Magnet school plans upset community leaders

May 13, 2013 5:48:37 PM PDT
Big changes are coming to a local middle school and parents have serious concerns their kids are getting pushed out of a quality education.

Ryan Middle School is about to transform into a magnet school. Students who currently go to Ryan may soon find themselves out of luck if they don't meet a fast approaching deadline.

You've only got through Thursday to sign up if you want your sixth grader next year to attend the new magnet program at Ryan Middle School. Those who live in the area say that hasn't been publicized enough.

Next year Ryan Middle School will reopen as the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan. It eventually will be a sixth to eighth grade magnet school, but in its first year there will only be 200 spots for sixth graders only.

"Our community is not aware about the new school," said community organizer Dr. Assata Richards. "They're not at all aware."

At Project Row House in the Third Ward, community leaders fear the change has not been publicized enough.

"I think that HISD has communicated in the ways in which it is accustomed to communicating," Dr. Richards said. "But I think that when you deal with individuals from different economic backgrounds and different educational backgrounds, that those communication methods need to be amended and adjusted."

HISD says the academy at Ryan will be open to all students. The school's new principal says she has been publicizing the application deadline through newspaper ads, media and even visits at the 11 elementary schools closest to Ryan. "I'm trying to spread the word as much as possible," said Jyoti Malhan of the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan. "That is the goal."

Organizers say some parents might not make good advocates for their children, so they're trying to help.

"To make sure nobody falls through the cracks and make sure that everybody who wants to jump on that opportunity can," said parent Stephanie Aldridge.

So far HISD has 161 applications. If they get more than 200 applications, HISD says students will be chosen by lottery.

"An Initiative to Save Our Schools"

Educational sessions to assist students and parents with applying for Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School

Project Row Houses
2521 Holman (at Live Oak)
Today - Wednesday 11am- 8:30pm
Thursday 11am-3pm
713-526- 4475

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