If I had a million dollars… Selma’s magnet school face ‘dilemma’

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 4, 2002

If you had a chance, how would you spend a million dollars?

Well, the Magnet Schools of Selma has it. Now they must figure out how to spend it.

Funded through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Education was able to award the only two magnet schools in the system a little more than $1 million to put in high gear the implementation of the whole magnet concept at the School of Discovery Genesis Center and Selma Middle CHAT Academy.

Now, Griffeth says, the schools are &uot;ready to move forward with the implementation of those courses and the magnet curriculum.&uot;

The federal funds will be used for accelerated academic level, field trips, to train teachers, equip classrooms with needed supplies, materials and equipment, accommodate the schools’ applied technology and to purchase a wide array of resources.

Before the grant proposal was sent to the department of education for approval, it was examined by the Office for Civil Rights to ensure the magnet schools are in compliance with certain criteria.

The programs at the magnet level, in essence, must attract students who wouldn’t normally attend that school or system, Griffeth said.

Minority enrollment at the magnet school in Selma has increased slightly, a requirement, and hopes to attract a more culturally diverse student body at each school is a goal.

In addition, each year, according to regulations, a new courses must be added to the schools’ curriculum in order to receive funding.

Currently, accelerated academic courses, media communication, broadcast art, piano, courses, dance, guitar, jazz band, business, tech team and more magnet courses are offered to all students at CHAT Academy. School of Discovery students have the option of taking dance, career discoveries, forestry science, aerospace, creative writing and other magnet classes at their choice.

Last year a $769,000 federal grant was disposed to the magnet schools. And next year more award money will be requested, Griffeth said.