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Thematic Programs

  • From world language, advanced learning and leadership to STEM and STEAM-powered education, unique themed schools have piqued the interest of parents, guardians and educators alike. 

    “Our desire is to provide the highest quality education and be the unquestioned and preferred educational destination for all students in our community from pre-kindergarten through grade 12,” Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said. “Part of providing a premier, high-quality education means offering exciting programs such as our new elementary-level focus on world language infusion of German, Spanish and Mandarin, and character-building Leader in Me programs, as well as advanced coursework and early college opportunities for secondary students.” 

    Ideally, a student’s zoned school will offer the types of curricular and extracurricular options best suited to his or her interests. However, with a menu of opportunities as unique as the students and communities our district serves, we believe in a student and family’s right to choice and honor whenever possible their access to the educational environment most suited to their learning and individual achievement. 

    Aiken County Public Schools offers Advanced Placement (AP) Academies at North Augusta High School and South Aiken High School, as well as the state’s first Cambridge International affiliated schools in Aiken High School and Schofield Middle School. Additionally, the district recently established an Early College program at Midland Valley High School, which allows students to earn an Associate’s Degree from Aiken Tech, alongside their pursuit of a high school diploma. 

    Additional areas of thematic focus at the high school level include a future-ready curriculum of technology, engineering and arts at Silver Bluff High School, a leadership and military science accelerated program at Wagener-Salley High School, and an Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Health Science Farm-to-Table Healthy Living School at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School. A true college experience on campus at the University of South Carolina Aiken rounds out high school thematic program offerings with the Aiken Scholars Academy. 

    Thematic emphasis at the middle school level beyond the Cambridge Lower Secondary Program at Schofield Middle School has been expanded to include the School of Science at Paul Knox Middle School, and a Modern Math Academy at North Augusta Middle School. Students looking for a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) or STEM-based magnet program can find both in the well-established and AdvancED accredited programs at New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School and Jackson Middle STEM Magnet School. 

    At the elementary level, student options are equally as impressive with East Aiken School of the Arts as a nationally-recognized arts-infused elementary magnet school, a focus on leadership at Chukker Creek Elementary School, Hammond Hill Elementary School and Busbee Elementary School, and the additions of world language immersion at Belvedere Elementary School (Mandarin Chinese), Clearwater Elementary School (Spanish) and Millbrook Elementary School (German). 

    While it's our goal to be as flexible as possible with regard to school choice to allow parents to make those important educational decisions for their children, schools that are at capacity will not be available for transfer. Transfer request acceptance is not guaranteed, though every effort will be made to do so. For more information about the process, call Michelle Bledsoe, administrative secretary, at (803) 641-2420 or email


  • Arts Infusion/Arts in Basic Curriculum - East Aiken School of the Arts

    Leader in Me - Busbee

    Leader in Me - Chukker Creek

    Leader in Me - Hammond Hill

    World Language Immersion/German - Millbrook

    World Language Immersion/Mandarin - Belvedere

    World Language Immersion/Spanish-Clearwater

     For more information, please go to our Elementary Thematic Programs webpage.


  • Cambridge Lower Secondary - Schofield 

    Modern Math Academy - North Augusta

    School of Science - Paul Knox

    Sixth Grade Only - Aiken Intermediate 

    STEAM Magnet (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) - New Ellenton 

    STEM Magnet (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) - Jackson



     For more information, please go to our Middle School Thematic Programs webpage.

School Choice Information


    Requests for attendance to one of Aiken County’s magnet schools, including East Aiken School of the Arts (elementary), Jackson STEM Middle School (Science Technology Engineering & Math), or New Ellenton STEAM Middle School (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math), may be made on the Magnet Transfer Request form. 

    If a request for transfer was previously approved, you do not need to request transfers each year. Transfers are approved through the fifth grade for elementary, through the eighth grade for middle, and through graduation for high school. While every effort will be made to keep students at their school of transfer, space limitations may make it necessary to rescind previously approved transfers.

    Also, as a reminder, continued approval is contingent upon the student following the Code of Student Conduct. Transfer students must be in regular attendance, arrive at school on time, and be picked up promptly afterwards. The transportation of transfer students is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

  • World Language Immersion

    Aiken County Public Schools will launch its World Language Immersion Program for Elementary Schools in fall of 2019 beginning with kindergarten students at three campuses. Please see our World Language Immersion brochure for additional information. 



    One of the first schools to offer a thematic program, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School is well-established in its implementation of a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics focus. For additional information on this partial magnet school, view our NEMS brochure or visit them online

  • High School Thematic Programs           

     From Early College to Middle College, Advanced Placement Academies and more, Aiken County Public Schools has a dynamic offering of accelerated programs across the District. Read more about our programs in the linked article titled Expanding Cultures of Academic Excellence, or by exploring individually the links to each high school's information on the left. 







  • ACPSD School Choice Opportunities

    Please note that we are no longer accepting elementary expanded choice or hardship transfer applications for the 2019-20 school year. The deadline for these requests was March 15, 2019. Applications for our three magnet programs (East Aiken School of the Arts, Jackson STEM Middle School, and New Ellenton STEAM Middle School) will continue to be accepted. Approval will be based on space available.