Office of Magnet Programs Secures $14.1 Million Federal Grant

  • April 28, 2021

    Children studying Spanish

    The WCPSS Office of Magnet and Curriculum Enhancement Programs has secured a $14.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will support the addition of language immersion, language enhancement and global studies programs at four schools.

    WCPSS was one of only 9 school districts in the nation, out of more than 40 applicants, to receive a Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant as part of this five-year grant cycle. 

    The district will receive about $3.5 million this year, with additional funding anticipated for the next four years, to support three new magnet programs and one revised magnet program:

    • Dillard Drive Center for Global Studies and Spanish Immersion Magnet Elementary School;
    • Dillard Drive Center for Global Studies and Spanish Immersion Magnet Middle School;
    • East Cary Center for Global Studies and World Languages Magnet Middle School;
    • Smith International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and Spanish Immersion Magnet Elementary.

    “These new themes were chosen in response to a survey of Wake County parents, which indicated that many parents want more world language learning options for their children,” says Superintendent Cathy Moore. “This federal funding, the result of months of hard work by our Office of Magnet and Curriculum Enhancement Programs, will help thousands of students improve their world language proficiency and cultural understanding - essential skills for success in a global economy.”

    Dillard Drive Magnet Elementary and Middle schools will offer a Spanish language immersion program. The program will start this upcoming school year with two classes of Kindergartners at Dillard Drive Elementary. In Spanish Language Immersion, students learn their four core subjects (math, language arts, social studies and science) in Spanish. Immersion courses will be added to each grade level each year until it is offered in grades K-8 at Dillard Drive Magnet Elementary and Middle schools. Also starting next year, all Dillard Drive Elementary and Middle School students who are not in the Immersion program will have the opportunity to take a daily world language in either Spanish or French, and global learning will be integrated into core content areas as well as into all specials and elective courses. 

    Smith will be adding a Dual Language Spanish Immersion and World Languages theme to its existing IB Primary Years Programme theme. Smith students not in the dual language immersion program will have a daily world language class in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.

    East Cary Middle School will build second language proficiency through daily instruction in Spanish or Chinese, and global learning will be integrated into core and elective content areas. 

    “We are so excited to be recipients of the MSAP grant, because it will benefit our students in so many ways,” says Dillard Drive Magnet Elementary School Principal Roxann Sykes. “Our new magnet theme will nurture global citizens, foster diverse relationships, build community, and inspire learners to discover how their strengths can positively impact the world. This funding will ensure we have the necessary resources and support to implement our new theme with intentionality."


About the Grant

  • Magnet Schools Assistance Program grants are federal grants designed to support:

    • Innovative education methods that provide students with the opportunity to meet challenging academic content and high academic standards. and to develop marketable job skills;
    • Promoting diversity and increasing the choices of various educational programs available to students.

    The grant won by WCPSS is called Project Nexus, as it will bring together people of various cultures and languages and provide all students with opportunities to study their world and explore the interconnectedness of all people.