Magnet Programs

The Columbus Tustin Middle School
Applied Math and Science Magnet

The Columbus Tustin Middle School Applied Math and Science Magnet is the district's comprehensive program emphasizing science, mathematics and technology. The academic and co-curricular programs are designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, creativity and risk-taking with the goal of encouraging independence in learning.

Program Highlights

  • inquiry-based science curriculum that emphasizes science process skills, research and discovery
  • science units that integrate experimentation and content in a way that develops the students' understanding of the scientific processes of discovery
  • integration of computer and other technologies, so that students become proficient in choosing and using appropriate scientific tools and technologies to enhance and demonstrate learning
  • academic contests, such as Academic Pentathlon and Orange County Science Fair
  • curriculum-related study trips, such as the Los Angeles Science Center, the Science of Roller Coasters at Knott's Berry Farm, AstroCamp and Catalina Island Marine Institute

A School Within A School - The Math & Science Magnet Program offers a unique learning environment. Magnet students spend the majority of their school day in two core classes of math/science and language arts/social science. The remainder of the day is spent in PE and elective classes with CT students.

Academics - The Columbus Tustin Magnet Program maintains high academic standards and integrates academic disciplines as part of the magnet program core. Students gain a strong foundation for future educational pursuits. Magnet students have the opportunity to participate in a full range of extra-curricular activities and during their three years in the program are required to take part in Visual or Performing Arts and/or Foreign Language elective classes for at least 3 semesters.

Inquiry-Based Science - The Magnet Program teaches students to become apprentice investigators, learning not only math and science facts, but also the processes of scientific research, discovery, and documentation. The curriculum has been developed based on current research on the teaching and learning of science, and enables students to engage actively in scientific inquiry as a way to develop conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills.

Research Projects - The Magnet Program involves students in both independent and team research projects which extend knowledge, provide hands-on experience with current scientific and technological applications, and allow students to pursue personal interests in science, mathematics and technology.

Curricular Extensions - The scope of the students' education also extends beyond the traditional classroom. Students may have the opportunity to interact with other educational institutions, business partners, and the community. Magnet students participate in science outreach programs, field trips, and competitions such as Academic Pentathlon and Orange County Science Fair.

Enrollment and Admission - Enrollment is limited to 120 sixth- through eighth-grade students. Admission is selective, and is based on application responses, grades, test scores and teacher recommendations.

For more information, contact the Columbus Tustin Middle School office at (714) 730-7352, or send an email to

Tustin Memorial Academy Magnet School

Tustin Memorial Academy (TMA) is a Tustin Unified School District K-5 Magnet School open to all elementary students in the District TMA is a National Blue Ribbon School, a California Distinguished School and a California Service Learning Exemplary School. The school features two separate programs -- Fundamental and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE).

Tustin Memorial Academy was created in 1995 as the Tustin Unified School District's sole K-5 Fundamental School focusing on Reading, Writing, and Math. The fundamental school concept places an emphasis on phonics-based literacy, hands-on science/technology lab instruction and performance-based student groupings for language arts and mathematics. Fine arts lessons featuring the Meet the Masters art program are also included.

In 1996, Tustin Memorial Academy became Tustin Unified School District's Magnet School for identified Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) students. A unique feature of the GATE program is that qualified students are enrolled in a full-day program in grades 3 through 5. The Magnet GATE Program provides a Differentiated Curriculum that promotes opportunities for study in greater depth and complexity, development of advanced skills through research and technology, growth in creativity and curiosity, and an appreciation for learning. Students enrolling in the GATE Magnet program must have a GATE verification letter prior to enrollment.

Tustin Memorial Academy also offers the Advanced Primary Learner (APL) Magnet program where APL identified students in grades 1 and 2 are enrolled in full time, self-contained classrooms. APL students are provided with challenging learning opportunities that promote critical thinking using GATE strategies and thinking prompts in full classroom setting of APL students. Students enrolling in the APL Magnet program must have an APL verification letter prior to enrollment.

In addition, Tustin Memorial Academy encourages strong parental involvement with a collaborative relationship between staff and parents. Parents are asked to sign an agreement that clearly states responsibilities of students and parents. Parental responsibilities include overseeing homework, volunteering at the school, and ensuring that their children uphold standards of behavior and adhere to the uniform dress code.

The school is located at 12712 Browning Ave. For additional information or to arrange a school tour, call (714) 730-7546.