Houston-area magnet academies
Some Houston Gulf Coast-area public schools offer programs that concentrate on a particular area of study. These types of programs are called magnets or academies, and they can be a part of a larger public school, or they can be school-wide.
What is a magnet school?
Magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. Because the schools draw students from across normal school zone boundaries regardless of zip code, they are called “magnets”. There are magnet schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Magnet schools exist within the traditional public school system, but offer a particular academic focus alongside the standard curriculum.
Some magnets, such as International Baccalaureate (international studies) schools have a more general focus. Other magnet programs may focus on:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
- Fine and Performing Arts
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) World Languages (immersion and non-immersion)
Houston-area magnet programs embody the idea of custom education and school choice – magnet schools are visionary, innovative, and effective. Other school options in the area are private schools or charter schools, which can offer a similar curriculum to magnets, but the schools can be very different from one another. When comparing public magnet schools to private and charter schools, the information available can be misleading or confusing. Here are the facts:
Additional benefits to students attending magnet academies:
- Magnet schools enhance diversity and desegregation.
- Magnet school students score higher on science, reading, and social studies tests than students in public comprehensive schools
- Magnet elementary schools encourage family and community involvement