The public schools in South Dallas can be a difficult environment– many schools struggle in regard to attendance and academics. While we recognize the inherent challenges present in an inner-city school, we believe that our proteges can exemplify strong character in any school. We’ve seen young inner-city leaders be godly, committed students and friends in their neighborhood schools.
With that in mind, we don’t push our proteges to go to magnet schools if they aren’t a student who wants to spend time in an academically rigorous environment. However, some of our proteges really excel in academics or the arts, and applying to a magnet school can be a great way to develop their abilities. Since education is a justice issue (we talked about that here), we want to advocate for our proteges in many areas of life, including academics.
If you aren’t familiar with these schools, DISD has magnets for both middle and high school. There are some really excellent options– for example, Townview Magnet Center has really strong academic high schools, and Booker T Washington High School is great at developing young artists. Obama and Rangel (leadership academies that are all male and all female, respectively) are known as great academic environments for both middle and high school students.
Champions of Hope has a few students who have applied and been accepted into magnet schools. I was able to talk to a couple of these students and ask them about their experiences. They recognized that going to one of these specialized schools is helpful preparation if they’d like to attend college– magnet schools are great avenues for connecting kids to opportunities. They also see some downsides to attending magnet schools– namely, that you don’t get to go to school with your friends. (Side note: If your protege does switch to attend a magnet school, be ready to talk through second-guessing that decision. Changing schools and making new friends is tough!)
If your protege is interested in applying to a magnet school, applications are now available! They are due at the end of January. The applications take some preparation and effort, so they will want to get started early. Feel free to reach out to your Coordinator with questions– we can get you more information so to pass along to your protege and his parents!