Parents impressed with local magnet schools

March 5, 2009



Through the long hallways of Franklin Elementary Medical Sciences and Wellness School, parents, often led by their children, roamed during Wednesday night''s open house, viewing classrooms and speaking with teachers. 




Whether veterans of the Columbus Municipal School District or newcomers, parents spoke highly of the magnet school concept, especially pleased with the curriculum and staff at Franklin Elementary, a medical sciences and wellness magnet school. 




"I love the school," Vickie Hartzell said of Franklin, where her 7-year-old daughter, Jhyla, is a student. "This has been the best school for my daughter. Now, she drinks water and eats fruit. She''s changing her body. It really is an excellent school. The teachers, all of them, have been excellent with me and with Jhyla." 




Lasonnia Whitfield''s child, Jairus, 6, has been at Franklin Academy since kindergarten. 




"I think it''s a pretty good program," she said of the magnet school concept. "It''ll give each child a chance to explore.  




"My son always said he wanted to be a doctor, so this is the right school for that," she added. "And I love the teachers. They always take time out to challenge him and to help him." 




"I''m learning science," Jairus proudly proclaimed. 




"I think she''s learning a lot of stuff at an early age that I think will benefit her," Trudy Warren, said of her daughter, Elexus Warren, 8. "She seems to enjoy it. She''s very impressed with the science lab, and I am, too. I think it''s good they get to learn and experience some things we didn''t get to when we were kids. It''s a lot more advanced. 




"She''s teaching me some things," she added, laughing. "Me, with a master''s degree, and she''s teaching me!" 




A children''s therapist, Warren worked in a program at Franklin for a year before choosing the school for her daughter. 




"I was really impressed with the teachers and the curriculum they were already learning," she explained. "(The magnet school concept) was just something else to enrich that." 




Mother to Jeremiah Hodges, 9, and Mya Burgin, 6, Ollie Hodges has been a Franklin parent for a year. 




"He''s learned a lot of things," she said of Jeremiah. "He likes it here." 




Brittany Sanderson and her daughter, Cyan, 5, are new to the CMSD, but Sanderson is a magnet school graduate. 




"I think it''s great," she said of the concept. "I was a magnet school kid in Miami, (Fla.), so I think the concept is fantastic." 


And she said she''d "absolutely commit" to a long-term track of study for her daughter. 




"If it continues, I''d definitely keep her in," she noted. "I''m an advocate for public schools." 




In the fall, the CMSD begins its second year of magnet schools.  


In addition to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, magnet schools individually focus on one of five themes: fine arts, aerospace, medical sciences and wellness, international studies, and technology and communication. 




For their children to study the theme of their choice, parents and students must enter a lottery; parents who wish to enroll their children in the pre-kindergarten program at Stokes-Beard Elementary School also must submit a lottery form. 




School choice forms for Columbus elementary schools can be picked up at the schools or at Brandon Central Services on McArthur Drive. 


The deadline for submitting lottery applications is 4 p.m. March 27. The lottery for the 2009-2010 school year will be held at at 10 a.m. April 17 at Brandon Central Services. 




For more information on the lottery, contact CMSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell at 662-241-7400 or via e-mail at [email protected] 




The Magnet Schools Lottery Application also is available at 




Open houses were held earlier this week at Cook Fine Arts Magnet School and Fairview Aerospace and Science Magnet School. 


Open houses will be held tonight at Sale International Studies Magnet School and Monday evening at Stokes-Beard Technology and Communication Magnet School.