DPS hosting Magnet School Fair

Oct. 31, 2013 @ 04:40 PM

On Saturday, parents and students will have a chance to learn all there is to know about the 23 magnet schools offered by the Durham Public Schools.
The school district’s annual magnet school fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southern School of Energy and Sustainability on Clayton Road.
And in a departure from recent years, the school district will hold the elementary school magnet fair and the middle-and high-school fairs in separate locations within the school.
The elementary school fair will be held in Southern High’s cafeteria and the middle- and high-school fairs will be held in the front lobby and gymnasium.
Mary Griffith, magnet school recruitment specialists for DPS, said the change was necessary in the wake of the large turnout at last year’s magnet fair, which was also held at Southern.
“We had the highest attendance last year, and we just did it to keep the flow of people going and so parents and students could have more space to talk to staff,” Griffith said. “We just had some congestion in the hallways and didn’t want that to happen again this year.”
The school district is hoping for another large turnout this year to showcase its popular magnet programs.
Griffith said it’s important that parents to attend the fair to learn about the diverse educational opportunities the school district has to offer.
“Parents have a chance to find out what’s out there, but can also talk to the staff about their child and get a feel for what their child’s needs are,” Griffith said.
The school district’s lineup of 23 schools magnet schools includes schools with special programs and calendar themes, such as year-round schools.
It also includes five new magnet programs that came online this year -- Holt Year-Round Language Academy Elementary, Neal STEM Academy of Engineering and Design Middle, Lowe's Grove School of Technology, The School for Creative Studies (Grades 6-12) and Southern.
Griffith said the new programs have been well-received, particularly the new School for Creative Studies, which replaces the former Chewning Middle School.
“They pretty much filled all of their seats,” Griffiths said.
While the school will eventually serve students in grades six through 12, this year it only accepted students in grades six through nine, with each grade receiving 100 students.  
There are currently 9,421 students enrolled in the school district’s magnet school programs.
DPS received 8,916 applications, and nearly 35 percent of the students who submitted applications were assigned to the schools they requested.

What you need to know
The Magnet School fair will be held from 10 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the Southern School of Energy and Sustainability on Clayton Road.
-- All fair visitors will be required to enter via Clayton Road entrance and exit via Freeman Road. Exiting from Clayton Road entrance will not be permitted!
-- All magnet elementary schools will be downstairs in the cafeteria. Fair visitors interested in Elementary schools should enter via the rear entrance of Southern (back parking lot).
-- All middle -and high school magnets will be located in the front lobby and gymnasium of Southern School of Energy and Sustainability.
Fair visitors interested in middle or high schools should enter via
Southern’s front entrance of Southern (Side and front parking lots).