Magnet Information

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • What are some basic facts about Martin?

    Our student population fluctuates from 1,050 to 1,100 students in any given year.
    • Approximately 40% of students are identified as academically or intellectually gifted, or AIG
    • Around 30% of our students receive special education services
    • Our base population makes up 55% of our student body. The remaining 45% of the study body is drawn from the Magnet Application process
    Martin Middle School was founded in 1959 as a junior high school serving grades 7-9. We became a Gifted and Talented magnet in 1982 and shifted to serving grades 6-8. We are one of the longest continually operating magnet programs in North Carolina. 
  • What does "gifted and talented" mean?

    Gifted and talented means ALL STUDENTS have gifts and talents. Those gifts and talents deserve to be identified, explored, and cultivated as much as the student wishes to do so.  
    It is a common misconception that gifted and talented programs are only open to students identified as AIG. Gifted and talented magnet programs are open to all students regardless of their AIG, SPED, or other identifications. We do not require tests, auditions, or other qualifications to enroll. Once enrolled all students--base and magnet--can take advantage of the opportunities created by the gifted and talented program. 
  • What is the difference between the Gifted and Talented and AIG Basics magnet themes?

    Many magnet middle schools in WCPSS have more than one magnet program available to students. One of the most common program combinations is Gifted and Talented programs with AIG basics programs. 
    Schools with a Gifted and Talented magnet theme welcome all students regardless of ability level. Every student enrolled in a school with a Gifted and Talented program is able to take advantage of the electives offered through that program. The Gifted and Talented middle schools in WCPSS are Carnage, Ligon, Martin, Moore Square, and Zebulon. 
    Schools with an AIG basics program allow students with an AIG identification to take math and/or language arts classes with their AIG identified peers. These students essentially are "pulled in" to those AIG classes to receive their services. The AIG Basics middle schools in WCPSS are Carnage, Ligon, and Moore Square.
    Martin is not an AIG Basics school. Please see the question about how AIG services are delivered at Martin for more information about this process. 
  • What is the difference between AIG and Single Subject Acceleration, or SSA?

    AIG, or academically intellectually gifted, is a program who are identified through testing. There are two identification windows each year--one in the fall and another in the spring. Please talk to the AIG contact at your school for more information about how to have your child identified.
    SSA, or single subject acceleration, is a program created to allow all children regardless of their AIG status to accelerate into coursework beyond their grade level in math or language arts. If you are interested in having your student participate in SSA, please contact the AIG specialist at your school for more information. 
  • How do students receive AIG services at Martin?

    Once a student is identified as AIG they keep that identification for the rest of their K-12 education. Most elementary schools "pull out" AIG students from regular classes to receive services from a teacher in a separate classroom from their non-AIG peers. This model of AIG service delivery continues in middle school at schools with an AIG Basics program. The WCPSS middle schools with an AIG Basics program are Carnage, Ligon, and Moore Square. 
    In keeping with our Gifted and Talented magnet theme, we believe every student has something to contribute to the learning environment regardless of their abilities. Based on this belief we group students heterogeneously in core and elective classes. This means your student will be enrolled in courses with students performing above grade level (but not labeled as AIG), students performing on grade level, and students requiring additional learning supports. 
    Teachers differentiate for students based on their performance in several ways including (but not limited to):   
    • Altering the complexity of work so students performing above grade level complete tasks requiring more higher-level thinking, conceptual synthesis, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc. 
    • Changing the task students complete so students at different performance levels complete entirely different tasks, read different books, etc.
    • Creating opportunities for students who've mastered a particular concept to act as peer tutors 
    You can see a video showing how Martin "does" differentiation and examples of what differentiation looks like in a Language Arts class on our AIG webpage here
  • How do students receive SPED services at Martin?

    There are a variety of supports available to students with an IEP.  Some of these options may include, but are not limited to: 
    • In-class Resource--a special education teacher goes into the regular education classroom to support the learning, behavior, and other needs of the special education students. 
    • Math and/or Literacy Connections--students report to a special education classroom to receive additional support in math and/or literacy concepts
    • Curriculum Assistance--students report to a special education classroom to receive additional support with organization, time management, memory, study skills, etc.  
    The IEP dictates which of those supports a student receives.
    In May of the 5th grade year, parents will have a Transition Meeting with their student's elementary school case manager to ensure their IEP or 504 plan is ready for middle school. Until you have had the Transition Meeting in May, please contact your student's case manager at elementary school with any questions.  
  • Do you offer before- or after-school childcare?

