Search This Blog

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Richland 2 | Magnet programs on horizon

Posted on Wed, Oct. 24, 2007
District plans six more offerings for next year
Richland 2 students and parents could see six new magnet and school-choice
programs introduced at the beginning of the next school year.

A model for public-education choice across the state, the district already
has 14 schools or facilities with such programs. The new offerings, unveiled
during Tuesday's school board meeting, will span elementary, middle and high
schools at a first-year cost of $248,357.

Five new teachers would be hired for the programs, which Richland 2 has been
developing for more than a year. They include an array of options such as
civic leadership, economics, health, sports medicine, accelerated learning
and Montessori school components.

"People look to District 2 to lead the way in offering the best for
students," said Charlene Herring, Richland 2's chief academic officer, as
she introduced the new offerings. Funds would come from the existing budget
and other grants, she added.

The board, which applauded the new efforts, could vote on the programs as
early as Nov. 13. If approved, parents can begin looking at the options in
December, when all other magnet programs are advertised.

"This is wonderful," board member Regina Corley said. "I'm happy and excited
about it."

As Richland 2 continues to grow rapidly - the district serves about 23,000
students and likely will be the largest school system in the Midlands next
year - officials are looking to keep pace with growth and demand for the

Richland 2 superintendent Steve Hefner hopes to expand such programs
throughout the district.

"We just want our parents to have some choice," school board member William
Flemming said. "We're trying to not only give our parents choice but (to)
meet the need of the community."

These types of programs, which the district began offering in 1991, are
designed to improve academic success, align with the changing needs of
employers and meet public expectations.

Although similar programs exist in other Midlands school systems, none is as
comprehensive as those in the suburban district. State Education
Superintendent Jim Rex has hailed Richland 2 as a success and points to it
as an example of what he would like to see replicated.

The popularity of the programs in Richland 2 has created long waiting lists
at some centers and is prompting some programs and facilities to be

For instance, this year the Center for Knowledge, a popular magnet program
for elementary students, moved into a permanent building and doubled

Hefner's push to expand magnet offerings comes at a time when officials are
eyeing a likely 2008 bond referendum to cover a $556 million construction

Reach Woodson at (803) 771-8692. Staff writer Devon Copeland contributed.

Richland 2 superintendent Steve Hefner has unveiled proposals for six new
magnet schools for the 2008-09 school year. In the first year, the programs
would cost $248,357, which includes money for five new lead teachers.


Academy for Civic Engagement

Location: Lonnie B. Nelson

Description: Prepare first- through fifth-graders for democratic process
with local government and business partnerships. About 20 students in each
grade level.

Cost: $62,089

Montessori schools

Locations: Spears Creek Road Child Development Center, Pontiac

Description: Use individual choice of work and uninterrupted study rather
than group lessons led by an adult. Students 3-5 and 6-7 would be placed in
groups. In the first year, the program would be open to children 3-5.
Selection by lottery.

Cost: None


Accelerated Course & Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL)

Location: Middle-school center at Richland Northeast High

Description: Two-year program for seventh-graders who are at least one grade
level behind - allowing students to enter high school on schedule for
graduation. Cost: $46,567 first year; $62,089 second year

The Academy of Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine

Location: Summit Parkway

Description: Targeted to sixth-graders, with 40 students in the 2008-09
school year. Students remain together in science, social students and
fitness classes.

Cost: $46,567 first year; $62,089 second year

Kelly Mill INC.

Location: Kelly Mill

Description: Focus on economics, offering trips to Washington, New York and
abroad. Students must score "proficient" or "advanced" on PACT or have
equivalent scores on MAP in language arts and/or math. On a three-year
phase-in, starting with sixth grade in 2008-09; maximum 100 students per
grade level.

Cost: $46,567 first year; $62,089 second year

HIGH SCHOOL Health Sciences Magnet

Location: Ridge View

Description: Designed to attract students interested in health- and
medical-related careers. The district would work with local businesses,
doctors and dentists to provide internships.

Cost: $46,567 first year; $62,089 second year

No comments:

Blog Archive


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon