With the cost of a private education, private school may not be a viable option for most families and their children. But for those parents who have always planned to have their children attend public school, did you know there are more options beyond the traditional public school education? One alternative option is a public magnet school, simply known as a magnet school.
Magnet schools public schools for which children of all different zip codes can apply. They are available for all different age groups. There are elementary magnet schools, magnet high schools, and even magnet schools with Pre-K classrooms. But, in terms of education, what makes public magnet schools stand out from the traditional public school?
While both schools open to the public, magnet schools strive for an integrated and diverse learning environment for students. At a traditional public school, the student population is determined by a student’s zip code and the school associated with that specific zone. However, there are no zoned limitations at public magnet schools. Students from many different zip codes have the opportunity to attend school with other students of different geographic districts. This opens the door for students of different ethnic or economic backgrounds to come together and learn with and from each other. For this reason, magnet schools act as a “magnet,” attracting a diverse student population.
Public magnet schools also differ in the curriculum they offer students. While magnet schools still have to adhere to state and nationwide requirements, their curriculum usually follows a thematic approach, designed to prepare students for their future education and careers. Some common public magnet school themes include: Fine and Performing Arts, World Languages, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Connecticut River Academy, for example, is a public magnet school based on the themes of sustainability, environmental science, and advanced manufacturing. This type of focused education helps inspire and engage teens in their education, laying an important foundation for careers in these fields.
Another unique benefit is the classroom environment of public magnet schools. The classroom setting is extremely conducive for learning for two reasons. The first is that magnet schools tend to have a smaller staff-student ratio, allowing students more individualized attention in the classroom. The second reason is that the classroom is designed for lots of hands-on learning opportunities. Magnet schools believe that learning shouldn’t be confined by textbooks and lectures, which is why most classrooms are equipped with state-of the-art technology and students have access to the resources they need to succeed. They value the hands-on learning activities to motivate, inspire, teach, and engage students with particular topics.
Many of the benefits of a public magnet school can be summed up in the five pillars for which magnet schools are founded on. These pillars are: diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high quality instructional systems, and family and community partnerships. These five pillars are the foundational principles of all magnet schools, and serve as a compass for teachers and students to strive for success.
If you think your child may be interested in a unique public school experience, like a public magnet school education, please attend a parent information session at Goodwin College to learn more about two great magnet schools in your area: Riverside Magnet School and Connecticut River Academy.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.