Mobile County Public Schools’ magnet program is very popular — a lengthy waiting list convinced the Board of School Commissioners to convert Denton Middle into the system’s seventh magnet school in 2016.
Magnet schools also carry strict academic requirements. Though the initial selection process is a lottery drawing, students who are accepted must maintain at least a C average in all subjects to stay at a magnet school.
In order to ensure that more of the students who are accepted into the magnet program are successful, the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners this month granted its consent to new admissions guidelines for students entering grades 2-8.
Successful applicants in those grades must score on grade level or above on their most recent STAR reading and math tests and present a final report card showing placement in the next grade, a grade of C or better in reading/language arts and math, no failures in any subjects, no more than five unexcused absences and no more than 15 unexcused tardies.
Students entering grades 2-5 must have no more than five “B” discipline referrals in the last two years, while students entering grades 6-8 must have no more than 10.
There are no entrance criteria for students entering kindergarten or first grade.
In addition, students will automatically be disqualified from consideration if they have:
- Any C, D or E offenses in the last three years.
- Three or more suspensions and/or suspensions totaling more than six days in the last three years.
- Failed the current grade and/or have to attend summer school to be promoted to the next grade.
- Been promoted to the next grade due to age.
- Failed to test on grade level when taking the district’s placement test for non-accredited schools.
- An IEP that requires modified grades or curriculum.
If, after completing an application with full and correct information, a student is selected, the parent or legal guardian must:
- Attend at least one scheduled parent meeting within two weeks of selection.
- Sign an Intent to Register Contract at the end of the required meeting.
- Present their final report cards to the selected school during scheduled “report card check” dates and times.
- Complete an IEP meeting (special-education students only).
- Complete a transition GEP meeting before the end of the current school year (gifted students only).
Mobile County Public Schools has three magnet elementary schools and four magnet middle schools. The elementary schools are Council Traditional School, Eichold-Mertz School of Math, Science and Technology, and Old Shell Road School of Performing Arts. The middle schools are Clark-Shaw School of Math and Science, Denton Magnet School of Technology, Dunbar School of Creative and Performing Arts, and Phillips Preparatory School.
The first magnet school drawing was held last week. More drawings are scheduled this spring and summer. The application deadline has been extended to June 30.