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posted: 2/4/2013 7:56 AM

Fred Rogers Magnet Academy in Aurora to host open house

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Submitted by East Aurora Unit District 131

East Aurora Unit District 131 will host a public Information Session and Open House for the Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane in Aurora.

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All families who reside in the school district's boundaries with students in third to 12th grades during the 2013-2014 school year are invited to attend, including families who currently live in-district and attend private and parochial schools.

The Magnet Academy Information Session and Open House will afford families the opportunity to learn more details about the successful educational institution that is the first of its kind in this area.

Administrators and teachers will be on hand to discuss the school's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum, the application and lottery process, and the new initiative that will provide a personal laptop computer for every student who is enrolled at the school beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

"We are going to bring personal access to technology to every child enrolled in the Magnet Academy. This will not only have a direct impact on the student, but on the family as well. Students will be able to take the computers home each night," said Annette Johnson, president of the East Aurora Unit District 131 board of education.

Currently, Magnet Academy students in sixth through eighth grades are participating in a pilot 1-to-1 Computing Initiative that provides personal laptops for each student to use at school and home during the school year. That program will expand to all grade levels next school year.

"My laptop has literally made my access to education limitless," said Oscar Miranda, eighth-grade Magnet Academy student.

Because of the direct access to technology, the Magnet Academy has become a textbook free campus, with lessons being taught via computers, SMART Boards, and other technological devices.

The Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy will also physically expand to its own full-service school building in August 2013. Currently, the educational institution at 501 College Ave., which was previously Madonna High School, Aurora Central High School, and the Fred Rodgers Community Center, is being renovated to house 450 students in a state-of-the-art STEM educational institution.

The Magnet Academy was established in 2008 for students who are academically talented and interested in math, science, and technology. The Magnet Academy uses the Common Core standards and a STEM curriculum to enrich and expand learning concepts beyond the standard curriculum.

Open to all third- through 12th-grade students who live in the East Aurora school district, the Magnet Academy currently has openings at all grade levels. After completing an online application, all qualified applicants are placed into a public lottery for selection. Once enrolled, students remain in the school as long as they continue to meet the qualifications.

Complete details about the new online application process, lottery selection, STEM curriculum and the 1-to-1 Computing Initiative will be discussed during the open house. Session will be conducted in English and Spanish.

For more information, contact Angela Rowley, Magnet Academy principal, at (630) 978-9482 or arowley@d131.org. Learn more about the Magnet Academy at www.d131.org.

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