Magnet school application process to begin soon

CONYERS - Students interested in attending the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology will soon be able to apply for the 2010-11 school year.

Eligible eighth-grade students - Rockdale County residents who have enrolled in Accelerated Math I, PC Math 8 or Honors Math 8 or scored an 850 or higher on the math or science portion of the seventh-grade CRCT - will start learning more about the Magnet program starting Monday before they have to apply to the school by Dec. 11.

The school is a public high school for ninth through 12th grades housed at Rockdale County High School that is designed for students who are curious about the scientific world, love to solve problems, seek a challenging academic environment and can work independently, as well as in a group setting, according to its Web site.

On Monday, the RMSST Director Mary Ann Suddeth and several Magnet students will visit Edwards Middle School for an information session; Tuesday they will visit Conyers Middle School, and Thursday and Friday they will visit Davis Middle School and Memorial Middle School, respectively.

"Our students will visit their classrooms to talk about the unique opportunities at RMSST and to give them information about our parent-student information session in November," Suddeth said about the visits.

Letters also will be mailed home to eligible students' families next week.

In November, the school invites parents and students to RCHS for an information session to learn more about the program. On Nov. 3, the school will host Conyers Middle School; Memorial Middle School families will visit on Nov. 5; Davis Middle School on Nov. 17; and Edwards Middle School on Nov. 19. They all are scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and applications to the Magnet program will be distributed at these events.

"This is a chance for students and parents to visit our labs and participate in demonstrations with our teachers and students," Suddeth said. "They also will receive more detailed information about the school and our curriculum during this meeting."

Families must submit student applications to the Magnet school by Dec. 11. They carry a $10 application/testing fee.

All applicants then must attend an applicant placement test and interview from 8 a.m. until noon Jan. 9 at RCHS. They should bring a No. 2 pencil and a calculator.

On Feb. 26, the school is expected to mail decision letters to all applicants.

For the applicants who are accepted for enrollment, the school plans to hold a parent/student meeting sometime in March at the RCHS theater.

This school year, approximately 180 students are enrolled in the Magnet school. Over the last two years, about 60 new students have been accepted into the program each year, and the school expects to accept at least that many again this year, Suddeth said.

Students must enter the program in the ninth grade since the curriculum builds from one year to the next and must pass all classes to remain enrolled, Suddeth said.

"It is really important for students and parents to explore this opportunity now since they can only apply in eighth grade," she said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for students who excel and are interested in math, science and technology. Parents and students need to have first-hand information and see our facilities in order to make an informed decision about their high school career."

More information about the program and application process is available at www.rockdalemagnetschool.com or call 770-483-8737.