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2021-2022 Magnet School and ATLAS Academy Applications Open Jan. 4-29

The 2021-2022 magnet school application window is Jan. 4-Jan. 29, 2021.

Waco ISD magnet schools enroll students based on online applications and a lottery system rather than through traditional school zones.

Hillcrest Professional Development School (PDS)
(pre-K4 through fifth grade) develops leaders in academics 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 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 or call (254) 772-1910.

To apply, please visit The application will be available Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 school year is Friday, Jan. 29, 2021



ATLAS logo

The 2021-2022 ATLAS Academy application window is Jan. 4-Jan. 29, 2021.

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.

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. 

To apply, please visit The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 school year is Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

More information:

If you would like additional information about ATLAS, prefer a paper application, or if you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact:

Kathleen Knight
Dean of the ATLAS Academy

If you would like to nominate a student to be assessed, please contact:

Ashley Duncan
Director of Advanced Academics