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Education News

Event Offers Parents Tips On Applying To Magnets, Other School Options

There are more than 100 choices when it comes to magnet school programs in the Houston Independent School District. It can be an exhausting maze of information. Parents can get tips on school choice this weekend.


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Melissa Marschall teaches political science at Rice University.

Even with a PhD, she realizes applying to magnet schools can be overwhelming.

“It’s very difficult, information is always changing. Most people don’t have the time to stay up on it and when they start looking, they’re overwhelmed because there’s so much involved.”

She says it’s not hard to fill out the actual forms. The hard part is to navigate all the information.

Marschall says parents often end up getting their heart set on one or two magnet schools that are very popular and hard to get into. She says parents should widen their options.

Marschall and other experts will have more advice for parents tomorrow at a school options symposium at Duncan Hall on Rice University campus.

They will discuss applying to public school magnets as well as private schools.

“You know, how can they find realistic choices for themselves? And I think that’s one of the things that we try to focus on at our symposium. Just because one school has the best test scores, does not mean that’s the best school for your child. There are other things to look at as well.”

She suggests visiting schools and for parents to look at a school’s data over time to see if it’s improving.

This year the process might get a little easier now that HISD has an online magnet application.

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