What is a magnet school?

Since Pine View became a magnet school on December 14, 2015, without any stakeholder input, we thought it made sense to define “magnet school.”

At the May 3, 2016 SCSB meeting, chairwoman Shirley Brown, read from a Wikipedia article, the definition of a magnet school. We will use the U.S. Department of Education’s definition, as follows:

Magnet schools are designed to attract students from diverse social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. They focus on a specific subject, such as science or the arts; follow specific themes, such as business/technology or communications/humanities/law; or operate according to certain models, such as career academies or a school-within-a-school. Some magnet schools require students to take an exam or demonstrate knowledge or skill in the specialty to qualify to go to the school, while others are open to students who express an interest in that area.

The Florida Department of Education goes on to further state:

Magnet schools and magnet programs offer a specialized curriculum to students outside the school’s normal attendance boundaries. These programs may include a particular theme or focus such as mathematics, science, technology, communications, international affairs, business or performing arts. A magnet school is defined as an elementary, middle, or high school that offers, to all students enrolled in that particular school, a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Magnet programs differ slightly from a magnet school as the special curriculum is offered to a cohort of students as opposed to the entire school.

Despite what administration says and SCSB echoes, Pine View does not have a “specialized curriculum,” it does not attract “substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, or racial backgrounds,” nor does it offer a “cohort of students as opposed to the entire school.”  Riverview High School has a magnet program via their IB program, as does SHS with their AICE/MAST program, and Booker High School with their VPA program.

However, Pine View does not have a specialized curriculum, yet. Pine View offers Honors, AP, and DE, but so do all the other district high schools. Pine View course numbers are identical to the courses provided at the other district schools.

Some believe that Pine View offers an accelerated curriculum, but is this true?

Is offering one year acceleration in math, considered accelerated curriculum? We think not! Every student in the state, whether gifted or not, has the ability to be accelerated if they meet eligibility criteria according to the Florida ACCEL legislation in 2012.

Do you feel Pine View should have been changed to a magnet school after 46 years as a traditional public school, without any stakeholder input?  Write your school board member or sign this petition to have a voice!