School system officials say three new magnet programs will offer courses some Bartow high school students can use to prepare for jobs in growing employment areas like medicine or technology.
The Bartow County Board of Education still must give final approval to the programs, which the school system is developing to offer at all three high schools beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, officials said.
The magnet programs are planned for Adairsville, Cass, and Woodland high schools but will be open to all incoming ninth-graders regardless of attendance zone, Chief Academic Officer David Chiprany told school board members June 24.
"If you're going to Cass Middle School and you apply to a Woodland magnet school, you can get in to go to that school," Chiprany said.
"Then we will have a transportation plan so that they can get to that school in the morning," he said. "We'll have the plan in place where they go to a certain site and be picked up by Transportation to be taken to school and taken home."
The programs will provide students showing “exceptional potential in a specific area” opportunities to “pursue specialized interests, develop their talent and extend their competencies beyond the usual scope of high school,” officials said.
Proposed magnet programs include:
• The Center for Advanced Science, Math, and Technology Studies at Adairsville High School.
• The Center for Advanced International Studies at Cass High School.
• The Center for Advanced Studies in Medical Sciences at Woodland High School.
Adairsville High Principal Bruce Mulkey said The Center for Advanced Science, Math, and Technology Studies will “continue the work that both Clear Creek Elementary and Adairsville Middle School have begun with their recent STEM certification.”
“Additionally, the program will give Bartow County students access to advanced academic classes and pathways that we have not been able to offer before,” Mulkey said. “Our staff is looking forward to supporting students as they pursue specialized interests in the areas of math, science, and technology.”
Cass High Principal Stephen Revard said Cass High School’s Center for Advanced International Studies “will strive to build a global-ready set of students.”
“With the acquisition of the International Skills diploma seal last school year, our rigorous educational curriculum already includes world languages and courses with an international focus,” he said..
“Now, we are building on those offerings to further cross-cultural competence and success here and in other parts of the world.”
Woodland High Principal David Stephenson said The Center for Advanced Studies in Medical Sciences will create “an academic pathway that both prepares students for admissions to highly competitive colleges and universities and provides a clear connection and understanding of the ever-growing opportunities available to nurses, medical doctors, researchers and public health officials,”
“The Woodland magnet experience will emphasize research and inquiry skills, math and science readiness, and strong communication skills while offering real-time connections to medical field professionals and expertise,” he said.
“The magnet experience also allows us to link our superlative fine arts department into the framework of medical sciences preparation through targeted strategies related to (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).”
Data officials have seen shows that the specialized programs will increase the system’s opportunities for Advanced Placement participation, increase College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores, and reinforce the district’s “focus on learning, collaboration, and results,” the news release stated
Superintendent Phillip Page said the Bartow County School System is “committed to recognizing students who demonstrate exceptional potential in a specific area.”
“The theme-based instructional environment, rooted in well-prepared instructors, will give students the tremendous opportunity to reach their full potential,” he said.
Some spaces will be available for students in schools outside the Bartow County School System, the release stated.
System officials will use a selective admissions process, which is currently in development but likely based on grades, test scores, teacher recommendations and interviews “or auditions if applicable.”
“Open house” informational meetings will be scheduled in the fall for eighth-grade students considering the programs.
Each is a four-year course of study and ninth-grade students will form the programs’ first cohort of students in the 2020-2021 school year, officials said.
They will be required to complete the application process by December and be notified by February, the release stated.