What Makes Magnet Schools So Great?

Miami-Dade County is fortunate to offer the MOST school choices in the USA, including over 300 distinguished Magnet programs for students of all ages.

#1 school district in the nation

 For the Ninth Straight Year, M-DCPS Receives More National Magnet Merit Awards than Any Other District – 373 Merit Awards in Just 9 Years!

Magnet Schools of America (MSA), a national organization representing over 4,300 Magnet schools and programs, annually recognizes Magnet schools and programs for their commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful diversity efforts, specialized teaching staffs, and parent/community involvement.  In total, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) received 67 awards for the 2019-2020 award cycle. This is an increase of 9 additional awards over last year’s award total.


Distinction Awards

Excellence Awards

What are Magnet Schools?

The School Choice and Parental Options office of Miami-Dade County Public Schools offers a wide variety of Magnet programs that provide unique and enhanced educational opportunities that appeal to students with diverse backgrounds, special talents, and similar interests. These programs offer courses of study that satisfy student educational interest and mandated learning goals while promoting diversity. Some programs accept all interested students; other programs have specific entrance criteria. When the number of eligible students exceeds the number of available seats in non-audition-based or language tested Magnet programs, a random selection procedure is utilized to admit students.

Magnet Programs Shine Nationwide

For the ninth straight year, M-DCPS earned more Magnet Schools of America (MSA) Merit Awards than any other school district in the nation! Including, 67 awards in 2020, bringing the total MSA Awards to 373 in 9 years!

National Leader in Magnet Sustainability

M-DCPS was honored with the Donna Grady-Creer Award by MSA for exemplifying a commitment to equity, excellence and diversity, supporting and promoting Magnet programs across the District.

High Schools Among America’s Best

Miami Magnet Schools placed 12 of the Top 100 high schools in the country and 8 of the schools in Florida’s Top 20, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Accolades

Just a few of our most recent achievements!

Certified National Magnet Schools

M-DCPS is the only school district in the nation with 30 Certified National Magnet Schools. Additionally, 16 of these schools are recognized at the top level and awarded the highest certification category – Certified National Demonstration Magnet School.

Stellar Cambridge Recognition

M-DCPS received the 2018 Cambridge “District of the Year” Award by Cambridge International for demonstrating exceptional commitment to expanding access and delivering a high quality Cambridge education. With an impressive 71% pass rate, M-DCPS is also recognized for improving student performance on Cambridge International exams.

International Baccalaureate Diplomas

The percentage of IB examinations receiving passing scores is consistently at or above the 80th percentile and the total percentage of students receiving the prestigious IB diploma is consistently above the 70th percentile.

Featured Schools…

There is a Magnet program for everyone, take a look at some of our featured Magnet Schools!

What Everyone’s Talking About…

See some of our featured Magnet Schools as showcased on NBC6, Ari Odzer’s Brag About Your School series. The Magnet application period for classes starting next August is now – October 1st through January 15th. Hurry don’t wait!

Andover Middle

Arvida Middle School

Country Club Middle

Hammocks Middle School

Howard D. McMillan Middle

Miami Springs Middle School

Paul W. Bell Middle School

Richmond Heights Middle School

Riviera Middle School

Ruben Dario Middle School

South Miami Middle Community School

Southwood Middle School

WR Thomas Middle School

Ada Merritt K-8 Center

Charles Drew K-8 Center

Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center

Arthur Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts

Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy

Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer

Young Men’s Preparatory Academy

Young Women’s Preparatory Academy

Barbara Goleman Senior High

BioTECH @ Richmond Heights High School

Center for International Education: A Cambridge International School

Coral Reef High School

Cutler Bay Senior High

Felix Varela Senior

G. Holmes Braddock Senior High

Hialeah Senior High

Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High

Homestead Senior High School

International Studies Preparatory Academy at Gables (ISPA)

Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High

MAST @ Homestead

Miami Carol City Senior High

Miami Coral Park Senior High

Miami Edison Senior

Miami Killian Senior High

Miami Norland Senior High

Miami Northwestern Senior High

Miami Palmetto Senior High

Miami Southridge Senior High

New World School of the Arts

North Miami High

North Miami Beach Senior High

Robert Morgan Senior High

South Miami Senior High

Southwest Senior High

Sunset Senior High

TERRA Environmental Research Institute

Westland Hialeah Senior High

William H. Turner Technical Arts High School

Magnet Themes

International Programs

International Programs are internationally benchmarked programs offering students a unique opportunity to meet national as well as international diploma requirements. M-DCPS has partnered with the world’s premiere international programs to ensure that M-DCPS students are globally competent and prepared for future educational and career choices world-wide. Educators in these highly rigorous and benchmarked programs are trained and certified to ensure students receive the highest quality of globally competitive education.