    The YMCA on Hillsborough Street provides transportation from Martin's campus to their program locations. See the links below for more information:
  • What athletic teams do you offer?

    We offer a variety of athletic teams during each season: 
    • Fall--Football, Volleyball, Girls' Soccer, Cheerleading
    • Winter--Boys' and Girls' Basketball, Cheerleading
    • Spring--Boys' Soccer, Softball, Track and Field, Cheerleading 
    Please remember that 6th grade students are not eligible to be athletes per WCPSS policy. Instead, we encourage interested 6th grade students to apply for Team Manager positions.  
  • What clubs do you have?

    Since we are a gifted and talented magnet school some clubs can be offered during the school day while others must be offered after school. The clubs we offer include, but are not limited to: 
    • During school--Odyssey of the Mind, Battle of the Books, Model UN, MathCounts, etc. These clubs may meet as an elective class or during a student's lunch period. 
    • After school-- Math Counts, Science Olympiad, Art Club, Builders Club, etc. 
    Note: Some clubs will have size limits due to the activities taking place or required team sizes. 

Rising 6th Graders

  • How do you help rising 6th graders transition from elementary school?

    Sixth grade core classrooms and lockers are in an area of the school we like to call "Sixth Grade Academy." While the sixth grade hallways are connected to the rest of the school they function on their own core schedules. Lockers are conveniently located in each team's hallway so students can quickly get to their school and personal supplies during class changes. The Assistant Principal's office is also at the intersection of these two hallways so the students can have easy access to their administrator. These physical features of a sixth grade student's day provides a more close-knit environment within which to build positive relationships with peers and teachers.
    The change from an elementary to a middle school workload does prove challenging for some students. To help ease that transition, all 6th grade students are required to take an elective named "Martin 101" during the first quarter. This course answers students' practical questions about middle school as well as teaching them the academic skills needed for success for the remainder of the educational careers. Topics covered during Martin 101 include, but are not limited to, location of classes and other important places in the building, note-taking, studying for tests, time management, organization, physical fitness and general wellness. 
  • How are students assigned to teams?

    Our goal when assigning students to teams is to balance a team's overall academic performance. We do our best to ensure each team's student population is 1/3 high performing students, 1/3 students performing on grade level, and 1/3 students who need additional support when learning. 
    The staff at MMS believes that all students have something to contribute to the learning process of others. To this end teams are not assigned based on a student's identification as AIG or special education, a student's math placement, the school a student came from, who their friends are, or whether the student is learning English as a Second Language.  If you have questions about your student's team placement once those assignments become available in August, please contact your grade level counselor. 
  • What math classes are offered to 6th graders?

    We typically offer the following three math classes in 6th grade:
    • Math 6--This is grade level math where students performing at grade level are automatically enrolled. It covers all 6th grade math standards, but allows time for practice and questions in class.
    • Math 6+--This is an accelerated math class covering all of 6th grade and about ⅓ of 7th grade math standards. There is less time for practice and questions in class. Practice begins to occur more during homework.
    • Compacted 6+/7+--This is a highly accelerated math class covering all of 6th, all of 7th, and half of the 8th grade math standards. This class allows little to no time for practice and comprehension. Students are expected to pick up concepts immediately and may even have to learn some concepts at home. There are strict requirements for being placed in this class and there is no waiver for students to “get into” this class.

    More information about  how students are placed in each of these levels please go to the WCPSS MS Math Website.
    For students involved with single-subject acceleration: Students currently taking 6th grade math as 5th graders will be placed in 7th grade math when they come to Martin. If there are enough students needing 7th grade math, we offer this class with a 6th grade teacher. If there are not enough students needing 7th grade math, those students will take math with a 7th grade teacher in a 7th grade class.
  • What if my student is assigned to a team that does not offer their assigned math class?

    Students will take their other core classes with their assigned team. The student then goes "off team" to take the appropriate math class. 
  • What if my student is not a team with their friends?

