Students and parents explore opportunities at local magnet schools
The Chronicle. Tevin Stinson. November 22, 2017.

Although the Dixie Classic Fair isn’t scheduled to return to the city until Sept. 2018, the Education Building at the city fairgrounds mirrored the fall classic last weekend as hundreds of local children and their parents came out to explore the programs offered at the 21 magnet schools in the area.

The Magnet Fair hosted by the Winston-Salem School Forsyth County Schools District is held each year to give students an opportunity to find out more about the unique academic programs offered at the elementary, middle, and high schools that add a modern twist to the traditional education system.

Every magnet school in the district offers a challenging curriculum that goes beyond the normal scope of the classroom. Magnet students have extra opportunities to develop their curiosity and talent through special classes and clubs, increased access to technology, and research-backed teaching methods. Magnet programs in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County include; STEM (Science Technology, engineering, and Math), International Studies, International Baccalaureate, and Performing and Visual arts and last Saturday all were on display.

During the Magnet Fair on Saturday, Nov. 18, teachers and administrators connected with families at booths, while students already enrolled in magnet programs took to the stage to showcase what their schools have to offer. For example, students from Speas Global Academy demonstrated their understanding of other cultures during their dance performances while students from Kennedy High School’s culinary arts program showed off their cooking skills.

Other students used their words to tell students about their schools. After telling a group of peers about the opportunities at his school, Paisley IB Magnet School, ninth grader Peter Wilson told The Chronicle what he enjoys most about his school.

He said, “What I enjoy most about Paisley is the small class sizes and the curriculum. The work can be challenging sometimes but teachers are always there to give you the help you need.”

Several parents said they were intrigued by what they saw at the event. While his son enjoyed a remote controlled robot made by students at Atkins Academic and Technology High School, David Houser said he was intrigued by the diversity at the magnet schools when compared to some of the traditional schools in the area.

“What strikes me mostly is the diverse group of people here today,” continued Houser who has an older son looking to attend a magnet school next year.

“My oldest son is looking at going to Paisley so me and my wife went to the open house there and we liked what we saw. We just really like the feel of the school.”

One reason why magnet schools may seem more diverse is; unlike traditional schools, magnet schools are not restricted by zoning boundaries. At traditional schools, the district use school zones to feed students into schools.

According to statistics on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools website the “Magnet Shuttle” program provides bus services to over 2,000 students.

Families who are eligible to enroll in a District school or will be enrolled in a grade level served by a magnet program, may apply for admission.  The application period begins Jan. 1.

Visit the News Archive for more magnet school news.