Be There: A look inside East Columbus' Magnet Gifted & Talented program

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Muscogee County School District has about 20 magnet programs for parents and students to choose from for their educational advancement.

The specialized curriculums are available at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles visited the Gifted and Talented program at East Columbus Magnet Academy to get some insight on what the program has to offer 6th – 8th graders.

We spoke with magnet coordinator Alicia Head about the components of the program and what parents need to consider before applying for the magnet discipline.

"One part is academic and the other part is special talents like singing, speaking and being a part of different clubs," said Head.

Magnet students get the opportunity to explore the areas in which they're gifted. But, to be accepted, CRCT, Criterion Referenced Competency Test is considered.

"We start with 820 and math is a very important component; 820 is a little bit above average."

Head added the magnet world at ECMA is filled with a wide variety which allows the students to grow.

"They have the right to choose from different activities that they know they can excel in. If that child is artistic, then they may choose work that relate to artwork, mathematical, or maybe they are a vocal child where they need to use their vocabulary more."

The choices are outlined in what's called, "extension menus," according to Head.

Josiah Robinson, a 6th grader, emphasized the program is definitely more challenging than in elementary school. "It's gotten a lot harder and they expect more from us."

Another element of the magnet program is parental involvement. "We know the students can do the work, but when you think about a magnet program, are they willing to be involved with their child and does the child has the right work ethics."

Parental involvement is key because students are required to do community service and complete a lot of science and social studies projects.

Schools throughout the district are gearing up for 'Open House' to give parents an opportunity to see what's involved in the magnet programs. ECMA will hold its Open House on December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center at the school.

Shaw High School is planning to open its doors to all 8TH graders interested in the school and the Mass Communication program on November 18th at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.