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|Two steps remain in magnet school process|
Two steps remain in the process of opening a magnet school in Concordia Parish, according to Dr. Paul Nelson, Director of Academic Affairs for the School Board.
The board learned last week that the U.S. Department of Justice had given its approval for the school, which may open as early as August.
Focusing on math, science and technology, the school will be located at Ridgecrest.
"Although the Justice Department has approved the magnet school, our school system remains under a desegregation order and a federal judge will now have to approve the plan," Nelson said. "We do not anticipate any problems."
Secondly, he said the School Board must now officially take steps to close Ridgecrest School and open the magnet school. The board will address that issue during a meeting Monday night.
"Once it's approved by our board, we'll start having parent meetings in Ridgecrest, Vidalia, Ferriday and Monterey," he said. "We'll post applications on our website."
He said any child whose parents or legal guardians live in Concordia Parish is eligible to attend the magnet school.
The deadline for applying is June, he said.
Nelson said the school will begin with grades kindergarten through fifth (K-5).
"We'll have 20 kids in each level and increase the grade level year by year until we have a K-12 school," Nelson said. "We have room for only a K-8 school at Ridgecrest but have plenty of time to address additional space in the future."
Nelson said the School Board owns about 25 acres in Ridgecrest and could easily expand the present facility.
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