Reynolds, North Forsyth and Atkins Academic & Technology high schools have been honored by Magnet Schools of America, officials with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said Monday.
Reynolds, which started its magnet program for visual and performing arts in 2008, was named a National Magnet School of Excellence. The award is offered to a select group of magnet schools across the country. This is the second consecutive year Reynolds has received this honor.
In 2017, the school received the title of Nationally Certified Magnet School by Magnet Schools of America.
Leslie Alexander, the principal at Reynolds, said it was exciting and an honor to again receive this award.
“The national certification and award process is based on the Magnet School Standards of Excellence and those standards really define Reynolds,” Alexander said. “Two years in a row provides our team with validation that our work continues to align with those pillars of diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high quality instructional systems; and, family and community partnerships.”
North Forsyth and Atkins were both named a National Magnet School of Distinction.
North Forsyth is a health-science magnet school focused on introducing students to specialized classes and integrated content. It also offers opportunities to learn about careers in health sciences and has an Academy of Health Sciences in partnership with the National Academy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to help high schools provide skilled workers in several fields.
Melita Wise, North Forsyth’s principal, said, “We spend a lot of time working to give students a well-rounded sense of the possibilities and opportunities for careers within these fields. Since beginning this magnet school journey in 2017, we’ve worked hard to provide unique opportunities unlike others in this district. It is so satisfying to know our peers in education, from across the country, have looked at what we are doing and feel we should be recognized on this level.”
Atkins is a STEM magnet school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Those principles are integrated throughout the curriculum. Exclusive technology course strands and various high-tech equipment are available at the school.
“It is no secret to us that Atkins is a special place,” said Christina Forney, program manager for the school system’s magnet programs. “Being awarded this distinction by Magnet Schools of America confirms for us that what is happening for students at Atkins is impactful, rigorous, and valuable in preparing them for success in the future.”
Forney said all three schools were evaluated by a panel of educators and judged on the ability to demonstrate diversity, academic achievement, and partnership with the community.