Types of K-12 Public Schools in Nevada

Types of K-12 Public Schools in Nevada

Did you know there are several different public school types for enrolling students in school? Here are a few things to know about public schools in Nevada:

  • Public schools in Nevada include neighborhood (district zoned) schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and career & technical academics (CTAs). 
  • All public schools in Nevada are free for students to attend. There is no cost to attend a neighborhood school, charter school, magnet school, or a CTA.
  • Each public school type has a specific enrollment process. Some school types require an application.

Explore the information about public school types and timelines and how to enroll for the 2024-2025 school year.

District Zoned School

A District Zoned Public School is your traditional neighborhood public school.  It is the most common type of public school. These schools are run by a countywide school district that is led by a superintendent and an elected school board. Funding is provided by a variety of public sources.

Transportation: Zoning refers to what neighborhoods and areas are served by what schools. Going outside of this zoning can affect transportation and whether or not students can use the provided bus routes. Bus eligibility information can be found on your school district’s website or at your neighborhood school.

Enrollment: Enrollment is open and free to the public. Attendance is usually based on zoning and home zip code of the student, although Change of School Assignments (COSA) are available. Parents/guardians of new students may register through their local school district or by visiting their district zoned school. Parents/guardians of current students may access registration by logging into their school account.

Resources: Visit your local school district for information on registration, transportation, and zoning.

Public Charter School

Public charter Schools are public schools of choice. All charter schools in Nevada are free for students to attend. Charters have more freedom to operate based on values, themes, and missions. Each charter school has a contract with a sponsor, such as the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA). This sponsor makes sure that the school is complying with local laws and meeting academic goals. Unlike other public schools, families are not limited to a “zone.” 

Transportation: Transportation options vary for each charter school. More information can be found by contacting or visiting the school.

Enrollment: Open enrollment periods can be found on the school’s website and may vary. Since seats are limited, students are selected for enrollment with a lottery system that generally goes from November to April. Each charter school has its own application timeline. 


Magnet Schools

Public magnet schools have a specific theme depending on student interests. Themes may include visual arts, performing arts, health, International Baccalaureate, or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  There are two types of magnet schools: 1) small magnet school programs within your assigned district school and 2) whole magnet schools. Magnet schools are open to students going into K-12. 

Transportation: Students must live within the transportation zone and live more than two miles from a school to receive transportation.

CCSD Enrollment: Students entering Kinder-10th grade that live or plan to live in the Clark County school district may apply. Some schools, like Las Vegas Academy Of The Arts and Del Sol Academy of the Arts in CCSD, will also accept students going into 11th grade.

Entry into a K-8th grade magnet schools is interest-based. mFor grades 9-12, some programs may require grade-based criteria such as STEAM whereas an art school might be audition-based. Like charter schools, magnet schools also use a lottery system. If you turn in your application after the deadline, it will be put into the lottery once all the on-time applications are considered. 

The CCSD on-time application deadline for the 2024-2025 school year closed on January 9, 2024, at 3:00 pm. Late applications will open in mid-March.

WCSD Enrollment: For students in Washoe County School District, magnet applications are closed for the 2024-2025 school year. Families who are still interested in a WCSD magnet program should email Dr. Michael Perrin at mperrin@washoeschools.net.


Clark County School District (CCSD) Magnet Schools

Washoe County School District (WCSD) Magnet Schools

Career and Technical Academies (CTA)

A Career & Technical Academy (CTA) is a type of Magnet School. A CTA is only open to high school students. Entry into a CTA program can be criteria and/or interest-based. CTAs are whole school magnet programs available for students going into 9th or 10th grade.

Enrollment: Parents of interested students must submit an application by the deadline. Students must meet the minimum qualifications in order to be considered. All qualified applicants are placed in a random computerized lottery. Families have the option to apply to any CTA, but they should check with the school to find out if they are eligible for transportation.

Transportation: Each CTA has a specific transportation zone. Transportation is provided to students who live within the transportation zone for the CTA. It is recommended that parents or guardians confirm transportation eligibility with the school. 

Athletics: Most CTAs in CCSD do not provide on-campus sports. Student athletes in CTAs need to travel to their assigned district school to participate in sports. Southeast Career Technical Academy, Las Vegas (SETECH) is the only CTA in CCSD that offers sports.