Wake County families will have a new magnet school to choose from next year in the North Raleigh area.
The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to make West Millbrook Middle School a magnet school starting in the 2018-19 school year. West Millbrook will offer the International Baccalaureate program theme, an academically rigorous program that’s supposed to help prepare students to function in a global world.
The change is coming so East Millbrook Middle School can phase out the International Baccalaureate theme to focus on its new visual and performing arts magnet theme. East Millbrook will continue to offer IB classes to existing students.
Since 1982, Wake has offered unique themes at magnet schools to try to lure students to fill under-enrolled schools that have high concentrations of low-income students. School officials note that West Millbrook is above the district average for students receiving subsidized meals, is below the district average on student achievement and is only at 84 percent of its building capacity. A lower percentage of students who live in West Millbrook’s attendance area go to the school compared to other Wake middle schools.
School officials said the new magnet program could help West Millbrook, located off Strickland and Falls of Neuse roads, compete with charter schools and private schools for students.
West Millbrook’s families have long clamored for additional help. The new magnet theme drew positive reaction from parents and staff at informational meetings in September.
Funding for the new program would come from reallocating other magnet school funding, so there would be no additional cost to Wake.
West Millbrook will participate in the district’s magnet school fair that will be held Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at Southeast Raleigh High School. The magnet application period will run from Jan. 10-31.