Wake looking to add 2 new magnet schools, revise 2 others :: WRAL.com

— The Wake County Public School System wants to turn two more district schools into magnet schools.

The Wake County Board of Education approved Tuesday allowing the district to apply for a federal grant to help turn Wake Forest Elementary and Wildwood Elementary schools in magnet schools.

The district plans to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for a Magnet School Assistance Program grant to complete the transitions.

The changes come after the district surveyed district and charter school families and magnet school applicants and conducted business focus groups.

The district’s share of students in Wake County is down to about three in four, with the remaining students attending private schools and the growing number of charter schools.

Wake Forest Elementary, which used to be a magnet school, would become a Global STEM school and Wildwood Elementary would adopt an arts and design theme.

Both schools would be feeder schools for middle schools with similar themes.

Magnet themes would be revised at East Millbrook Middle and Centennial Middle schools. East Millbrook would retain its larger arts theme. Centennial would change to an environmental science and engineering school.

Application-based magnet schools were created to integrate schools, economically and racially. Originally, they were intended to draw white suburban Wake County residents into Raleigh schools, which had higher Black student populations.

On Tuesday, board members recalled that mission of the magnet schools and expressed their support for them as a school choice option preferable to charter schools and private schools.

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