Our goal as a school system is to produce future-ready students who have all the skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary studies and the modern workplace. Through the addition of new areas of thematic focus, we have greatly expanded the scope of individualized educational opportunities available here in Aiken County.
It is our desire that your student be in an educational environment most suited to his or her learning and individual achievement. Ideally, it is our hope that a student’s zoned school will offer the types of curricular and extracurricular options best suited to his or her interests and will be your school of choice. 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 choose and honor whenever possible their access to the educational environment most suited to their learning and individual achievement.
We provide several options of learning opportunities through expanded choice offerings, thematic programs and magnet schools. In order to apply for any of these programs, a School Choice Application must be completed during the designated time, typically in the spring of the prior school year. However, if their application is approved to attend a school they are not zoned for, parents will be required to transport their students to and from school.
Thematic Programs and Magnet Schools
Many of our schools have Thematic and Magnet School programs that provide multiple opportunities for students to pursue individualize educational pathways that meet their academic needs and areas of interest. Some programs are “whole school”, which means all students can participate if zoned for that school or a School Choice Application is accepted based on space available. Other programs are “programs within a school” which indicates there may be limited space available or additional criteria for acceptance into the program.
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 Magnet Middle School (Science, Engineering, Arts & Math) or to the various thematic programs in the district, may be made on the Student Transfer Request link. The deadline for submitting applications online for these transfers is Friday, March 24, 2023.
School Choice Options
There are four Choice options available to students and parents in Aiken County Public Schools: zoned schools, schools open for expanded choice, schools with thematic programs and magnet schools. The graphic below will guide you through the next steps of the school choice process based on your student’s academic and extracurricular interests.
Elementary Expanded Choice
Expanded Choice schools are elementary schools that are able allow parents and students to request a transfer to attend a school other than their zoned school that has available space. Parents must submit their request by completing the online School Choice Application by the designated deadline. Expanded Choice transfer requests will be accepted on a first come, first served basis while space allows. Schools selected for expanded choice can change from year to year based on student enrollment. However, once a transfer request is approved, it remains valid through the 5th grade.