MONTGOMERY, AL. (March 20, 2017)-  Montgomery 2017-2018 magnet school application process has changed. Parents were no longer able to download a copy of the application, and submit it. This came as a surprise to some parents like Johnny Perkins who stated, “I was wondering why it took so long for the applications to be released.” The Montgomery Public school system posted a link that directed parents to the online application process.  From there parents were able to begin the online application.

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Detuyla Williams filling out the magnet application online. (Photo taken by Patrice Miller)

Students who are currently enrolled in the Montgomery Public School system, had to access their 10-digit state Id number, in order to begin the online application process. Being that there are multiple magnet schools in the area, students were given a chance to select a first and second choice magnet school of their choice.

Students who are not currently enrolled in the Montgomery Public School System, did not need to have a state Id number. Parents had to print out a transcript request form while online and follow the instructions for getting it completed and returned, according to the Montgomery Public school system.

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Forest Avenue Magnet School. (Photo by Patrice Miller)

Allyson Minor, has three kids that attend one of the Montgomery traditional public schools in the area. She said the new application process was very easy and she was very happy to do everything online.

“I was able to complete an application for all three of my boy’s with no problems. The process was very simple. I did worry about how the new process would affect those who may not have internet excess or be knowledge in computers.”

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Brew Tech Technology Magnet School. (Photo by Patrice Miller)

According to Charles Hausman and Ellen Goldring, of Parent Involvement, Influence, and Satisfaction in Magnet Schools: Do Reasons for Choice Matter, “Magnet schools remain the most widespread form of public school choice. The first magnet schools were designed in the early 1970’s; in 1982-83, one third of the largest urban school system without a magnet program.”

Allyson also stated, she is very involved in her boy’s education and is a very active mom who visits their school on a regular. She also stated she has a great parent and teacher relationship will all of her boy’s teachers.

The Montgomery Public School system provided parents and guardians information on each magnet school.  There is a total of four elementary magnet schools in the Montgomery Public School system.  Bear Exploration Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, Carver Elementary Arts, Forest Avenue Academic Magnet Elementary, and MacMillan International Academy. Information about all four elementary magnet schools , can be found online at  www.mps.k12.al.us .

Each Elementary Magnet School focuses on different areas of study.  According to the Montgomery Public School System website www.mps.k12.al.us  states, Bear Exploration Center, is promoting the STEM.  According to Eugene Judson, author of The Effects of Transferring to STEM-Focused Charter and Magnet Schools on Student Achievement” stated, “The purpose of this study was to assess if schools that focused on aspects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have an appreciable effect on student’s achievement in the areas of mathematics, reading, and language arts.”

Allyson Minor, stated it was easy for her to select the best elementary magnet school for her boys, that would fit their needs by visiting the Montgomery Public School system website.

“Elementary Schools in the United States have been the terrain of a highly politicized push for improved reading and mathematics attainment since the roll out of No Child Left Behind in 2001. Additionally, calls for higher importance to be given to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects have continued and been extended to the early school years,” said authors Lynn Sikma and Margery Osborne.

There a total of three middle magnet schools in the Montgomery Public school system. Carr Middle School, Floyd Middle School for Mathematics, Science and Technology, and Baldwin Arts and Academics.   There are also a total of three high school magnet schools in the Montgomery area, Booker T. Washington, Brewbaker Technology Magnet, and Loveless Academic Magnet (Lamp).

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B.T.W. Magnet High School. (Photo by Patrice Miller)

 The middle magnet schools Principles, in the Montgomery area, held an interest meeting at Baldwin Magnet School on Tuesday February 28th, which welcomed parents and potential middle magnet students. The middle school principals, Mr. Vince Johnson (Floyd Middle Magnet), Ms. Jannette Wright (Baldwin Arts and Academics), and Brittany Aarestad (Carr Middle School) all discussed what each school had to offer, as well as answered any questions or concerns from parents.

Johnnie Carr middle magnet school principal Brittany Aarestad, stated, “Carr Middle is an Ivey Magnet school and the only magnet middle school that has magnet and traditional student as well.”

Ms. Jannette Wright Principal of Baldwin Arts and Academics, stated “Baldwin is the only magnet Middle school to have two programs in the school.”

Any student who applies to the Montgomery magnet school in the area, must meet the requirements in both conduct, and GPA for each magnet school they have applied for, according to the Montgomery Public School System.  Floyd magnet School Principal Mr. Vince Johnson explained how students are selected with the monopoly system for each magnet school.

Mr. Vince Johnson stated, “Students who do meet each requirement are placed in the monopoly and if their number is selected they will be given a spot at their selected school. If all of the spots for the student’s first and second choice schools are filled, the student is then placed on a waiting list.  If a spot becomes available, students on the waiting list for that potential magnet school, go back in the monopoly and if they are selected they will get a spot in that school.”

“Students who potentially meet the requirements for their magnet school of choice, who are not selected are placed on the waiting list, and advised to maintain their GPA and conduct so they may re-apply the following school year,” stated Mr. Vince Johnson.

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Johnnie R Carr Magnet Middle School. (Photo by Patrice Miller)

Alexis Holley, a former Montgomery Public school graduate and mother of a 5-year-old stated, she wished the application process for magnet school was this simply when she was in school. She stated, she attended Baldwin middle magnet her 7th grade year, and loved it. She stated, she wished she would have stayed in the magnet program but she left the magnet program to pursue cheerleader at a traditional school.

“My son will be entering kindergarten the 2017-2018 school year, and I plan on filling out the online magnet application process for him. Once I get him into the magnet school, I will do my best to make sure he stays in there.”

Elizabeth Wilson, Julian Marshall, Ryan Wilson, and Kevin J Krizek authors of “By foot, bus or car: children’s school travel and school choice policy” stated, “Many school districts in the United States allow parents to choose which school their child attends (school choice or magnet schools) while other school districts require students to attend their nearest (neighborhood) school.”

Bessie Stevenson, the guardian to a student in the Montgomery Public school system stated, this will be her 3rd time applying her granddaughter to one of the elementary magnet schools in the area. With only 4 elementary magnet schools, there are only two magnet schools that meet my granddaughter education need, stated Bessie Stevenson.

“This year the application was very easy and simply. I was able to complete the online application with no problems.”

Goldring, and Claire Smreakr Authors of “Magnet Schools Reform and Race in Urban Education” stated, “Magnet School programs are extremely popular, as measured by the fact that in over 75 percent of all districts with magnet schools demand for student slots is greater than the supply; half of these districts maintain long waiting lists.”

The Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies applications for High School students for the 2017-2918 school year are now available as well, according to the Montgomery Public School System. Unlike the magnet school’s application process, their applications can be downloaded at   www.mps.k12.al.us  .

According to the Montgomery Public School System website, The Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Careers Technology majors are, Advertising and Design, Building Science and Construction, Electrical Technology, Utility Line Worker, Fire Science, HVAC/Mechanical Systems, Industrial Systems, Information Technology, Medical Science, Public Safety, Plumbing, Welding and Metal Fabrication. MPACT provides training in a number of different fields. Admissions is open to students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. The deadline to apply is March 10, 2017, according to www.mps.k12.al.us.

Dr. Liz Norma, who is a part of the magnet school program, in the Montgomery Public School system, stated, “Any information pertaining to the magnet schools, can be found online at  www.mps.k12.al.us  or can contact her at 334-223-6700. She is available to answer any questions or concerns about the magnet schools.”

 

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