Written by News Bulletin News Sources
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00
East Aurora School District 131 recently opened the expanded Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy at a new home at 157 N. Root St. (News Bulletin photo)
East Aurora School District 131 celebrated the opening of the expanded Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy with a recent ribbon cutting ceremony.
Local officials, school staff, district employees and community members were on hand to cut the ribbons for the school at 157 N. Root Street, Aurora, Illinois.
“It takes a community to open a school,” Magnet Academy Principal Angela Rowley said during the ceremony.
The Academy, which opened in 2008, is open to students who are academically talented and interested in math, science, and technology. Moving to the new, larger school will allow the program to expand from 25 students at each grade level to 75 students in third through eighth grades.
Technology will be integrated throughout the core and elective courses. Some of the elective course include: robotics, horticulture, digital literacy and engineering through the ages.
A $660,000 grant from the Dunham Fund will allow every student to have a new laptop to use at school and at home. The Magnet Academy will be textbook-free, with lessons being taught via computers, Smartboards, and other technological devices.
“(The Magnet Academy) will make history going forward,” Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said Thursday.
East Aurora Superintendent Jerome Roberts praised the School Board’s efforts to buy the building and expand the Magnet Academy.
“How fitting that today launches a new day in EA,” said East Aurora School District 131 School Board President Annette Johnson.
The building was previously Madonna High School, then Aurora Central Catholic High School before it was bought by the city of Aurora. When the city owned the building, it was used for various city functions and youth programs. The building was named the Fred Rodgers Community Center in 2009.
Rodgers is an icon in Aurora, where he mentored hundreds of kids. He started working with the city of Aurora in 1986 and eventually became the city’s youth services director.
He was in attendance Thursday and was humbled to see a school with his name on it.
“It has to be more than just a name,” Rodgers said after the ceremony. “I want to see how I can be involved.”
A delegation of officials from Beijing, China, was also present at the ceremony and presented Rowley with an historic scroll. After the ceremony, community members toured the school.
The mascot for the Magnet Academy will be the Pumas and the colors will be blue and white.
Students were chosen for the Academy through a lottery of qualified students.
--News Bulletin news sources
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 13:52