Magnet schools have a focused theme and aligned curricula in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Fine and Performing Arts, International Baccalaureate, International Studies, MicroSociety, Career and Technical Education (CTE), World Languages (immersion and non-immersion) and many others. Magnet schools are typically more “hands on – minds on” and use an approach to learning that is inquiry or performance/project based. They use state, district, or Common Core standards in all subject areas, however, they are taught within the overall theme of the school.

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San Diego North County Schools Network

North County Magnet Schools




North county magnet schools are in Escondido, Fallbrook, and Vista school districts. Anyone in any city may apply for the lotteries for any of the Escondido and Vista district magnet schools.  You do not need to live within the district. The Fallbrook district magnet school is a neighborhood school. However, families may apply for an intra-district or inter-district transfer. 


Escondido magnets give Escondido residents priority, but people outside Escondido have gotten selected in the past. However, they have become very popular that in recent years it's become very difficult if not living in the district. For 2019-2020 school year, Del Lago Academy had over 100 students living in Escondido on the waitlist for 9th grade and anyone outside the district went on the bottom of that waitlist. Quantum had a few students from outside EUSD selected to attend for the same year.


Vista has 4 different pools they pick from during the lottery for their magnet spots, including an "outside Vista" pool so your chance of getting into a Vista school is higher than Escondido if you live outside those cities.


Once accepted into one of these schools you would need to apply for a transfer request from your district into their district and receive approval. For Vista, you typically request release from your district after your name is selected, whereas Escondido likes to have approved release before you are considered in their lottery(especially Quantum Academy). Please contact your school of interest to confirm the process.

Schools with an (IB) listed next to them are also International Baccalaureate World Schools. Please toggle to the IB Schools page to find out more information on them.

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