People seeking a slot for their children in one of the popular magnet programs run by the East Baton Rouge Parish school system will have a new choice: a still-being-developed science-themed offering at the just reopened Lee High School.
The initial application period for magnet schools for the 2013-14 school year starts Monday and ends Dec. 14. Schools with more applications than slots will conduct a lottery. Schools with slots yet to fill will reopen applications at a later date.
To promote the magnet recruiting effort, the school system is holding its annual “EBR Mania” event from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday at Cortana Mall.
All 14 magnet programs will have booths. Also, the 21 schools that offer gifted-and-talented programs will have booths, including Wildwood Elementary, which started in August.
As in years past, the event will feature musical performances, artwork, informational sessions, giveaways, robots and games. A Spanish-speaking school system representative will also be dispensing information.
Lee High will be the school system’s 15th magnet program, and it will have a booth as well. The program will start operating in the 2013-14 school year.
Theresa Porter, recruiter for magnet programs, said Lee High’s magnet program will focus on science, technology, engineering and math, which is known as STEM, but also may focus on visual and performing arts.
Porter said the school system is still refining what it wants to do in the program.
Lee High reopened in August and has 226 students in the ninth and 10th grades who live in the school’s new south Baton Rouge attendance zone.
The school plans to add an 11th grade next year and a 12th grade in fall 2014.
The School Board is currently debating whether to rebuild the old rundown campus at 1105 Lee Drive, which would require a two-year relocation while construction is under way, or rebuild the school in another location.
Porter said her office is making a special effort this year to promote the Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Program at 802 Mayflower St., and students from the school will perform at EBR Mania.
Immersion program students spend 60 percent of their day, all their core classes, immersed in either French or Spanish. Students with no background in either of those languages can enter only at kindergarten and first grade.
Porter said starting Monday and ending Friday the schools featured at EBR Mania will hold open houses to highlight their programs.
Similar to last year, parents can apply only online on the school system’s homepage at www.ebrschools.org, but they also can go to the Magnet Program office, 1050 S. Foster Drive, to apply during business hours or at the open houses, Porter said.