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
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.