Magnet Program Basics
WCPSS Magnet Programs are an important and critical mechanism helping to:
- Reduce high concentrations of poverty;
- Promote school integration;
- Maximize the use of school facilities; and
- Provide innovative and/or expanded educational opportunities.
Why Choose a Magnet School?
Magnet schools use themes, or innovative focuses, to provide electives and interesting curricula that goes well beyond what is offered at traditional schools. In order to push students to become leaders for change, Wake County Magnet Schools implement hands-on learning and foster creative environments that allow students to become independent and curious. Wake County offers a variety of themes across elementary, middle, and high school levels, allowing students to apply to programs that fit their interests. Language immersion, Gifted and Talented, and International Baccalaureate programs can span a child's education K-12. Other themes include Engineering, Global Studies, Digital Sciences, and Leadership and Technology.
Wake County Magnet Schools offer an exceptional education. In 2016, 27 Wake County Magnet Schools won national awards, and the North Carolina Board of Education honored a Wake County elementary school as one of the state's top STEM schools. Parents also choose magnet schools for their smaller class sizes and excellent teachers and principals.
Wake County Magnet Schools give students from all over the country the opportunity to come together for a new experience. By enrolling students from neighborhoods of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, magnet schools create a diverse student body. This allows students to explore beyond their own neighborhood and socialize with others that bring new experiences and perspectives.
Why Choose a Magnet School Over a Public School?
By choosing a magnet school over a public school, students opt out of standardization and old-fashioned curriculum to gain a personalized and future-focused experience.
Why Choose a Magnet School Over a Private School?
Private schools preach college readiness, however, that often comes with a homogenous student body, values, and culture. We believe in order to produce well-rounded students, they must understand the heterogeneous world, which can be best achieved through a diverse student body. Plus, the opportunities provided through our magnet school themes provide students hands-on college prep and career-focused opportunities.
Why Choose a Magnet School Over a Charter School?
Charter schools, like private schools, often provide little diversity and require high parent involvement. Magnet schools are different because they set students up to delve into the challenges facing the real world and give them the skills to tackle these problems through a forward-thinking education. While both magnet and charter schools receive public funding, charter schools are governed by their own board of directors and are exempt from some requirements of traditional public schools. These exemptions mean charter schools may not provide transportation or meal programs and don't require all teachers to be certified.