IRMO, SC - This February, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties joins the celebration of National Magnet School Month. Magnet schools help provide families with the choices they need to make their students successful in school and in future careers. District Five offers magnet programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to meet the needs and interests of students.
“Magnet schools are the original public school choice option,” said Magnet School Program Director Sara Wheeler. “Magnet schools offer innovative themes, rigorous curricula, parent and community engagement activities, and provide equity and opportunity for all students. Magnet schools are especially relevant at this time in our country when so much emphasis is being placed on school choice. National Magnet School Month brings attention to the many choices parents in District Five have in selecting schools which best meet the needs of their children.”
District Five elementary programs include Dutch Fork Elementary Academy of Environmental Sciences, Harbison West Elementary Escolares Academy, The Leader in Me program at H. E. Corley Elementary, Leaphart Elementary Engineering Program, and Seven Oaks Elementary MEDIA Magnet. Middle and high school programs include Irmo Middle International Academic Magnet, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program at Dutch Fork High School, Irmo High International School for the Arts, the International Baccalaureate program at Irmo High, and Spring Hill High Career Pathways Magnet.
Magnet schools across the country celebrated National Magnet School Month with weekly events: Awareness Week, Scream Your Theme Week, Bring Your Elected Officials to Work Week, and Show Your Appreciation Week. Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences participated in “Scream Your Theme Week” with a visit from the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District. Students learned about soil science and conducted experiments to see the effect rainwater has on soil. Seven Oaks Elementary MEDIA Magnet students participated in “Scream Your Theme” by creating video projects on famous African Americans for African American History Month. Seven Oaks students will also “Bring Your Elected Official to Work” by conducting an official interview of School Board member Jan Hammond. Irmo High International School for the Arts is showcasing their magnet theme at their spring musical “The Little Mermaid” on February 16-19.
Seven Oaks Elementary Principal Harriet Wilson said, “Each one of our staff at Seven Oaks Elementary School MEDIA Magnet is dedicated to the magnet theme and works diligently to ensure students' success. During National Magnet School Month, we will continue to provide our students with opportunities to learn and showcase their learning through a media lens.”
Irmo High School Principal David Riegel added, "I think having an identity as a magnet school and having a theme gives our students a sense of pride and gives our school a special character. It helps us to really have an instructional focus and provides a great lens for learning. Students are engaged and challenged as they complete work in their classes here at Irmo High School!"
Nationwide, there are approximately 4,340 magnet schools serving nearly 3 million students. Knowing that students learn differently, magnet schools focus on specialized theme-based curriculum and instruction, while still meeting all state and district academic standards.