The new school year is barely underway, but it’s already time for eighth-graders to begin thinking about applying to Bartow County School System’s magnet programs for next year.
The magnet coordinators for The Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Technology and Math at Adairsville High, The Center for Advanced International Studies at Cass High and The Center for Advanced Studies in Medical Science at Woodland High visited all four Bartow County middle schools last week to talk to eighth-graders about the programs and the application process.
“Middle school visits were a tremendous success,” said Paula Camp, director of advanced learning and academic support programs for BCSS. “The enthusiasm and interest were apparent as eighth-graders listened attentively to the information on the high school magnet programs. Our magnet school coordinators, Eric Willoughby, Beth Payton and Emily Thompson, presented to eighth-graders that were incredibly well-behaved and attentive; they seemed extremely enthusiastic about the opportunities provided to them through these magnet programs. Many of the students expressed interest and took materials regarding the upcoming prospective student nights.”
Each high school will host a prospective student night: Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. at Cass, Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. at Adairsville and Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. at Woodland.
Eighth-graders and their parents may attend any or all of these nights to gather more information about each program.
“Students interested in our magnet programs can expect to gain a deeper understanding about the specialized programs at each of our high schools,” Camp said. “Parents, family members and students will learn about each program and how it allows students to pursue their interests and develop their talents beyond the scope of the usual high school curriculum and experiences. A typical day in the life of a magnet student will be highlighted, too, as teachers will speak about the kinds of learning experiences that will be involved with being a magnet student; current students will share their experiences; and prospective students and parents will have the chance to see the dedicated learning spaces that are unique to each school's magnet experience.”
The window for eighth-graders to apply will be open from Monday, Nov. 2, through Monday, Dec. 7.
Students may apply to multiple programs if they wish during this period and could potentially be accepted into more than one program.
“The online application will be accessible through the BCSS website as well as the local school and magnet program websites starting on Nov. 2,” Camp said. “Also, look for social media reminders. The application is an online form, and students will be assessed based on middle school grades, test scores, PSAT 8/9 scores, teacher recommendations and their personal responses to application questions.”
Schools will notify students of their acceptance into the programs on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, and they will have to inform the schools of their commitment to accept an invitation by Monday, March 15.
“Approximately 50 positions are available at each high school magnet program,” Camp said. “Of those 50 positions, up to 10% of the positions will be granted to out-of-district applicants. Due to limited space at each program, students are selected through a highly competitive, rigorous application process.”
Once students have been accepted into one or more programs, they’ll be invited to a spring showcase for those programs: Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. for AHS, Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. for WHS and Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. for CHS.
“Spring ‘showcases’ will give accepted students a firsthand look into a typical day in the life of a magnet student,” Camp said. “Students will visit their magnet school with like-minded peers to experience program details that were specifically designed to engage students in future academics and career possibilities. Courses and expectations will be highlighted to give invited students one final opportunity to experience the school/schools for which they were extended an invitation.
“Since students could get invitations from multiple programs, this final visit gives families a chance to ask additional questions and gain additional information about the program and school. For students that have already decided to commit to a program, this night is also a formal ‘signing’ night where a student can commit to a magnet program and become an Adairsville Tiger, Cass Colonel or a Woodland Wildcat.”
Camp said each of the new magnet programs is “off to a terrific start.”
“Teachers are delivering college-level curriculum to these bright young students and giving them hands-on experiences unlike any other offered through the Bartow County School System,” she said. “Guest speakers from key partnerships and community members have already brought our curriculum to life for our students. Ultimately, this is just the beginning for these magnet students.”