Applications for DPS magnet schools open December 1 | Top Stories | – MAGIC WAND | Team Cansler

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Decatur Public Schools’ three magnet programs will be accepting online applications beginning Dec. 1 for students interested in enrolling in a magnet program for the 2023-24 school year.

This is the third year that the magnet process is being conducted entirely online.

DPS is using a new online application and lottery system, SchoolMint, this year.

Any student living within the boundaries of District #61 may apply to a magnet school.

Programs range from structured environments where students wear uniforms to a curriculum that encourages independence.

To learn more about each program and to submit an application beginning December 1, click HERE.

DPS will also host three information sessions in the coming weeks. Attendance at these informational sessions is not required to apply for magnet programs.

Register for the virtual sessions to get the zoom link at

● Wednesday, November 30 at the Decatur Public Library at 5:30 p.m

● Wednesday, December 7 via Zoom at 5:30 p.m

● Wednesday, December 14 via Zoom at 5:30 p.m

Online applications are possible from December 1st to January 31st, 2023.

District headquarters will then conduct an electronic lottery in March 2023 to fill the available spots in each magnet school program.

Parents/guardians will be notified by email and/or SMS during the application and sweepstakes process.

Decatur Public Schools offers the following magnet school programs for the 2023-24 school year:

  • American Dreamer STEM Academy (K-8th Grade): American Dreamer STEM Academy will offer Kindergarten through Grade 8 in the 2023-24 school year. This program offers a strong STEM education with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Academy is designed to encourage innovative thinking through STEM teaching and learning, a passion for inquiry, and a compassion for others so students can enrich our world. We provide a challenging learning environment in STEM that maximizes individual potential and ensures students are well-equipped to meet the challenges in the world around them. American Dreamer STEM Academy features a positive environment designed to foster every child’s confidence and self-efficacy. The Academy also has high expectations of manners, respect and consideration for others. Students learn to work together through daily shared experiences that develop a sense of being part of the learning team. We empower students to think critically and reflectively and to apply their knowledge and skills in a larger context. Students experience unique opportunities for STEM education with rigorous and relevant hands-on investigations through research-based instruction, integrated curriculum, and collaboration. The academy adheres to a uniform dress code that encourages a sense of pride and family. To create a thriving atmosphere for progressive learning, parents, students, and staff must adhere to the guidelines of the American Dreamer STEM Academy.
  • Johns Hill Magnet School (K-8th grade): Johns Hill Magnet School will offer Kindergarten through Grade 8 in the 2023-24 school year. Johns Hill has the longest history as a magnet school in Decatur and is home to the district’s English as a second language program. Johns Hill encourages all students to reach their greatest potential. Johns Hill’s vision, “Inspiring students by enriching academics with multicultural experiences and the visual and performing arts,” summarizes the Johns Hill philosophy. In addition to core academic subjects, we integrate the arts into all of our programs. We offer solid programs in foreign languages, fine arts, music and sports. Many students excel in multiple areas, and most students participate in a variety of activities. There are several languages ​​spoken by students visiting Johns Hill and students have an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity. All parents are expected to participate fully in their child’s education. This includes volunteering in the classroom or assisting with programs outside of the school day. Students thrive when the learning community of parents, teachers, and students communicate and collaborate on a regular basis.
  • Montessori Academy for Peace (PreK-8th grade): The Montessori Academy for Peace will offer a full and half-day pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-old students as well as a kindergarten up to the 8th grade in the school year 2023/24. The Montessori program is based on the philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori, a world-renowned doctor and educator. The Montessori curriculum is designed to promote respect, responsibility, collaboration, etiquette, and a sense of community. An emphasis on reading, math, language, science, geography, and cultural and practical life experiences is encouraged as part of the Montessori environment. Montessori also focuses on self-discipline, independence and the development of personal responsibility. One of the school’s goals is to enable students to reach their full potential in all areas of life. The teachers are highly qualified and work with the students based on the individual needs of the child. Parents and families are encouraged to get involved with the school. These factors contribute to the academic success of students.

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