Four pictures of students, one from each of the magnet schools. A TOAST student using a flight simulator, a Montessori student painting, a Delaware student watering flowers and an ASH student smiling.

Magnet programs and lottery

Application Deadline Feb. 17 | Lottery held March 17

A magnet school or program focuses instruction on a particular theme and incorporates that theme across all subject areas. All are enrolled by lottery and open to children throughout the city.

Admission to Albany’s magnet schools and program is done through two random lotteries – one for students who will enter prekindergarten in September of the following school year, and one for students who will enter kindergarten through grade 5 or 6, depending on the school, in September of the following school year.

Our magnet choices

The City School District of Albany offers three themed elementary schools – Albany School of Humanities (ASH), Montessori Magnet School and Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) – and one themed program, the Dual Language Program at Delaware Community School.

Virtual open houses

Explore our unique virtual magnet elementary options through our virtual open houses. The virtual presentations will premiere at the dates and times below, and also be available to view at any time thereafter.

Important information to consider

How you decide your first, second, third and fourth choices may be affected by the location of the program or school, whether you have other school-age children, whether additional child care is offered and other personal preferences. However, certain other factors go into play in the lottery that will influence your child’s eventual assignment. 

The names of children with a sibling preference are drawn first in the lottery. The names of those with neighborhood preference are drawn second in the lottery. All other names are drawn for remaining seats.

Applying for the lottery

Complete the application linked at the top of this page. Please print legibly so that all information can be entered accurately. Review your application carefully to make sure the information is accurate.

Mail or hand-deliver your application to:
City School District of Albany
Magnet Schools Office
1 Academy Park
Albany, NY 12207

After the lottery

Once lottery seats are assigned, the district will mail you one of two letters: an acceptance letter or a waiting-pool letter. This notification will also be sent to the email address you provide on the application.

Frequently asked questions

Below are commonly asked questions about the magnet lottery process. If you have futher questions, please feel free to contac the Magnet Office at (518) 475-6551.