An Overview of our Magnet Theme

An Overview of our Magnet Theme

  • Our Creative Community, the Arts Plus Pathway

    EM3 is the premier destination middle school on the WCPSS Arts Plus pathway. We are proud to provide students with the opportunity to combine robust arts education in our electives with Design Thinking in core classes. Our small school size is the next logical step for our elementary arts plus pathway schools; Douglas Magnet Elementary, Wildwood Magnet Elementary, Brooks Magnet Elementary, and Wendell Magnet Elementary.

    Our unique magnet program is open to any family within Wake County who seeks a small school community that provides hands-on learning. Students who come to East Millbrook Academy of Arts and Design may continue deep arts learning and rigorous academics at Millbrook Magnet High School, our arts plus pathway 9-12 school.

    Award Winning Arts Program

    Join our nationally recognized award-winning arts program! Our students explore creativity within eight visual and performing arts disciplines. East Millbrook students are designers, creators, makers, and performers. Students can find a home on or off the stage as they explore three electives each day. With nearly 100 electives available in our catalog, students can choose from a variety of courses that are of interest to them. Guest artists are frequently found on campus to perform for our young creatives or to collaborate with them in workshops and residencies. Our students travel into the community to perform, compete, and have their art skills assessed in various adjudications.

    Design Thinking

    In the Fall of 2022, East Millbrook and three other WCPSS schools were awarded a federal grant totaling $13.5 million. These funds will be used to enhance our magnet theme. Funding will be distributed over a five-year initiative designed to bring more enhanced opportunities to our existing magnet program.

    Beginning in 2023 and beyond, Design Thinking is fully embedded into core classes. Students at EM3 were already experiencing arts-integrated lessons in core classes in a way that increased student engagement and understanding. In 2023, teachers began embedding Design Thinking into core instruction. In class, lessons are designed to support students in seeing others' perspectives on local and global concerns. Learners conduct research into these issues, brainstorm ideas, build/model solutions and ultimately present their solutions to an authentic audience. Presentations may be digital, a monologue, PSA, or other creative vehicle which will answer the needs of others and solve the problems of tomorrow. Design thinking makes student creativity visible in a new and refeshing way, and provides additional structure to our artistic expressions.

    Questions about our Magnet Program? Email Joanna Caves at