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Student applications accepted for magnet schools

Student applications accepted for magnet schools

Gaston County Schools is accepting student applications for two of its magnet school programs: the Hawks Nest STEAM Academy and the new Gifted and Talented Academy at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School.

Hawks Nest STEAM Academy is accepting applications for kindergarten students. Parents may submit an online application by clicking on “Gifted and Talented Academy” or “Hawks Nest STEAM Academy” under Quick Links on the district website, The deadline to submit an application is Monday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Hawks Nest STEAM Academy is seeking kindergarten students for the 2017-2018 academic year while the Gifted and Talented Academy at Pleasant Ridge Elementary is accepting students in kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grades. Students must live in Gaston County and meet admission requirements to be included in the lottery selection.

The Hawks Nest STEAM Academy opened last August. It provides a challenging curriculum that focuses on STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

Click here to learn more about the STEAM Academy.

The Gifted and Talented Academy is a new magnet school program for 2017-2018 and will be offered at the new Pleasant Ridge Elementary School, which is under construction. The Academy is designed especially for students who demonstrate academic excellence and have the ability to excel in a dynamic school environment. It will provide accelerated learning for students and offer exciting academic and extracurricular activities.

Click here to learn more about the Gifted and Talented Academy.

“We are extremely pleased to offer two elementary magnet programs for the 2017-2018 school year,” stated Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker. “We have experienced great success with our two magnet programs for high school students - the Highland School of Technology and the Gaston Early College High School - and last year, the interest in the Hawks Nest STEAM Academy was overwhelming. The high demand we had at Hawks Nest influenced our decision to open another elementary magnet school.”

Rendering of Pleasant Ridge Elementary Booker continued, “The Gifted and Talented Academy will be an excellent addition to our academic program. Over the past few years, we have heard our parents say that they want more school choice options and with the new Pleasant Ridge campus nearing completion, the timing is right for us to offer an additional magnet program.”

Click here to read Superintendent Booker’s message about the Gifted and Talented Academy.

The school system is also working on plans to offer a virtual middle school academy for grades 6-8. The virtual academy will provide a complete online academic program for parents who are looking for flexibility in their child’s learning experience. More information about the virtual academy will be available soon.

With the addition of the Gifted and Talented Academy and the virtual academy in 2017-2018, Gaston County Schools will have five magnet school programs.

“We want to continue our efforts to make more school choice options available for our students and families,” concluded Booker. “We are so pleased with the progress we are making, and we look forward to experiencing more success with our magnet school programs.”

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