Wake County school administrators think they know which magnet school you'll go to in August but they want to make sure about it first with the school board.
School administrators have preliminarily placed 4,589 of this year's 7,670 magnet applicants under new selection criteria that no longer uses socioeconomic diversity for most magnet schools. Administrators say they want the board's official blessing on Wednesday for the new criteria before notifying families.
Staff is uncertain about how many of the 2,850 year-round and 1,776 traditional-calendar applicants will be placed.
The board had passed a resolution in January saying "every effort will be made" to accommodate calendar requests. But the reality of school crowding means the results will depend on various student reassignment decisions that the board will make at a 6 p.m. Wednesday work session.
The goal is to notify families about the results of their magnet and calendar applications on April 8.
Click here for a handout that was presented at Tuesday's school board meeting. No details were provided for the number of acceptances per school because staff wants a good indication of the decisions the board will make.
Previously, magnet selection priority was given to applicants from more affluent areas who could help create balance at schools in poor areas.
Staff had largely eliminated the use of socioeconomic diversity in filling magnet schools in anticipation of the board's passage of the community schools resolution. The resolution, which passed 5-4 on Tuesday, has a provision calling for the immediate end to the use of diversity in filling magnet and calendar schools.
Socioeconomic diversity was only preliminarily used this year to fill applicants for the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, which allows students to get a high school diploma and two years of college credit in five years. Diversity was used to help carry out the school's goal of luring in students who'd be the first in their family to attend college.
In lieu of diversity, staff stuck with existing guidelines that give priority to siblings and to applicants who want to leave crowded schools. The last 10 percent of openings continue to be filled randomly.
Some parents objected strongly in the past with the old selection criteria, arguing for a true lottery. While the new criteria doesn't fill seats in a totally random manner, it does make it easier for applicants who want to leave schools that have high poverty levels and are also crowded.
For a comparison, see last year's selection criteria.
Even though the new criteria listed for magnet schools in the handout doesn't mention it, Laura Evans, Wake's senior director of Growth and Planning, said they're still retaining the pathway system. Under the pathways, magnet elementary schools have placement priority to get into certain magnet middle schools and magnet high schools.
A number of parents whose children are in the gifted and talented themed magnet program have been contacting staff to make sure they still have priority to get into Enloe High School.