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Magnet elementary schools


About Albany's elementary magnet schools

A magnet school is a specialized program that focuses instruction on a particular theme and incorporates that theme across all subject areas.


Albany's three magnet elementary schools give families a choice in public education. Students have a unique opportunity to deeply explore enriched, theme-based programs in specific areas.


Magnet schools are open to children citywide and enrolled by two random lotteries: one for prekindergarteners and one for older students. Families need to apply for the lotteries. The district conducted the lotteries for the 2015-16 school year March 3.


If you missed the lottery and would like to apply for your child to be in a waiting pool for a magnet school, download and complete this application and return it to Central Registration, 75 Watervliet Ave., Albany, 12206. 


Click on its highlighted name below to learn more about each school.

  • Albany School of Humanities (ASH). Serving prekindergarten through grade 6. At ASH, learners explore diverse cultures through the study of visual arts, literature, music and theater arts.

  • Montessori Magnet School. Serving prekindergarten through grade 5. Montessori seeks to educate students in a way that incorporates all five senses, creates a warm and inviting community and encourages students to give their best efforts.

  • Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST). Serving prekindergarten through grade 6. TOAST emphasizes science and technology across all subject areas.

Applying to magnet schools
Admission to Albany's magnet schools is done through two random lotteries -- one for prekindergarten, and one for grades kindergarten through 5 or 6, depending on the school.


Student selection in the lottery is random, but certain factors take priority when determining where children will be placed:

  • Neighborhood Preference -- Children who reside within designated magnet-school attendance zones are given admission preference within the lottery system according to the current district neighborhood preference policy.

  • Sibling Preference -- Siblings of students currently enrolled in any of the three magnet schools are given admission preference within the lottery system.

  • Special Education -- Placement of students who receive special-education services, including placement in integrated classrooms, must be determined by the Committee on Special Education since students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are placed into appropriate programs based on the committee's recommendations.

Students entered in the lotteries who do not receive a seat are placed in a waiting pool. Please follow this link for more information about waiting pools and next steps for families following the initial lotteries.


You also can call the the Magnet School Office at 475-6551 or Central Registration at 475-6125 if you have questions or would like additional information.

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