Durham, NC

10 DPS magnet schools earn high grades

The Triangle Tribune

Lakewood Montessori Principal Don Jones (holding bouquet) is flanked by supporters.Photo byDPS photo

By Crystal Roberts

Special To The Tribune

DURHAM – Lakewood Montessori Middle and Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College were two of only 24 schools nationwide deemed Top Schools of Excellence, receiving highest honors, from the Magnet Schools of America.

A total of 10 Durham Public Schools magnet schools have been notified that their programs have earned merit awards for meeting the high standards set forth by the national organization:

The School for Creative Studies earned a School of Excellence, High Honor, designation.

Schools of Distinction honors were:

* Burton IB Magnet Elementary

* City of Medicine Academy

* George Watts Montessori Magnet

* Hillside High School IB

* Lowe’s Grove Magnet Middle

* Neal Magnet Middle

* Southern School of Energy and Sustainability

“We are extremely proud of the work that our magnet school administration and teachers are doing to expand opportunities for our students. This achievement is well-earned and well-deserved. I am especially proud of Middle College and Lakewood Montessori for the national recognition that they have earned,” DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga said.

Lakewood Montessori Principal Donald Jones said student-staff interaction is foundational to success. “We strive to create an educational experience that fosters academic curiosity and personal growth, and a social community that encourages a thoughtful, empathetic understanding of our relationship with others and the natural world in which we live,” he said. “Through our Montessori curriculum, we hope students leave us with a deep appreciation of their individual worth and, more importantly, how that worth can, in turn, positively impact our community as a whole.

Added Middle College Principal Crystal Taylor-Simon: “At Middle College High School, we use our data to be intentional about providing supports for students. The Student Supports Team and our teachers are creative in ensuring that the supports match the individual student's academic and social/emotional needs. Our parents and our community partners also play an integral part of supporting our students, and we couldn't have done this without them”

The schools will be recognized and receive a National Magnet School of Distinction Award during an awards ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s 40th National Conference in April.

To receive a national merit award, members must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.

To learn more about program, visit www.magnet.edu.

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