Liberal Arts Programs

With an emphasis on Business, Global Studies, Legal Studies, and Service Industries, the Liberal Arts Programs offer students a variety of opportunities to engage as global citizens on an ever-changing world.  A challenging interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the Humanities, Language Arts, and Social Sciences encourages hands-on learning in a technology rich environment.  Academic excellence and commitment to the values of diversity, community, and collaboration, as well as social awareness, distinguish the Liberal Arts Magnet Programs.

STEM Programs

S.T.E.M. Programs encourage students who have an interest or skill strength in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics fields to explore and develop their talents and to prepare for a future in the fastest growing career industries world-wide. Included in S.T.E.M. Programs are the Medical Health Services Programs, which offer a broad variety of options for students to explore career opportunities and interest in the health sciences.

Visual and Performing Arts Programs

Visual and Performing Arts Programs provide intellectually stimulating and educationally challenging classes in the Arts or Arts Technology for students who demonstrate a talent in a particular art form or who show a strong interest in the arts.  While some programs require students to audition, other programs invite students with an affinity for the arts to develop their passions in an environment rich in creativity.  Student talents and interests are nurtured through a continuous exchange between student and teachers, with numerous opportunities to showcase talents.

Tell me more…

What Makes Miami of the Most Respected School Districts in the Nation

  • A-RATED School District 3 years in a row
  • No ‘F’ schools 4 years in a row
  • 99% of schools are rated A, B, or C
  • Representing over 160 countries and 50 different languages
  • Graduation Rate of 89% District-wide
  • Over $465 million dollars in scholarships
  • Outperformed EVERY large urban school district with fourth grade students ranking #1 in both reading and mathematics

Magnet Schools

Magnet Programs

Magnet Students

NationAL Magnet Awards


over the years… 


Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence 2012
Sunset Elementary School

Region IV Principal of the Year 2012
Dr. Stacy Mancuso
Design and Architecture Senior High


Dr. Donald Waldrip School of Merit Award 2013
Herbert Ammons Middle School

Magnet Schools of America Teacher of the Year 2013
Tere Pujol-Burns
Sunset Elementary School 

Region III Teacher of the Year 2013
Tere Pujol-Burns
Sunset Elementary School 


Magnet Schools of America Principal of the Year 2014
Adrienne Leal, Principal,
Coral Reef Senior High  

Region III Principal of the Year 2014
Adrienne Leal, Principal,
Coral Reef Senior High  

Region III Teacher of the Year 2014
Mark Tohulka,
Maritime and Science Technology Academy (MAST)


Magnet Schools of America Superintendent of the Year 2016
Alberto Carvalho

Magnet Schools of America Principal of the Year 2016
Martin Reid
Arthur Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts 6-12

Region III Principal of the Year 2016
Martin Reid
Arthur & Polly Mays 6-12 Conservatory of the Arts

Region III Teacher of the Year 2016
Vivian Gonzalez
South Miami K-8 Center



Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability 2017
Miami Dade County Public Schools


Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence 
Young Women’s Preparatory Academy

Region III Principal of the Year 2018
Raul Calzadilla Jr.
Air Base K-8 Center

Region III Teacher of the Year 2018
Dale Adamson
Howard D. McMillan Middle School


Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence
Miami Lakes Educational Center 2019

Region III Principal of the Year 2019
Deborah Leal
Hammocks Middle School


Region III Principal of the Year 2020
Lisa Noffo
Medical Academy for Science and Technology (MAST@Homestead)

Region III Teacher of the Year 2020
Wayne Worthley
Redland Middle

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