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Meet the Ellis Family

"I couldn’t imagine just going to one school and not having a choice for what’s best for my children!"

For lifelong South Carolinian and mother of three Courtenay Ellis, public magnet schools are all about intention. “I like the idea that parents have to initiate the process, it wasn’t an automatic result of zoning. You get a whole different caliber of involvement.”

Courtenay has certainly been proactive in pursuing the best education options for her children. Her search for the right schools began well before her first son was born. “Before I even had children I was paying attention to education because I knew I was going to have children. When I was pregnant with my first child, I went and met with the director of a magnet school.” And that sealed the deal.

The parental involvement and advanced curriculum were what ultimately made her decide that a magnet school was right for her children. This has presented a challenge that her children Tate, Eric, and Elizabeth enjoy. “It means a lot when the kids are really proud of their school.”

Magnet schools by definition usually have a specific focus and unique course of study. This makes them especially appealing to parents like Courtenay looking to customize their children’s education. “I absolutely feel more empowered!” she exclaims.

She loves being able to find the perfect educational fit for each of her children: “Next year I’ll have three children in three different magnet schools. The magnet school my daughter is in is not right for my son. I couldn’t imagine just going to one school and not having a choice for what’s best for my children!”

Updated 09/28/2016

More on Public Magnet Schools

Although magnet programs in South Carolina vary widely in size and scope, they are public schools operated by a district or consortium of districts that teach all subject areas with a special themed focus such as Fine & Performing Arts; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and more.

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