CARY — Wake County parents will have three new magnet schools to choose from next year, and two schools will get new magnet themes.
The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to add magnet programs to three North Raleigh schools – Carroll Middle School, Fox Road Elementary School and Green Elementary School – for the 2013-14 school year. The board also voted to change the magnet themes for two inner-city Raleigh schools – Poe Elementary School and Moore Square Middle School.
School administrators said the themes for the five schools haven’t been determined yet. But they’ll be announced before the Nov. 3 magnet school fair at Southeast Raleigh High School.
Wake is adding the magnet programs to the three schools to fill seats and reduce the high percentages of low-income students at the schools. Poe and Moore Square are getting new magnet themes because administrators say they’re not attracting enough magnet applicants.
Since 1982, Wake has used the magnet program as a diversity tool by offering specific magnet academic programs to entice suburban families to certain schools. The majority of the 31 existing magnet schools are located in and near Southeast Raleigh.
Wake will seek funding for the magnets in a federal grant designed to promote diversity by reducing percentages of minority students at schools. If Wake doesn’t win the grant, which would provide $10 million to $12 million over three years, some of the district’s local dollars will be used to help those schools.
Also on Tuesday, the school board gave staff the go-ahead to use a list of 12 major school renovations and 16 partial school renovations as the starting point for the next school construction program.
In line for major renovations are: Raleigh’s Brooks, Green, North Ridge, Stough and Wiley elementary schools and West Millbrook Middle School; Garner’s Vandora Springs Elementary and Garner High; Fuquay-Varina’s Lincoln Heights Elementary and Fuquay-Varnia High; Apex High; and East Wake Middle in Knightdale.
The list will be whittled down in preparation for a bond referendum that will likely go on the ballot next year.