Thursday, April 23, 2015 03:00 PM



Wake County’s 40 magnet schools are on display to 1,100 educators who have come to Raleigh from around the country to see what lessons they can learn from North Carolina’s largest school district.

The Wake County school system is host to this week’s Magnet Schools of America’s national conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. Educators from Wake magnet schools are leading some sessions at the conference, while the district’s magnet schools opened their doors Thursday to tours from attendees.

“I’m very impressed by what we’ve seen – both with the electives here and the ease with which the students are able to comfortably talk with adults,” said Cindy Wilson, a reading specialist from Mount Airy City Schools, as she toured Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh.

Wilson said she came to the conference to see what she can learn to help her district compete with a charter school in Mount Airy.

Magnet schools have long provided Wake County with competition, first with private schools and more recently with charter schools. For the upcoming school year, Wake found spots for 49 percent of the 5,531 applicants to magnet schools.

Since 1982, Wake has used the magnet program to diversify school enrollments, fill under-enrolled schools and provide ...

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