Lake City students excited about new magnet school offerings
SCNow. Shamira McCray. June 03, 2018.

New science offerings expected at J. Paul Truluck Intermediate School have some students already excited for next school year.

J. Paul Truluck Intermediate School in Lake City and Olanta Elementary School in Olanta will both become creative arts and science magnet schools beginning in the 2018-19 school year. This and other changes to be implemented next school year in Florence County School District Three are being made possible by a $9.1 million Magnet Schools Assistance Programs grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.

Julie Huggins, the magnet school site coordinator at J. Paul Truluck Intermediate School, said students will have the opportunity to take a variety of creative arts and science classes next school year.

“So, in addition to students taking the four core content classes, they will have the opportunity for up to three electives a day,” Huggins said.

A science extension class will give students the chance to take a variety of things from robotics, to coding and computer programming. A hands-on science lab has been proposed where students would be able to do new lab activities each day. One of the school’s current science labs is being renovated, Huggins said.

“It will be double classroom size,” Huggins said of the science lab. “It has a brand-new prep room attached to it and tons and tons of resources and materials that are being provided for through the grant.”

The new science initiatives are what J. Paul Truluck Intermediate School student Jordion Slater is looking forward to most.

“I’m really excited about it (the magnet school), because they’re going to have greater sciences opportunities,” he said.

When it comes to science, Slater said, he is interested in experiments. He and schoolmates Bethany McDaniel and Mackenzie Thomas said they are excited to do more experiments next school year and to have an opportunity to interact with friends during creative activities.

Thomas said in her gifted and talented class this year, students were able to learn to play pianos, guitars and steel drums. The school currently offers specialized music classes, Huggins said. And next school year, all students will have an opportunity to take those specialized classes.

The implementation of the magnet school program at J. Paul Truluck Intermediate School also will include additional grade offerings. The school currently only serves sixth-graders.

“It’ll be sixth through ninth grade next year,” Huggins said. “And then every year, we will grow a (grade).”

So students like Slater, McDaniel and Thomas could go to the school through 12th grade, instead of only for sixth grade.

“I’m kind of excited about it (additional time at the school), because this school’s really good,” McDaniel said. “I really like it. And I love all the teachers here and everything. It’s just a fun school, and I’m glad I don’t have to leave it.”

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