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An Introduction to Orange County’s Thriving Magnet Program

Orange County Public Schools has a well established history as an innovator in magnet school programs,  and they’re continuing that work today with some groundbreaking brand new programs in their Elementary Schools.

Our favorite program is the Aviation and Aerospace program that launched in the new Sally Ride Elementary School which serves students who previously attended Durrance Elementary School and Cypress Park Elementary School. Serving south Orlando, with a focus on science and connections to the worlds of aviation and aerospace, this program gives students the opportunity to work hands on in science labs and in regular classroom settings. Sally Ride, the American Astronaut the school was named after, was the first American woman and the youngest American ever to fly in space on the 1983 Challenger mission.

Another innovative program is the brand new Orlando Gifted Academy that opened this year at the Fern Creek Elementary School site in Colonial Town North. This school is a gifted only campus for rising second to sixth graders. It’s designed to foster a flexible learning environment and will offer gifted learners a place to pursue interests collaboratively while being challenged to think creatively.

As a graduate of the Edgewater High School Science and Technology magnet program, I’m a huge proponent of introducing these innovative classes into regular curriculum. Through our magnet classes we were able to participate in CNC Machine manufacturing labs, CAD architecture labs, robotics labs, and more. For a full list of all the OCPS Magnet Programs and information on how to apply, visit this link:

Don’t forget that once you identify a school and program that’s a great fit for your child, you can visit to take advantage of our School Zone Search feature.



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