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Impact of CR Magnet School on Students

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-Cedar Rapids school leaders have latched on to the idea of a agnet school.

What began as a serious discussion quickly turned into a done deal.

Science, technology, engineering, the arts and math or STEAM!

Those are the subjects the magnet school coming to Johnson Elementary will focus on.

"My kids love, they love math and they love science so hopefully this will help them become more aware,” Ronald Thompson, a Johnson Elementary Parent.

Thompson has two kids who go to Johnson Elementary. He says magnet schools allow students to do more of what they enjoy.

He's excited that his children will be considered first when it comes to admission.

"Any student who attends Johnson now and lives in the Johnson attendance area has first right to have a seat in the Magnet school. And so if they want a seat, they get a seat,” said Trace Pickering, district Associate Superintendent.

Once that process is done the remaining seats will be open to students that live in the Cedar Rapids school district.

"They'll be able to apply, if we have too many, if we have more apply than there are seats, we'll have a transparent random lottery,” Pickering said.

He says the idea is to promote hands on learning and student engagement.

"Some parts of the day will look very much like it does in other elementary and other parts of the day, I think I’ll see kids involved with projects, they may be working across grade levels,” he said.

A concept Thompson says has been a long time coming.

"It's happening in other bigger cities so why not here in Cedar Rapids,” he said.

This coming school year is the planning year.  It will allow the district and teachers to develop a plan.

The magnet school officially opens here in the 2015 to 2016 school year.

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