CHAMPAIGN — Parents interested in learning more about the magnet-school focus at Stratton Elementary School can get more information at a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. today (Monday, Nov. 21) at the school, located at 902 N. Randolph St., C.
The meeting is in the school's gym, and will feature Triana Olivas, a retired principal who is also trained in the program coming to the school.
The school's focus will be MicroSociety, which will allow students to learn about local and global issues that will prepare them to be leaders, said a release from the district.
"This magnet focus brings real-life business ventures and government agency activities to life and prepares students to be discerning individuals as they move on to college and/or careers because the activities are long-lasting, genuine and interwoven," the release stated.
Principal Stephanie Eckels said Olivas' school used the MicroSociety program, and will give teachers, staff members and parents a better idea of what to expect when Stratton becomes a magnet school.
Olivas will meet with teachers at a staff meeting and then address parents at the 5 p.m. meeting, she said.
Teachers haven't been able to visit a MicroSociety school yet, Eckels said, so it will be nice to hear about Olivas' experiences and have her "answer some nuts and bolts questions."
The school will become a magnet with money from the $5 million Magnet School Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Eckels said the school may implement some aspects of the magnet school focus by the end of this school year, including its service learning and leadership aspects.
"Next year, we'll get into students opening their ventures and businesses," Eckels said.
She said students learn a lot before high school, but don't always get to experience things before then.
"This way, they're going to get to experience what it's like to have a job and some responsibility and some leadership," she said.
The grant money will also be used in Booker T. Washington and Garden Hills magnet elementary schools.