What is a Magnet School?

The magnet school has long represented one of the most flexible options for parents with children gifted in a specific area of study. However, even with their relatively established history in the American public education system, many don’t know about them or what purpose they serve in a community. In the article below, we’ll solve that problem and provide some insight into the mission of these schools.

If You Haven’t Heard

These schools represent a variety of options for parents. The beauty of the magnet school is that it is open to students from a wide array of demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds. Children may attend irrespective of school district or financial situation, since these schools are a part of the public education system and not private institutions. But what makes them different from the other schools in the district?

Each magnet institution focuses on providing innovative and accelerated programs in a specific discipline or area of study. While they also provide the basics of education required by each state and the federal government, this allows students who attend a specific school to enhance their gifts and propensities for a given topic. It can lend them a special edge when the time arrives for them to compete for honors at a collegiate level or attain scholarships for advanced studies.

There are defined areas of focus for each magnet institution. You may find a STEM-focused high school to be the best place for your child. Similarly, some schools center efforts on Performing Arts, International Studies, or Immersive and Non-Immersive Language Studies. However, what the board of directors often stresses are the so-called soft skills.

Specialization to Thrive

While each magnet institution offers a specific program, it does something else quite different from many schools. It brings together children from many different backgrounds, something which sadly does not happen to as great an extent in a traditionally zoned school district. In this vibrant learning environment, children are exposed to different life ways and concepts. They learn to interact and conduct team-building exercises with students from demographics with which they might otherwise never interact.

Not only are these institutions held to the same standards as traditional public schools, but they also often exceed them in areas of academic and social success. In many cases, magnet high schools partner with universities, local businesses, charitable organizations, and community systems, encouraging students to build relationships and work proactively to enrich their society.

One of the biggest differences and advantages of enrolling children in a magnet institution instead of a charter school is their commonality with other public high schools. While charter institutions are considered a public school option, they can operate for-profit programs, which are frequently not held accountable to public education standards.

The same elected school board officials that oversee standard educational institutions provide oversight of school learning goals and program integrity. That means you, as a parent and citizen, have a voice in how those goals are shaped. With charter schools, while often beneficial, the oversight falls to a variety of university and local business personalities, which can shape educational outcomes.

When all is said and done, magnet schools provide children who demonstrate aptitude and enthusiasm for one or more specific subjects an avenue for exploration. These schools are places in which they can excel, interact with a variety of different types of students who bring the richness of their own backgrounds to the mix, and learn how to be civic and academic successes. Magnet schools provides a matrix in which children may shape their own destiny and achieve greatness in their own way.