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Magnet School Admissions Procedure 18-19


It is the goal of the Vista Unified School District to provide an opportunity for interested students to enroll in one of the District’s five magnet schools: Casita Center, Vista Academy, Vista Magnet Middle School, Vista Innovation and Design Academy and Mission Vista High School. Because space is limited in each school, the District strives to provide a clear, fair and balanced admissions procedure. The District’s magnet schools accept students without regard to disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or English Language Learner status. Both District students and students residing outside of the District will be considered for admission.


On January 9, 2018, magnet school offices will begin accepting applications for all students interested in enrollment. The Vista Unified School District Magnet School Common Application (“Magnet Application”) must be completed and received by the magnet school to which the student is applying by February 23, 2018 in order to be considered for admission for the 2018-19 school year. If, after the admissions deadline and admission, targets are not reached at individual sites, the admissions deadline may be extended. Postmark is not acceptable. Post-deadline applications will be accepted after the lottery and placed at the bottom of the waitlist in the order they are received. The Magnet Application form will be available online, at the magnet school offices, and at the VUSD Student Support Services office.


Magnet school applications submitted online will receive an email confirmation that the application has been received.


Students interested in enrollment in a magnet school for the 2018-19 school year must complete a new application. Applications and waitlist numbers from previous years are no longer valid.


Students under expulsion at the time of the lottery are ineligible for magnet school admissions.


Continuing Enrollment

All students currently enrolled in a magnet school are encouraged to continue their attendance.


To guarantee placement at Casita Center, Vista Academy, Vista Magnet Middle School and Vista Innovation and Design Academy, students must return their Participation Agreement Form to their school’s office during the spring as affirmation of their intent to continue their enrollment. If the


school does not receive a student’s Participation Agreement by the deadline, the District reserves the right to revoke that student’s enrollment.


To guarantee placement at Mission Vista High School, students must complete the class registration process with their counselors by the spring deadline. If a student does not complete this process by the deadline, the District reserves the right to revoke that student’s enrollment.


If a continuing student fails to comply with the terms of the Participation Agreement during the current year, the school site where they are attending retains the right to revoke the student’s continuing enrollment offer and decline to consider them for future enrollment.


Priority status will be given to students who apply on or before the February 23, 2018 deadline and meet one of the following criteria (documentation may be required):

  • The student has a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother, or step-sister living in the same household, who will be attending the magnet school to which the student is applying during the 2018-19 school year;

  • The student’s parent/guardian or step-parent is a “permanent” employee of the District who is NOT in an “at-will”* or “exempt”* position;

  • The student is currently enrolled in the 5th or 8th grade level at another magnet school in the district;

  • Children of active duty military personnel;

  • Foster/Homeless Youth

*“At will” and “exempt” position employees include substitutes, temporary office workers, noon duty assistants, independent contractors, walk-on coaches, etc.


Each school will conduct their own priority admission at the district office at a time and date chosen by the magnet school principals. After the priority admission, each school will conduct a lottery for the remaining available spaces. Each lottery will be conducted using an electronic method selected by the District. Employees from the District Student Support Services office will oversee the lotteries to ensure compliance with this magnet school admission procedure.


All students who reside in the VUSD attendance boundaries will be assigned to one of three pools based on the middle school attendance area in which they reside. All interdistrict transfer students will be assigned to an Out-of-District Pool. Each pool will be randomly assigned a place in the drawing order (one through four). The student drawing order within each pool will be randomly reassigned.


Students on an interdistrict transfer will be limited to 10% of the lottery. If there are spaces available after the lottery, and all students within the VUSD boundaries are accepted, then students on interdistrict transfers may be accepted above the 10% limitation.


NOTE: The VUSD School Board reserves the right to adjust the percentage of inter-district transfer students who are accepted to magnet schools through the lottery process.


Students will be admitted in the order they are drawn from the lottery until all available spaces for that school and grade level are filled. Any remaining students will be placed on a waitlist for their school and grade, in lottery order.


For the 2018-19 school year, all school lotteries will take place the week of February 26, 2018.


At the end of the lottery, each magnet school site will notify students (via email and/or phone call) of any offer of admission or their placement on the school’s waitlist.



After the District extends an offer of admission to a student, the student may accept the offer by filling out a Participation Agreement Form and a VUSD K-12 Student Registration Form. Both forms must be returned within three (3) working days of the notification of acceptance to the office of the magnet school to which they are accepted. If a student receives more than one offer, he/she may only accept one offer on the Participation Agreement Form; once one magnet school offer is accepted, all other magnet school admission offers to that student will automatically be rescinded. If a student does not submit a Participation Agreement Form by the specified deadline, the offer of admission will automatically be rescinded. The Participation Agreement Form must be received by the magnet school site where the student is enrolling by the deadline. Postmark will not be accepted.



After the lottery for acceptance is held, all applicants will be notified of their status (accepted or wait-listed) by email or phone call. Those students who are accepted and currently attend a VUSD school will be automatically enrolled at MVHS for the following school year. Students who are not currently attending a school within VUSD must complete the Participation Agreement Form. The Participation Agreement Form must be received by MVHS within three (3) working days of the offer of admission. In addition, students who are not currently attending a VUSD school will have exactly three (3) weeks from the date of notice to submit all required paperwork (as specified in the letter they receive) to MVHS in order to secure their enrollment. Out of district students who are accepted, but whose parents fail to submit the required paperwork within this three week period will automatically (and without additional notice) have their acceptance to MVHS revoked. Their student’s space will be released to a student on the waitlist. In the event that a parent is unable to submit paperwork within the three-week time period (e.g., the family currently resides outside of the local area), the parent may petition MVHS for an extension of the deadline to submit paperwork. Petitions for extensions will be granted for good cause and must be submitted to MVHS before the end of the three-week period.


For students who are offered admission in July and August, MVHS is unable to guarantee course availability. In some cases, it may be impossible for a late-accepted student to enroll due to a lack of space in required grade-level classes. In these cases, a student’s acceptance may be revoked due to lack of space.


After all of the available spaces are filled, a waitlist for each school and grade level will be created from the initial lottery. As spaces become available, students will only be admitted from the waitlist, in the order they are assigned on the list. Once a space becomes available, staff from the magnet school will contact students (via email and/or phone call) with an offer of admission. Students admitted from the waitlist will have two (2) working days to accept an offer of admission by filling out and returning a Participation Agreement Form. The Participation Agreement Form must be received by the magnet school site where the student is enrolling by the deadline. Postmark will not be accepted.


Applications will continue to be accepted after the February 23, 2018 deadline. Students will be placed at the bottom of the existing waitlist. Should an applicant meet one of the priority criteria, they will be given priority on the waitlist.


On October 1, 2018, the admissions period will close* and the waitlist will be terminated. Mission Vista High School will not offer admission after the 10th day of the school year.


*Any admission of a student after October 1, 2018 will be at the discretion of the VUSD Student Support Services Department.

Click here to download admission procedures. 

Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español.


  • Nov. 15: Presentation of Magnet School Qualification Procedure options to the Board of Trustees
  • Dec. 13: Amended Magnet School Qualification Procedure for Board of Trustees consideration

Click here to download admission procedures. 

Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español.