New magnet programs approved by BOE

Clayton County Public Schools

JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of creating two new magnet programs during Monday’s meeting.

The board was presented with program details at the Feb. 27 work session. Magnet programs offer classes in specialized courses alongside core curriculum classes within the schools.

The first is a new Film and Media Academy at Mundy’s Mill High School. The program will support “the state’s established efforts to develop homegrown talent to sustain the rapidly expanding film and media industry.”

Career, Technical and Agricultural Education teacher Tanina Packer said the academy will “target students who are achievement-oriented and highly motivated with an interest in film and media.”

The program will start during the 2017-18 school year. Parker said it would be open to 75 ninth-graders with a minimum 2.8 GPA. Students will be required to take part in a student interview and have a digital portfolio. MMHS plans to begin accepting applications in April and students would be notified of acceptance in May.

Packer said movie and television production jobs are being filled by out-of-state talent. The new magnet program would allow the talent to be homegrown.

“Students would leave our school with a portfolio and practical experience,” she said.

Classes will include audio and video technology and film, broadcast video production application, introduction to digital media and principles and concepts of animation.

The second program is the Jonesboro High School Political Leadership Program. The purpose “is to create a more just, free and equal world by developing the intellectual foundation needed to influence public policies that affect students’ communities.”

Principal Felicia Brown presented the program, which is based on critical and disciplinary thinking, deep knowledge of the country’s founding principles and strong advocacy skills. It will follow the model of the Cesar Chavez Schools, a charter school program for public policy in Washington, D.C., with a “rigorous college preparatory curriculum and a unique public policy program,” according to its website.

Jonesboro High School is already home to a civic-minded pool of students. The school’s Mock Trial Team has won seven state titles and two national championships.

Clayton County Public Schools Fine Arts Director Monika Wiley said the Jonesboro program is still in its research phase with plans to offer it to students during the 2018-19 school year.

The cost of the programs is $500,000, which includes equipment updates, professional development and curriculum materials.

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