Review of Moore Square Magnet Middle School, WCPSS Magnet School in Raleigh

26 Jul

Is your child in 5th grade and it is time to start thinking about middle school?  What choices do you have in Wake County for middle school?  Middle school is a challenging age for kids, they go through a lot of changes during this time.  They are also building some core knowledge that will prepare them for high school when “grades count” towards getting into college.

There are some options in Charter schools – many are hard to get into if you were not already there as an elementary school student since they are often K-8 schools.  Also, many are filled with kids who have different types of struggles with IEP’s so that changes the dynamic of the school a little.It can be good for some and not good for others due to that situation, depends on your specific child and how the school handles children with a variety of behavioral, learning, and other disorders.

Most families go the simple route of their assigned base school.  The child has already made friends from the elementary school and they don’t want to disrupt this.  There is merit to this choice but kids are resilient these days and after complaining for a bit, most will make new friends if their parents don’t give them an option.  This was our approach.  My kids were not happy with the choices but we made sure we explained all the benefits they would get at their schools that their friends at the base school would not have and they did agree that those things sounded much better.

So… what are those benefits?

In 6th grade at a base middle school, you get 60 minutes a day of core classes and the 2 electives of 45 minutes each.  Your choices for electives are very limited, you get put in a computer application course and you can do band or a wheel of learning (where you explore career choices).  As a 7th grader you can finally choose to take a foreign language and other electives include band, more CTE computer application classes, PE, and home economics.  Your choices are usually limited to about 2 or 3 per semester.

At Moore Square, you get a list of about 128 elective courses – you don’t take ART or MUSIC or PE, you have many choices within each that you can select – you can do drawing, piano, and volleyball or you can do pottery, guitar, and basketball.  You can also do regular band or drums.  You can take all different levels of classes relating to theater, you can study classes that relate to math like Personal finance, stocks, or Fantasy Football Math, or you can study Science specialties like the Grey Matter of the brain where you dissect real brains and look at them, or you take genetics, or forensics.  You can take law class or debate class or study civil war, geography, or mythology.

The school offers a handful of languages you can take as well and get high school credit for them.  You can also get high school credit for Math 1 and 2 and possibly Earth Science.  The student’s day is broken up with core and electives mixed up so they don’t have to do all core at one time.  They only have 45-48 minutes of each class, including core – so half of the day is core and half is electives and lunch.    It makes school more fun, interesting, and less stressful.

Most of the teachers I have seen there have been great!  She had fairly good teachers last year and only 1 that I have concerns about this year.  The transportation may be an issue for some but there is an express bus so it is worth it for me.  I also think the quality of education she will get at Southeast Raleigh HS  or Enloe is way better than Apex high and if she stays in Magnet she can transfer to magnet.


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