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Staff Photo by Katie Lucia
Lenwood Elementary School Principal Laura May examines the Lenwood garden Monday morning. As the school begins the school year a "School of Discovery," fourth-graders will maintain the garden as part of the new instruction.

Seeds of Change: BUSD ready to launch magnet schools

BARSTOW • Administrators are ready to launch the trial phase of what could be a district wide magnet school program for Barstow elementary schools as Lenwood, Crestline and Thomson schools introduce specialized extracurricular instruction when school starts Aug. 20.

These three schools are the first to operate as a magnet school — vying for parent interest as the district made transferring to these schools easier, Superintendent Jeff Malan said.

Each of the three magnet schools will have a learning theme that will guide their activities on top of regular academics. The district spent between $10,000 to $15,000 on each school for staff development or purchase of supplies, Malan said.

Lenwood Elementary School of Discovery will focus on exposing students to the arts and sciences with specific themes for each grade level said Lenwood Principal Laura May.

Kindergarten, for example, will focus on learning through music, movement and art, while fifth graders explore archaeology and science applications.

“It’s a hook,” May said. “It’s enrichment and hopefully sparking interest ... it gives them an opportunity to discover what they’re interested in. That’s why it’s a School of Discovery.”

Crestline Elementary is set to be a School of Leadership, applying the principals of the popular book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The students would wear uniforms and leadership training would be incorporated into the regular academic curriculum.

“We felt that the seven habits were skills that our kids really needed to make our kids be successful and equip them with the skills that would carry them forward in their life,” said Crestline Principal Dave Finch.

Thomson will be employing the principals of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) in addition to their regular curriculum. Thomson Principal Theresa Gonzales was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon.

Parents interested in transferring their student to one of these magnet schools should contact the principal of their current school as well as the magnet school.

Malan said the district will examine the success of these schools after the first trimester to determine if this is a model all schools will eventually adopt.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or klucia@desertdispatch.com


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