Westerville City Schools will host a Magnet Program Open House at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, at Hanby Elementary School, which is located at 56 S. State Street. Following a 45-minute general presentation about the three program options available, families will be able to visit both Hanby and Emerson elementary schools to tour these facilities.
The Westerville City School District Board of Education recently committed to restoring the elementary Magnet School Program over the next two years.
“Restoring the program at a smaller scale not only retains academic program options for elementary families, but also avoids the immediate need to redraw elementary attendance boundaries had the program been allowed to sunset as once proposed,” said Superintendent John Kellogg, Ed.D. “The Magnet Program will continue to consist of three options: Math/Science, World Cultures, and Arts.”
Emerson Elementary will continue to host the World Cultures program, while Hanby Elementary will continue to host the Arts program and the Math/Science program. Robert Frost Elementary will no longer serve as a Math/Science program site, except for those students presently enrolled in and completing the Magnet Program at that location.
“The former Magnet Program sites of Central College and Longfellow elementaries will remain off-line,” Kellogg explained.
The district has not held a Magnet Lottery the past two school years. As a result, program enrollment presently consists of students in grades 3 through 5. Either one or two classrooms serve a particular grade’s enrollment within a particular program. Magnet Program students currently in grades 3 and 4 will retain their seats in subsequent school years as they advance through and complete the program. New seats will be made available next school year (2014-15) in grades 2 and 3 for each program option. The final step in restoring the program will be to add first-grade seats beginning with the 2015-16 school year. When Magnet Program restoration is complete two school years from now, there will be one classroom per grade, per program, for a total of 15 classrooms serving 375 Magnet Program students.
Magnet Program applications will become available and accepted from May 5 through May 19, 2014. The application process does not use a first come, first serve approach. All applications, as long as they are received by the deadline, are processed identically. The district will hold a Magnet Lottery the week of May 19, 2014, to fill program seats in grades 2 and 3 for the 2014-15 school year. Parents whose children will be in the fourth or fifth grade next year also may submit a Magnet application, if interested. These applications will be included in the lottery and used to fill any potential vacancies in the program at those grade levels.
Every district elementary school will receive a seat allocation for the Magnet Program as determined by percentage of total enrollment using the October 2013 count. Establishing seat allocations for each elementary school serves two purposes: to alleviate potential overcrowding at some elementary buildings, and to ensure representation in the Magnet Program from all elementary schools. Applicants will still be permitted to identify a first and second program choice, and they will retain the right to refuse any seat that is offered as a result of the Lottery process. The Lottery process includes safeguards to ensure that every school has the opportunity to fill its allocation of seats prior to the use of secondary processes to fill any remaining vacancies. Notifications will be sent the week of May 26, 2014, to all Magnet Program applicants to notify them of their status.
For further updates, please visit www.wcsoh.org/magnet.