Magnet and charter school options in Maryland


Within the public school system, it may feel like you have very little choice where your kids go to school. You live where you live, and they’ll go to school where district boundaries dictate. But magnet schools and charter schools provide an opportunity for kids to attend schools within their county with an alternative curriculum suited to their needs, without the tuition costs of private schools, and there are many in Maryland, including in Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George's County.

In general, magnet schools require applications and admit students based on entrance criteria, such as grades, attendance and interest; charter schools are open to all students and admission is based on a lottery. If your child has a specific interest, such as science, the performing arts or technology, magnet schools can help him or her explore that interest and prepare for college and future careers.

Look through the following information to see whether there is a magnet or charter program in your county that might be a good fit for your child and how to submit an application. Schools that offer the programs are listed below the brief overview of each program.

Anne Arundel and Howard County Magnet and Charter School Options

Middle School Programs

International Baccalaureate (IB) – Designed for students looking for academic challenges. Promotes effective communication and community involvement.

Annapolis Middle, Annapolis
MacArthur Middle, Fort Meade
Old Mill North Middle, Millersville

Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) – Program designed for serious artists preparing for post-secondary institutions and career success. Gives dance, theater, music and art students a chance to hone their skills and network with professionals.

Bates Middle, Annapolis
Brooklyn Park Middle, Brooklyn

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – A rigorous interdisciplinary environment centered around the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Central Middle, Edgewater
Lindale Middle, Linthicum Heights
Old Mill South Middle, Millersville

High School Programs

See middle school section for descriptions of IB, PVA and STEM programs.

BioMedical Allied Health (BMAH) – A curriculum that focuses on preparing for a future career in the health care field. Students receive job shadow and internship opportunities, community partnerships with major hospitals, and educational partnerships with local universities to prepare for academic success after high school.

Glen Burnie High, Glen Burnie

Centers of Applied Technology (CAT) – Prepares students for success in the job market by fostering technical and academic skills, safe work habits and professional ethics.

CAT North, Severn
CAT South, Edgewater

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Annapolis High, Annapolis
Meade High, Fort Meade
Old Mill High, Millersville

Performing and Visual Arts (PVA)

Annapolis High, Annapolis
Broadneck High, Annapolis


North County High, Glen Burnie
South River High, Edgewater

Charter Schools

Chesapeake Science Point (grades 6-12), Hanover
Monarch Academy (grades K-8), Glen Burnie
Monarch Global Academy (grades K-7), Laurel

Application information – Students must complete the online application by the end of fall the year before they wish to enter a magnet or charter program. After the online application is submitted, all BioMedical Allied Health/STEM applicants must complete a Challenge Interview, and all Performing and Visual Arts students must complete an audition. Look on the AACPS website for a step-by-step guide to applying for a magnet or charter program.

Applications and Research Lab (ARL) – A two-year academy program with many opportunities for internships and real world experiences.

Call 410-313-6998 for application information and additional details.

Prince George's County Specialty Education Programs

Prince George's County's has specialized programs that can help kids excel based on their language background and academic abilities. The county also has 10 charter schools.

Specialty Programs

Creative Performing Arts – Develops the interests and talents of students in the arts and enhances the academic discipline through an interdisciplinary approach stressing creativity, artistic expression and culture.

Benjamin Foulois Academy (grades K-8), Morningside
Thomas Pullen Arts School (grades K-8), Landover
Hyattsville Middle School (grades 7-8), Hyattsville

French Immersion – A full immersion model where all academic subjects are taught in the French language.

Maya Angelou French Immersion (grades K-8), Temple Hills
Dora Kennedy French Immersion (grades K-8), Greenbelt
Central High School (grades 9-12)

Dual Language Immersion – An educational approach in which students are taught the curriculum content through the medium of a second language, Spanish. Equal emphasis is given to English and Spanish. Half the seats are saved for native Spanish speakers.

Cesar Chavez Elementary (K only), Hyattsville

Spanish Immersion – A full immersion model where all academic subjects are taught in the Spanish language.

Overlook Elementary (K only), Suitland
Phyllis E. Williams Elementary (K only), Upper Marlboro

Montessori – Provides an interdisciplinary, discovery-based approach to learning designed to meet the needs of the child at each stage of development.

John Hanson Montessori (grades preK-8), Oxon Hill
Judith P. Hoyer Montessori (grades preK-8), Landover
Robert Goddard Montessori (grades preK-8), Seabrook

Talented and Gifted (TAG) – Provides TAG-identified students with full-day advanced, enriched, accelerated educational experiences to meet the unique and specialized instructional, social and emotional needs of gifted learners. Pull-out programs and full-day programs available by lottery for identified students.

Elementary School TAG Programs
Accokeek Academy (grades 2-8), Accokeek
Capitol Heights Elementary (grades 2-5), Capitol Heights
Glenarden Woods Elementary (grades 2-5), Glenarden
Heather Hills Elementary (grades 2-5), Bowie
Highland Park Elementary (grades 2-5), Landover
Longfields Elementary (grades 2-5), Forestville
Mattaponi Elementary (grades 2-5), Upper Marlboro

Middle School TAG Programs

Valley View Elementary (grades 2-5), Oxon Hill
Greenbelt Middle (grades 6-8), Greenbelt
Kenmoor Middle (grades 6-8), Hyattsville
Walker Mill Middle (grades 6-8), Capitol Heights

Charter Schools

North Elementary-Chesapeake Math, Information and Technology (grades K-5), Laurel
North-Chesapeake Math, Information and Technology (grades 6-11), Laurel
South-Chesapeake Math, Information and Technology (grades 6-8), Upper Marlboro
College Park Academy (grades 6-9), Hyattsville
EXCEL Academy (grades K-8), Landover
Imagine Andrews (grades K-8), Andrews Air Force Base
Imagine Foundation at Leeland (grades K-8), Upper Marlboro
Imagine Foundation at Morningside (grades K-6), Suitland
Imagine Lincoln (grades K-8), Suitland
Turning Point Academy (grades K-8), Lanham

Application information – Applications must be submitted by March of the school year before your child starts the specialty program. Applications are not available until January.