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Wichita parents, take note: Choices Fair is Jan. 30

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at 2:38 p.m.

If you have a child in Wichita public schools – or will in the fall – it’s already time to start thinking about magnet options and completing applications.

And mark your calendar for the district’s Choices Fair later this month.

The Choices Fair, 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Century II Exhibition Hall, is an annual event where Wichita families can gather information about magnet schools, neighborhood schools and the wide range of special programs offered by the Wichita district. The event is free.

The district offers technology, foreign language, fine arts and traditional magnet schools, among others. It also has alternative high schools, career development schools and East High’s International Baccalaureate program, an internationally accredited college-preparatory curriculum.

The most popular schools typically have waiting lists. Open slots are filled by lottery.

Parents can get application forms online at the district’s website – magnet.usd259.org – or at any magnet school. Forms also can be picked up at the magnet admissions office in the Alvin Morris Administrative Center, 201 N. Water.

The deadline to apply for most Wichita magnet schools is Feb. 14.

However, the application deadline for the East High IB program is earlier.

Student testing dates for that program are Jan. 18 and 25; the application deadline is Jan. 23. Testing is by appointment only, and the application includes teacher recommendations and other paperwork. For more information, go to http://ib.east.usd259.org.

Families interested in the pre-IB program at Robinson Middle School are urged to attend an informational meeting at the school, 328 N. Oliver, from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 23 or Feb. 4. That program also requires a test; testing dates are Feb. 1 and 8, and the application deadline is Feb. 14. For more information, including details about shadow and visitation days, go to http://pre-ib.robinson.usd259.org.

Though the district advertises the Robinson program as pre-IB, the school isn’t certified by the International Baccalaureate organization.

Families interested in Northeast Magnet High School, which offers programs focused on law/public service, science or visual arts, are invited to attend an information session at that school. The meeting is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Northeast Magnet, 5550 N. Lycee.

The application deadline for Northeast Magnet also is Feb. 14.

Visitation days for most Wichita magnet schools will be Feb. 3-7. For a list of visitation dates by school, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about Wichita magnets and other special programs, go to the magnet page on the district’s website.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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