Attracted to Magnet Schools?

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If your child enjoys music, drama, science or math, the magnet schools in Wake and Durham counties may be a perfect fit.

These public schools offer a variety of educational options, ranging from gifted and talented to International Baccalaureate to museum schools.

“Magnet schools provide a variety of teaching approaches and curriculum offerings, which help to customize a student’s educational programs,” says Del Burns, superintendent of the Wake County Public School System.

In Wake County, students are admitted through an application process each spring. The application period typically begins in February. Magnet schools are offered at all grade levels. Students do not need to pass a special test or be recommended for most magnet programs. They are chosen from the application pool by computer, using a random number selection process.

Wake County parents can learn more about magnet programs at monthly informational sessions. These sessions are held the first Tuesday of each month through February 2008 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Magnet Resource Center, 1600 E. Millbrook Road, in the recruitment room on the lower level.

At these sessions, parents can meet with representatives from the magnet programs department, learn about the application process, collect information about each magnet school and determine which magnet schools are in the parents’ transportation area.

The Wake County magnet schools fair will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, 2600 Rock Quarry Road. For more information about the Wake County magnet programs, contact the Magnet Resource Center at 919-501-7900 or visit the Web site at

Durham County offers nine magnet schools from which parents can choose to match their student’s interests and aptitudes. Each school’s theme guides the instructional program.

Enrollment is by an application only and a computerized lottery process determines admission. Magnet programs are offered at both elementary and secondary schools.

For more information, contact Chris Bennett, executive director of advanced academic students, at 919-560-2597, or visit the Web site at

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