the Office of Advanced Academics at 301-696-6891 regarding nomination procedures for the 2017-2018 school year.

Nomination Process

Nomination packets are available in public and non-public schools in Frederick County, from the Office of Advanced Academics, or online at www.fcps.org in early February.

The deadline for submitting nomination forms to the principal of a child’s current school is early March. The exact deadline is provided on the application.

Students who have been screened for the Elementary Magnet Program twice and not offered placement must have the principal's approval to be nominated again. School staff members compile required documents and administer a test.

Each completed nomination packet is forwarded to the Nominations Review Committee, comprised of specialists in language arts, mathematics, and gifted education.

Selection Criteria

Any student nominated for placement in the magnet program must exhibit all of the following characteristics:

  • Advanced performance in both reading and mathematics.
  • Strong ratings on teacher checklists of learning behaviors, mathematics performance, and language arts achievement.
  • Strong ratings on parent checklists of student learning behaviors.
  • Superior scores on a nationally normed assessment as designated by the Office of Advanced Academics.

Placement and Enrollment Process

The Nominations Review Committee considers each nominated student to determine if placement in the Elementary Magnet Program is appropriate.

Placement decisions are mailed to parents and principals in mid-May.

Each magnet site invites parents of students who are offered placements to an orientation in May. The orientation is designed to assist parents in deciding whether or not to accept the placement offer.

Parents must notify the Office of Advanced Academics of their decision to decline or accept the offer of magnet placement and enroll their child at the magnet school by late May.

A specific appeal procedure is outlined in the letter of notification sent to parents of students not recommended for placement.