• Time to apply for SLPS magnet schools

    Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:36 am
    By Louis F. Kruger
    St. Louis Public Schools strives to provide a quality, relevant education to every child. One way we accomplish this is to listen to our students’ dreams and aspirations.

    Dating back to the 1970s, SLPS began to introduce schools with specialized curriculum. Called “magnet” schools, these campuses do not have traditional geographic boundaries and attract students from throughout St. Louis city and St. Louis County. Of the district’s 70-plus schools, 24 are magnet schools and three are choice schools, which also have specialized curriculum but are only open to city residents.
    You may have recently heard a radio commercial or seen an ad in this newspaper reminding families that applications are now being accepted for the 2015-16 school year.

    If you are not familiar with our magnet and choice options, we offer elementary, middle and high schools for nearly every interest: visual and performing arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), career and technical education, military, international studies, law, medicine and gifted education. Students who know what path they would like to take once they graduate from SLPS have the opportunity to gain real-world experiences in their chosen field before they enter college or start a career.

    Culinary students at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy cook in a state-of-the-art kitchen. Veterinary students at Gateway STEM High School care for a variety of animals every day, including the principal’s dog. Dancers and musicians at Central VPA High School perform on a world-class stage. Future doctors and scientists at the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience learn crime-scene investigation techniques. Cadets at Cleveland NJROTC practice the principles of leadership as squad leaders, platoon commanders, company executive officers, company commanders and members of Battalion Staff.

    These are just a few examples of the unique opportunities students have at SLPS magnet and choice schools that translate to college, the military and future careers.

    Several SLPS magnet schools also provide accelerated education programs for children who have tested gifted as dictated by state-approved criteria. SLPS is the only district in the metropolitan area offering full-time, tuition-free gifted education for students in preschool through grade 8. Testing is available for current SLPS students and can be scheduled by calling the SLPS Gifted and Talented Office at 314-345-4548.
    Because the number of applicants requesting placement often exceeds the number of open/available seats, enrollment in magnet and choice schools is based on a lottery. The Pool B lottery application period for the 2015-16 school year runs through Jan. 7, 2015. A full description of each magnet and choice school—along with the application and selection criteria—is available at www.slpsmagnetschools.org.

    If you live in the city and have additional questions, you can always call us at the SLPS Student Recruitment and Placement Office, 314-633-5200. If you live in the county, please contact the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corp. (VICC) at 314-721-8422 x3012.
    We look forward to helping you find a school that best meets your child’s interests and ambitions.

    Louis F. Kruger is the Executive Director of the Student Recruitment and Placement Office at Saint Louis Public Schools.