Schools to offer Magnet Academy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2007

Top eighth graders in Butler County will have the opportunity to pursue an advanced mathematics and science curriculum thanks to a new program implemented by the school system in the fall.

The Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy will accelerate learning for academically qualified eighth graders, placing them in high school level classes for three periods per day, according to Jennifer Burt, Administrative Assistant for Student Services.

Superintendent Mike Looney said the school system is excited about the Magnet Academy.

&#8220What we're doing is accelerating the learning of these kids,” he said. &#8220There was a need for this type of program for our most academically talented students and I have seen the success of these programs in my former school district.”

Burt said the program would be available to all rising eighth graders in the public school system in 2007-08. Greenville Middle School students accepted into the program will take classes at Greenville High School, while McKenzie and Georgiana students will stay at their respective schools, she said.

Students will take physical science (10th grade science equivalent), Algebra I, and a computer class, making them even more prepared for high school when they enter as freshmen the following year.

Looney said parents should be made aware that the curriculum would be advanced.

&#8220Parents should carefully consider whether or not their child is going to college and can adjust to taking college preparatory classes,” he said. &#8220This curriculum will be on par with some of the best schools in the state.”

And only the best academic students will be accepted into the program. The admissions process involves two student written essays (which must be completed at the Board of Education's central office), the completion of a parent questionnaire, two evaluations of the prospective student by former teachers, grades/standardized test scores, and a behavioral report. A selection committee will review student applications. Identification of students will not be disclosed.

Rita Wright, Administrative Assistant for Curriculum and Instruction, said spots are currently reserved for between 25-30 students from Greenville Middle School with less than that at Georgiana and McKenzie, although no final number has been decided on.

&#8220This being the first time we've offered this we really have no idea how many applicants to expect, but we're hoping for 100 or more,” she said.

Applications for the Magnet Academy are available at the Butler County Board of Education, 215 Administrative Dr., in Greenville, from noon until 4 p.m. The deadline for submission of applications is July 12 by 4 p.m.