• 2023-2024
    Magnet School Application Window


    Waco ISD offers differentiated learning opportunities and unique instruction with its two elementary magnet school campuses, Hillcrest Professional Development School (PDS) & Lake Air Montessori Magnet School. Waco ISD magnet schools enroll students based on online applications and a lottery system rather than through traditional school zones. Any student, including those living outside of the district's attendance boundaries, may apply to one of these magnet programs. Applications for magnet campuses are accepted only during the designated application period, and parents must complete the online application process. Students currently attending magnet schools are required to complete the application in order to save their child's spot on campus for the following school year.

    Hillcrest Professional Development School (PDS) 
    (pre-K4 through fifth grade) develops leaders in academic and fine arts. Academic development is promoted through experiential learning and age-appropriate study trips, while creativity is nurtured through participation in performing arts. Through a partnership with the Baylor University School of Education, this campus continues to serve as the first Baylor PDS site in Waco – a collaboration that offers Baylor teacher candidates the opportunity to work alongside mentor teachers on campus. For more information, visit wacoisd.org/hillcrest or call (254) 772-4286.  

    Lake Air Montessori Magnet School (pre-K3 through eighth grade) is one of the state’s largest public schools to offer the Montessori curriculum in a multiage classroom environment. Teachers participate in rigorous training to become certified in the Montessori method. Extracurricular programs include art, band, choir, history and science fair, gardening, recycling, field trips, immersion trips, peace camps, AVID college prep and an after-school program. The school maintains a PDS partnership with Tarleton State University. For more information, visit wacoisd.org/lakeair or call (254) 772-191

     Check back December 2023 for more details on the 2024-2025 school year application.


    ATLAS Academy Application Window


    What is the ATLAS Academy?

    The ATLAS Academy is a school-within-a-school located on the Tennyson Middle School campus that serves students identified as gifted and talented in sixth through eighth grades. The ATLAS Academy does not have an attendance zone. Instead, the Academy is open to anyone based on the established criteria and assessments. If you would like additional information about ATLAS or if you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact:

    Kathleen Knight
    Dean of the ATLAS Academy

    How do I apply?

    Anyone may nominate a student to receive gifted and talented services. All students nominated will be assessed and evaluated by Waco ISD personnel with expertise in gifted and talented education. Assessment and evaluation of nominated students includes data from multiple sources, both objective and subjective. Program admission is determined by district personnel who understand characteristics of gifted and talented learners. If you would like to nominate a student to be assessed, please contact:

    Celeste Sodergren
    Director of Advanced Academics

     Check back December 2023 for more details on the 2024-2025 school year application.

Last Modified on March 1, 2023