Signature & Magnet Programs

Although many families choose to attend their neighborhood school, PUSD offers families the option of attending one of its signature or magnet programs that focuses on a specific themed curriculum.  Families participate in the Open Enrollment process if they want to enroll their student in one of the following programs:

Dual Language Immersion

In Dual Language Immersion Programs (DLIP) students receive instruction in two languages, English and a “target” language. The goal of the DLIP is for students to become bilingual and biliterate – able to read and write as well as speak properly in both English and the target language.

PUSD offers Spanish, Mandarin and French DLIPs, using the “90/10” model. Students start the program in kindergarten with 90% of their instruction in the target language, and 10% in English. Each year, the balance shifts until they receive half their instruction in each language. PUSD also offers DLIP pre-Kinder programs, but these are neither a prerequisite nor a guarantee of admission to an elementary DLIP program. (See DLIP Master Plan for details.)

DLIP programs are located at:

  • Spanish-English: San Rafael, Jackson STEM Magnet, and Jefferson Elementary; Blair IB Secondary School (6-12) and Washington STEAM Middle School (beginning August 2018)

  • Mandarin-English: Field Elementary; Sierra Madre Middle School, Pasadena High School

  • French-English: Altadena Arts Magnet Elementary

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

The IB Programme aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The Primary Years Programme at Willard Elementary prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners, who have the capacity to participate in the world around them.  Blair’s Middle Years Programme is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.  And, Blair’s rigorous IB Diploma Programme develops students who have an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, critical thinking skills, global perspective, and are college-ready.

Arts Magnets

As an Arts for All school district, PUSD believes in the value of providing an arts curriculum for all K-12th grade students.  To further demonstrate it's commitment to the arts, PUSD has two Arts Magnet Schools - Altadena Arts Magnet Elementary School and Eliot Arts Magnet Middle School.  Both programs nurture students' academic achievement through music, dance, visual arts, and theatre arts. Students engage in arts-integrated project-based learning across the curriculum in addition to having classes in music, dance, theater arts, and visual arts.   

Jackson STEM/DLIP Magnet

All Jackson Elementary students participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math focused instruction.  The STEM curriculum is integrated across content areas to engage students in a real world, hands-on approach to education. The staffed Science Laboratory and community garden are unique parts of the school’s STEM focus as they provide students with an opportunity to see science in action.  In addition to the STEM education, students interested in Spanish DLIP, may also apply for that program.

Washington Elementary STEM Magnet

WESM infuses Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math across the curriculum as students learn to inquire and apply knowledge through Project Based Learning.  A computer teacher, staffed science lab, and hands-on engineering materials are just some of the special features at WESM.

Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy Middle School

WSMA integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math across its curriculum to help students understand complex problems, develop potential solutions and prepare them to be the next generation of innovators.  Students may also participate in a STEAM-integrated Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program.

Early College

In collaboration with Pasadena City College, students at John Muir High School Early College Magnet engage in a rigorous, four-year program, earning up to two years of transferable college credit while in high school. All freshmen take an introductory college course to build stamina for college-level courses. Students will have options for additional early college courses in subsequent years, and will have the benefit of tutors, mentors, internships, and other career-related experiential learning. All course fees and materials are free for JMHS students.


How to Apply:

All families who wish to enroll in the Dual Language Immersion Programs must participate in the Open Enrollment process. Students living within a half-mile of Altadena, San Rafael, Jackson, Jefferson or Field are given preference in the Open Enrollment lottery, but are not guaranteed a spot. Families that do not receive placements at their preferred Spanish-English DLIP school may be offered a seat at another program site.

The entry point for DLIP is kindergarten. Students who wish to enter a DLIP at 1st grade or above must take an assessment and demonstrate a level of proficiency in the target language that will enable them to be successful. Ideally, dual language program enrollment is balanced between English speakers and native speakers of the target language. When completing the Open Enrollment application, parents must indicate whether their child is or is not a native-speaker of the program language.

Families who wish to attend one of the other signature or magnet programs, and do not live within that school’s attendance zone, must also participate in Open Enrollment.  Families who wish to attend Eliot Arts, Jackson STEM (but not DLIP), John Muir Early College Magnet, Washington Elementary or Middle, Willard, or Blair, and who live within their attendance zone may register directly at those schools.