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Deadline approaching to apply for Hillsborough Co. Schools Magnet and Choice programs

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 18:33:36-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Families only have a few days left to apply for Hillsborough County Public Schools Magnet and Choice programs with a deadline approaching this weekend.

“We get to really be real-world situations with the stuff that we learn in class and apply it with drones and the fundamentals of flight,” said Kylee Gray, a senior at Jefferson High School.

Gray is among several students part of the Embry Riddle and Air Force JROTC dual enrollment program at Jefferson High School in Tampa. Using flight simulators and flying drones is just part of their curriculum.

“We learn about aviation history, space flight history, all types of stuff,” said Daniel Cainas, a junior at Jefferson High School. “We’re learning how to fly drones. We actually fly regular planes too with Capt., so it’s pretty cool.”

Darren Spencer, the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Jefferson High, explains the focus is to train students in aerospace safety and how to operate an unmanned system.

“Along with that comes checklists, operating the system around obstacles, working together as a team or as a crew to make sure that they’re prepared and have foundational knowledge for future careers in aerospace or aviation,” said Spencer.

This program is one of many programs across Hillsborough County Schools that lets students take their passions to the classroom. HCPS reminds parents and students the application window for the district’s Magnet and Choice programs ends this Saturday, December 11.

“Providing these students an opportunity to explore different options in life that weren’t necessarily something that was on their radar really helps them find what is going to be the best path for them in life,” said Spencer.

The district encourages families to check out the programs that might interest their kids, while peers share a message about finding the right fit.

“No choice is the wrong choice,” said Gray. “Definitely think about where you see yourself in five, ten years and see if that program will help you get there.”

Parents and families must apply by December 11 by visiting and filling out an application.