FAQs about Wait Lists

Frequently Asked Questions
about the Magnet Programs Wait List

IMPORTANT:  Offers for placement from the Wait Lists are made by email.  
If no email address was provided on the application, placement offers will be made by phone.

PLEASE inform the BCPS Magnet Program staff if your email address or phone number changes.

What does it mean to be on a wait list?

Magnet programs have a limited number of seats.  When more applicants qualify for a magnet program than there are seats to accommodate them, a random lottery selection process is used to fill the available seats and create a wait list for the program.  Placement on the wait list means your child qualified for the program and, as a result of the lottery process, was not selected for initial placement.  The wait lists for the 2018-2019 school year are maintained until the close of business on Friday, November 9, 2018.

What does the wait-list number mean?

The wait-list number indicates your child’s position on the wait list.  You will need this number when checking on your child’s wait-list status.  Your child’s wait-list number will not change even though the number of students on the wait list may decrease as placements are offered.

How can I check the status of the wait list?
The wait-list status for all programs will be posted on the BCPS Magnet Programs’ Web site ( by mid-April. The posted wait list will identify the next wait-list number to be contacted if a program seat becomes available, as well as the next scheduled update.  It is recommended that parents frequently check the wait list for updates.

What are my child’s chances of getting into a program from the wait list?
If an applicant is offered placement in a magnet program and declines the seat, the BCPS Magnet Programs staff will contact the next applicant on the wait list.  This process continues until the close of business on Friday, November 9, 2018.  It is impossible to predict how many, if any, applicants may decline a placement offer.  If all of the seats in a program are filled, no additional applicants will be offered placement from the wait list.

How will I be contacted with a placement offer?
The BCPS Magnet Programs’ staff will attempt to contact parents of wait-listed applicants by email using the email address(es) provided on the application.  It is important that parents be prepared to accept or decline the placement when contacted.  If no email address was provided, parents will be contacted by phone.  If no one is available to take the call, the office staff must be able to leave a voice message.  It is the parent’s responsibility to inform the BCPS Magnet Programs’ staff, if their email address(es) and/or phone number(s) change.

If my child is offered placement, how long will I have to make a decision?
Parents should be prepared to accept or decline the placement, if contacted with an offer; however, parents will have three (3) days to respond to the placement offer.  If the last day to accept the offer falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a school system holiday, the period ends on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or school system holiday. Failure to respond by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the seat, and the placement will be offered to the next applicant on the wait list.

If I accept a seat in one program, will my child be removed from the wait list(s) for other programs?
No.  Unless you inform the BCPS Magnet Programs’ staff that you want your child to be removed from the list(s), your child will remain on the other wait list(s) until you are offered a seat or until the wait list is no longer active.  If you decline a placement offer for a program, your child will be removed from only that program’s list.
If I have two or more children on a wait list for the same magnet program or school and one is offered a seat, will the sibling(s) be offered placement at the same time?
No.  Sibling applicants, including multiples, receive no priority placement from the wait lists.  Applicants can only be offered placement in the order in which they appear on the wait list.

If I accept a magnet placement offer from the wait list, what do I need to do next?

You will need to contact the school within five (5) business days of accepting the placement to schedule a registration appointment.  Failure to contact the school to schedule registration within the five (5) day time limit may result in forfeiture of the program seat.
Enrollment in a magnet program is contingent upon proof of eligibility to attend a Baltimore County public school.  
Failure to enroll by the date set by the school may result in forfeiture of the program seat.
The parent is responsible for providing transportation to and from the magnet program, if transportation is not provided by Baltimore County Public Schools.
When placement is accepted in a magnet program not in the child’s zoned (neighborhood) school, the child will be enrolled as a “Special Transfer” student under the terms and conditions of Board Policy and Superintendent’s Rule 5140 (available at

What should I do if my child is not offered placement from the wait list by the start of the 2018-2019 school year?
If your child has not been offered placement in a magnet program by the start of the 2018-2019 school year, you will need to enroll your child in his/her zoned (neighborhood) school or any other school where your child has been offered placement. 

Could my child be offered a seat after the 2018-2019 school year starts?

Yes.  Placement offers may be made until the close of business on Friday, November 9, 2018.  If you accept a magnet program placement after the start of the school year, your child will be permitted to transfer at that time.  The school will assist parents in the transfer and registration process.

If my child is still on a wait list in the fall of 2018, do I need to apply for the 2019-2020 school year?
Wait lists are valid only for the year of application.  To be considered for a magnet program for the 2019-2020 school year, you MUST apply before the application deadline.  Some schools and programs permit application for multiple entry grade levels; others do not.  Review the magnet brochure for specific information.  

Will I jeopardize my child’s chances of being offered a seat from the current wait list if I apply for a magnet program for 2019-2020?
No. Your child’s status on the 2018-2019 wait list will remain active until the close of business on Friday, November 9, 2018, regardless of whether or not you submit an application for the 2019-2020 school year.  

Do students on the current year’s wait list receive preference in the next magnet application cycle?
No.  All new applications are given equal consideration.  All applicants must qualify for a given program and, if there are fewer seats than qualified applicants, program seats will be filled through a random lottery process.

What if I have other questions?
Please contact the BCPS Magnet Programs by phone at (443) 809-4127 or by email at

New Magnet Programs’ Web site: