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$9M in federal funding to expand magnet programs

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced a grant award of more than $9 million to expand and revise magnet school themes in the Wake County Public School System. The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) award, announced today, will provide funding over the next three years to support three new magnet school themes. It also will support revisions to two existing magnet themes.

The MSAP funding will support the following new magnet themes:

• An International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme at Fox Road Magnet Elementary. The IB program is an inquiry-based approach to learning. Funding also would expand second-language instruction.
• Leadership and World Languages at Green Magnet Elementary, implementing Stephen Covey’s leadership principles and offering instruction in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
• A Leadership and Technology magnet theme at Carroll Magnet Middle. The school will emphasize Covey principles, support STEM instruction with technology resources, and expand world language offerings.

The new funding also will support the following magnet theme revisions:

• Poe Magnet Elementary will implement a Gifted & Talented/Academically/Intellectually Gifted (GT/AIG) Basics magnet program, replacing its Montessori magnet theme. This will significantly expand the arts program, provide resources to offer extensive elective courses in all grades and offer AIG instruction in core courses in Grades 4 and 5.
• Moore Square Magnet Middle School will significantly transform its Museums magnet theme to also become a GT/AIG Basics magnet program. The MSAP funds will support a significant expansion of the arts program, provide resources to offer extensive elective courses in all grades and support staff AIG training.

WCPSS enjoys a robust, national award-winning magnet school program, operating in more than 35 schools across Wake County. WCPSS has received $36 million from previous Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant awards, prior to this award. The goal of adding and refining magnet programs to these schools is to strengthen WCPSS’s ability to attract and maintain diverse school populations and provide students throughout the district greater choice of quality programs.

“This new funding will underscore our efforts to provide and expand strong, viable and relevant educational options for students and families,” said Cathy Moore, Deputy Superintendent for School Performance. “Our magnet programs have enjoyed great success over the years due to the commitment of our teachers and principals, and to a high level of community support.”

The USED’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program provides grants to eligible local educational agencies to establish and operate magnet schools that are operated under a court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegregation plan. These grants assist in the desegregation of public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority group students.