Decision-making is a matter of listing out pros and cons, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario, and making a final choice to move forward in one direction or another. We make decisions in every aspect of our lives, and this process is no different when deciding which educational path is best for our children. There is not one school that fits all. Every child is different, every child’s educational needs are different, and every school is different as a result. That is why it’s so important to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of each educational option when deciding the best fit for your child.
If you are interested in going an alternative public school route, there are many reasons that make magnet schools a worthy contender for your child’s academic journey. Whether your child is just entering Pre-K or starting high school, the advantages of a magnet school are vast, ranging from educational engagement to academic excellence, and all that falls in between. Below, Goodwin College outlines some noteworthy advantages of magnet schools, to help in your search for the right type of school for your little one.
- Engaging Curriculum and Environment:
One of the advantages of magnet schools is that they are all centered around a specific academic theme. Parents and children have the option to choose a school that truly aligns with their child’s interests or talents. For example, if you have a teen who is interested in high-tech, you can consider a technology-focused magnet school. Theme-based classes are offered in combination with a standard curriculum, covering language arts, science, math and social studies. This approach allows children to not only receive a well-rounded education through their core coursework, but also to focus on a theme that engages their interests most. Common magnet school themes include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Fine and Performing Art, Advanced Manufacturing, Environmental Science, and more. A theme-based, focused approach has proven to increase engagement and motivation in the classroom (especially among teenagers), largely by incorporating more hands-on learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom.
- Proven Academic Success:
Magnet schools prioritize academic excellence among their students. In fact, academic excellence is one of the founding five pillars of a magnet education. Magnet schools have specific systems in place to monitor and support individual student learning and success. This is a primary reason why families choose a magnet school education for their children. The thematic approach mentioned above has also proven to be one of the main advantages of magnet schools, in regard to academic excellence. Because the academic environment is designed for students to focus on topics that interest them, it therefore motivates them to be more active and academically successful in the classroom. Magnet school students are known to have higher test scores and higher levels of academic achievement.
- Accepting and Diverse Outlook
While academics are always important, a school should always go beyond academic success by preparing and teaching children to be generally good people, who are accepting and respectful of others. Fortunately, magnet schools are designed to do just that. The cultural advantages of magnet schools are beyond the traditional public school experience. A magnet school student population is not determined by zip codes, but rather brings together children from a variety of different races, religions, and socio economic backgrounds. This integrated, inter-district student population emphasizes and encourages respect and collaboration inside and outside of the classroom. Magnet schools also aim to bring together children of different communities and provide them with different perspectives than they would receive through a traditional public school. This level of diversity teaches our children to have a more accepting and respectful outlook towards others.
- Community Involvement:
Not only does learning go beyond the classroom, but it also goes beyond the confines of the school day hours. While a good portion of a child’s day is spent at school, the learning and growing doesn’t stop as soon as the final school bell rings. Magnet schools not only understand this, but they encourage family and community involvement in their children’s lives and education. This encouraged involvement beyond the classroom keeps children engaged and instills an ongoing passion for growth and learning.
These are just some of the many benefits – and set standards – of a magnet school education. For parents wondering why they should consider a magnet school, think about these many advantages of magnet schools and what they can offer your child. Goodwin College has two exceptional magnet schools, Riverside Magnet School (a Reggio magnet school for Pre-K through grade 5) and the Connecticut River Academy, an early college high school in CT. To learn more about the advantages of these particular magnet schools, please attend an upcoming parent information session or call 800-889-3282 to request more information.