The school, for gifted students in grades 2 to 5, will be run as a magnet program, so it will be open to children from across the county and will operate without an attendance zone. A lottery will be used if there are more applicants than the 434 available seats.
Among all the noise coming out of a welding shop students are learning a trade. Just a few classrooms away at Tampa Bay Tech Nathan Gonzalez is doing a different type of work. "It's a magazine ad for an elderly community; 55 plus," says Gonzalez. This senior takes part of just one of 18 career-focused programs at one of several magnet schools in Hillsborough County.
The gap between the proficiency levels of black children and white children in Alabama's public schools is wide, stubborn, and pervasive. The causes for that gap are many, and the impact of that gap is long-lasting. But AL.com, after analyzing achievement gaps between black and white students, found a whole group of schools where proficiency for students is high and the gap is minimal. Those schools, by and large, are Alabama's magnet schools.
One year ago the New Century Technology High School faculty embarked on a journey of reflection, improvement and growth. After an intense application process, New Century has been named as one of only 55 nationally certified magnet schools by Magnet Schools of America. They are also the only school in Alabama to earn this distinction.
"When New World School of the Arts opened 30 years ago it was a pioneer of the magnet school model. Its founders wanted to eliminate the normal neighborhood borders and provide students from across a wide geographical area equitable access to specialized and focused training," explained Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, Provost and CEO of New World School of the Arts.
About a third of Duval County students who take advantage of school choice are enrolled in magnet schools, which revolve around a theme, such as fine arts or engineering. Trey Csar's son just started his first day of first grade at a dual-language magnet school, where he learns in both English and Spanish.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.