    This is a common question we receive from rising 6th graders. MMS is significantly larger than most elementary schools in WCPSS and we understand that this change could be a source of concern or anxiety for students. 
    One of the benefits of the magnet program is the tremendous variety of students who apply to attend MMS. Students from over 70 WCPSS elementary schools and several private and charter schools were enrolled at MMS as a result of the magnet application process. Since our students come from such a diverse group of schools we find they have always been successful at making new friends and finding a social niche in middle school. 
  • Why can't 6th graders be on athletic teams?

    This is a WCPSS policy as students must meet academic and attendance requirements to participate. There are additional health and safety concerns for younger students such as concussions, breaks, and sprains that make it safer for students to begin participating in athletics once they are in 7th grade. 
    If your student still is interested in athletics, we encourage them to register for one of our many PE courses or try out to be a manager for one of our athletic teams. Being a team manager enables the student to assist the team, familiarize themselves with the athletes and coaching staff, and become accustomed to the demands of a student-athlete schedule. 

Magnet Applications

  • How do I apply for my student to come to Martin?

    Go to between January 7-January 22, 2016 and click on the link at the top of the page to complete the magnet application. You will need your student’s PowerSchool ID number to complete this application. Your student should know this number as it’s their lunch number and how they log into computers at school.
  • When is the Magnet Application window?

    January 12-January 31, 2017
  • I logged onto the Magnet Application and Martin was not one of my options. What happened?!

    This means Martin is not your option for a gifted and talented school and you may not apply to come to Martin through the magnet application. You will see one of the following schools listed as your GT option--Ligon, Moore Square, Carnage, or Zebulon.
    To prevent this happening, please use the Base School Locator on the Student Assignment website to see what your magnet options are
  • What is my chance of getting into Martin next year?

    Last year we had 180 magnet seats available and over 400 applications for these seats. We are not given a breakdown of how many students were admitted to Martin from each Priority Level. 
  • What if my student does not get into Martin from the Magnet Application?

    If Martin is your first choice on the Magnet Application and you do not  get in, your student will be placed on the wait-list. The wait-list is reviewed twice as spots do open up as families decide to attend private or charter schools, attend WCPSS schools on a different calendar, or remain at their base school.
    If you are a family who applied to MMS on the magnet application, but then choose to attend another school please contact Student Assignment so spots can be freed up for students on the wait-list.
  • My student did not get into Martin after the reviews of the wait list. What are my options?

    You may apply for a transfer. Transfers involve going to speak before the Board of Education to lay out a case for why your student should come to Martin ahead of all others on the wait-list.
  • What can I do to get my student into Martin?

    If you have applied, been wait-listed, and made a transfer request, your only option remaining is to move into our base attendance area. We draw from several areas around Raleigh. Click on the link to see a complete map of our 2015 Base Attendance Area.

Elective Programming

  • How do students choose electives?

    Students choose electives two times per year--once for fall electives and once for spring electives. Students receive an elective card through their homeroom. This card should be filled out with parents and returned as soon as possible to the homeroom teachers. We recommend students choose a variety of electives to ensure they're placed in courses they enjoy as well as courses that provide them with new experiences.
    Rising 6th grade students follow a slightly different process to register for fall electives of their 6th grade year. Rising 6th grade and new 7th or 8th graders to Martin receive their elective cards and a copy of our elective catalog at their orientation session. Students have one week to complete and return their elective card to us. If a student is absent from orientation their card and elective catalog will be sent via courier to their WCPSS school or via USPS to their home if the student is not currently enrolled in WCPSS. 
  • What if my student gets an elective they don't like?

    There is a period of 2-3 days at the beginning of each quarter where students can request a change from one elective to another. Please keep in mind that these are only requests and are not guaranteed to be approved. If your student is requesting an elective change, they must follow their printed schedule until they receive a new schedule from their counselor.
  • My student receives SPED or other intervention services. How will you make sure they get electives they like?

    If a student receives services mandated by an IEP or other intervention plan we ensure they have at least one elective course per day. Since their choices are limited we do our utmost to make sure the student is enrolled in an elective course they like. 
  • My student has experience in (insert performing art here). How are they placed at Martin?

    Our performing arts teachers hold auditions in April and May for incoming students to perform. Once those auditions are complete students will be placed into the appropriate level of performing arts course. 
  • Why don't you offer (insert elective title here)?

    The is one of the most common questions we receive. We focus on offering the widest variety of elective choices possible. In fact, we offer over 100 elective choices each year. While this permits our students to explore their gifts and talents across subject areas there are limits to the number of different options we can offer due to the length of the school day.