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To Expand The Selection Procedure In The Paterson Magnet School New Students

Paterson - the city education officials are drafting a plan to open eight grade students several new magnet school in the District, the low school choice extension.
Sergeant Donny Evans says he wants what he calls a new "control selection" location in the system for small primary school in September next year.

A draft plan says parents would have the option of continuing to send their children to their neighborhood schools, to apply to send them to a different traditional elementary school outside their zone or to apply to one of the district’s magnet schools.

At present, the district has several magnet schools at the elementary level, including Alexander Hamilton Academy, the Academy for the Gifted and Talented and the Urban Leadership Academy. Under the controlled choice proposal, the district would create several additional magnet schools over the next few years.

Many details are still being ironed out. For example, officials have not determined whether selection to the new magnet schools would be based on a lottery or some academic criteria. They also have not decided how large the magnet schools would be or where they would be located.

Also, the themes of the new magnet schools have not yet been picked. Among the suggestions under consideration are fine and performing arts, math and science, technology, dual language, single gender and environmental studies. Evans said the district is open to suggestions from the community on other possible themes.

District officials talked about the elementary school choice program during the Board of Education’s workshop meeting on Wednesday night. Officials said they would conduct a far more extensive discussion on the issue at the workshop meeting on the first Wednesday night in December. Officials said they encourage parents to attend that session, which is scheduled to be held at the district headquarters at 90 Delaware Avenue at 6:30 pm.

Evans said studies have shown that providing school choice improves students’ academic performance. He has attributed increases in test scores at Paterson’s high schools to the creation of a full-scale academy system at that level.

But several board members said they were concerned about creating theme-based magnet schools for elementary students because they said the district high school academies have failed to provide curricula that focus on their assigned topics. The exception, they said, has been Rosa Park with its successful focus on the fine and performing arts. But other academies, such as HARP with its goal of focusing on health care careers, and PANTHER, with its goal of a science-oriented curriculum, have not been true to those missions.

“I don’t want schools called a magnet school that are not really magnet schools,” said board member Jonathan Hodges.

Evans said the district was rewriting the curricula for its high school academies to ensure they fulfilled their themes and he said the new magnet schools would have “fidelity” to their

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