Miami-Dade School District offers specialized academic choices

ALBERTO CARVALHO Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
ALBERTO CARVALHO Superintendent, miami-dade school district
Superintendent, Miami-Dade County
Public Schools

This fall, students and parents across Miami-Dade County are busy filling out applications for the school district’s special academic programs known as magnet or choice programs that provide students a specialized education on a variety of academic topics. Magnet programs are designed to give students their basic educational foundation, as well as the opportunity to concentrate on a particular subject and reach proficiency in it.

Students must meet eligibility requirements and admission to specialized programs can be competitive.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has expanded its choice programs extensively for the current school year in order to attract more students who want a high quality educational program and advanced academic rank. Fifty-two new options have been added this school year so that students, along with their parents, can make the best decisions for their academic and career pathways. Even Miami-Dade’s unique iPrep Program has been franchised to provide an innovative approach to mathematics in 49 middle schools.

New this year are three small high schools, each focusing on exciting areas of study. BioTECH@RichmondHeights 9-12 was created as a STEM zoo magnet high school with a focus on Conservation Biology; iTech@ThomasAEdison Educational Center provides students with the opportunity to earn industry certifications that are in demand around the world in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), and iCode (Microsoft Applications); The Center for International Education: A Cambridge Associate School offers a robust, accelerated and enriching program to senior high school students through a partnership with Cambridge International Examinations.

We’ve also created the first high school located on a college campus named MAST@FIU where students are eagerly studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics.

Some of the district’s long-standing magnet programs have achieved national recognition for their programs and are among the most popular of the magnet programs, receiving the most attention and the most applications. But some of the lesser-known programs may be a better fit for students because of their location and availability.

Among the outstanding lesser-known choices are the Dance and Music programs at Rainbow Park Elementary; International Baccalaureate programs at Frank C. Martin K-8 Center and Ponce de Leon Middle School; Multimedia Communication, Science Technology and Research at Riviera Middle School; Leadership at Young Men’s Preparatory Academy; Science and Technology, Bio-medical Science, and Physical Therapy at MAST@Homestead; Advanced Placement/Capstone studies at Barbara Goleman Senior High School; and Visual and Performing Arts programs at Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts.

All Miami-Dade magnet/choice programs offer a higher standard of education that strengthens students’ educational foundation to prepare them for college and career. Miami-Dade was one of the nation’s first school districts to offer specialized courses and programs in critical areas to benefit students’ intellectual and professional development. These challenging courses, together with technology updates, school improvements and replacements provided by the $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond approved by voters, will give Miami-Dade’s students unlimited opportunities for success.

For information, call 305-995-1922 or go to <>.

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