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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: December 5, 2011

Interested in your child attending a Wake County magnet school? Starting at 1 p.m. today, you can log into Wake County Public School System's student assignment website to choose from a number of magnet school options based on your home address.

The magnet selection period for the 2012-2013 year will run from today through 10 p.m. on Dec. 19. The offerings are part of a new school choice student assignment process approved by the Wake County Board of Education after contentious debate between proponents of "neighborhood schools" and those who favor busing students for socio-economic diversity. Families may make their choices for magnet schools at any time during the selection period; equal consideration is given to anyone who registers within the allotted time, so it doesn't matter if you sign up early. To apply, parents create an account with their NCWISE number, and log into the student assignment website, http://assignment.wcpss.net. Parents will be notified between Dec. 20 and Jan. 13 if their child was chosen for one of his or her magnet choices.  The first proximity school choice selection period will follow from Jan. 17 through Feb. 24.

One new magnet school option— the school system's new single-gender leadership academies for students in grades six through 13— is stirring up opposition from a collation of liberal groups, according to the News & Observer. In a memo sent Thursday to Wake Superintendent Tony Tata and school board members, the groups said approval for the new school was being rushed into place in violation of board policy that requires public comment. The groups also questioned whether single-sex schools are the best way to teach children, and they decried the reliance of JROTC as a "core component of the leadership program."  According to the N&O, the groups opposing the new school are The Great Schools in Wake Coalition, Advocates for Children's Services, the YWCA of the Greater Triangle, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children, the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU and CHOICES, and you can read their memo to Tata here. Ideally, half of students who attend the all-girl or all-boy Wake Leadership Academy will be first-generation college bound, according to information from Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). 

For more information about WCPSS magnet programs and the choice-based student assignment process, visit our websites at www.wcpss.net/magnet and assignment.wcpss.net.

Parents may also call the Magnet Resource Center at 431-7355; visit the Center at Crossroads I, 5625 Dillard Dr., Cary; or contact individual magnet schools for information and tour schedules.

This article was updated at 2:10 p.m., Dec. 5



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