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Irmo High School achieves national magnet school certification

IRMO – Irmo High School International School for the Arts has been named a nationally certified magnet school by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. The Lexington-Richland School District Five high school was among 21 schools nationwide to successfully complete a rigorous nine-month evaluation process and “demonstrate through evidence, reflection, and strategic action that it has established the best practices entailed in the Magnet School Standards of Excellence.” “It’s an honor and huge testament to the quality of our magnet program,” said Irmo High School Principal Dr. Robin Hardy. “In our district, every choice is a great choice. Irmo High School is proud of the opportunities our magnet program provides to students and proud to serve as a national model for high-quality magnet offerings.” The national certification process is based on the Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools: diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high-quality instructional systems, and family and community partnerships. Together, these qualities define the common elements of exemplary magnet programs. “The certification process recognizes the highest quality schools in public education. Nationally certified magnet schools illustrate and emulate rigorous theme-based curriculum, ensure diverse settings in which students thrive and are prepared for college and career,” said Kelly Bucherie, Director for Magnet School Leadership, Magnet Schools of America.

Irmo High School was one of five schools in School District Five to receive a federal Magnet School Assistant Program (MSAP) grant in 2013 to bolster magnet offerings. At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Irmo High School officially opened the doors to the new International School of the Arts. A wide array of courses in dance, theater, music and visual arts are available through the magnet program; which aims to develop lifelong creators and patrons of the arts through rigorous standards-based, arts-infused learning. MSAP funds have complemented plans for the magnet program and added unique opportunities for students, including master classes with professional artists.

This certification makes Irmo High School the first certified magnet school in School District Five. “I am so incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication by Irmo High School International School for the Arts in attaining recognition as a Nationally Certified Magnet School,” said Sara Wheeler, Magnet School Program Director for School District Five. Irmo High School International School for the Arts will be recognized during a ceremony held at Magnet Schools of America’s 37th National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on April 10-13, 2019. To learn more about the Magnet Schools of America Standards of Excellence Certification program, please visit

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