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W.G. Pearson Magnet Elementary School


Principal: LaManda Chestnut-Pryor
Address: 3501 Fayetteville Street Durham NC 27701
Phone: 919-560-3988
Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Enrollment: 595
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The gifted and talented magnet school program is founded on the belief that all students possess gifts and talents that need to be identified, nurtured, and rewarded. It is the responsibility of educators and parents to identify these gifts and talents and to provide an educational program that develops them. Because the gifted and talented magnet school addresses the gifts and talents of all children, there are no performance measures, auditions, or tests that need to be passed before a child is accepted into the school. Some children may have gifts and talents in one or two areas, others, in a wider variety of areas. The gifted and talented magnet school is open to any child whose parents would like for him/her to participate in the program. The philosophy of the gifted and talented magnet school is put into effect through the structure of the curriculum and through instructional techniques. The curriculum design advocates a “choice” model for students and parents. It provides them with options and alternatives for learning and is designed to accommodate varying types of gifts, talents, strengths, needs, and interests.


The gifted and talented magnet school curriculum is divided into two main components: BASICS AND ELECTIVES.


All students receive instruction in four basic areas: language arts, math, social studies, and science. Instruction in the basics component is differentiated to accommodate each child's skill level.

The curriculum is delivered in the context of an eight-period day with each period consisting of approximately forty-five minutes. These periods are not distinguishable in kindergarten through second grades because basic courses are grouped together without interruption. Students in grades K-2 change periods only during the time each day set aside for specials and/or electives. They are placed in self-contained classrooms with enrichment activities, art, music, physical education, and library experiences being an integral part of their basics.


Elective courses offer each student opportunities to explore new areas of interest or to study a particular area in depth. Electives may also provide avenues to tailor a child’s specific needs. In the elective portion of the curriculum, courses are offered in the following areas: language arts, social studies, math, science, computer studies, health, physical education, foreign language, visual arts, performing arts (instrumental and vocal music, dance, drama) and media.

Basics are offered five days each week while electives and AIG selected courses are offered four days each week (Monday through Thursday). This scheduling provides more diverse experiences for students, while maintaining the integrity of the basic and elective instructional programs. Most field trips, cultural arts programs, and special school events are scheduled on Fridays in order to protect the Monday through Thursday elective program.

Electives provide an opportunity to explore and sample different subjects. Students are urged to consider building a well-balanced schedule. Over the course of one year, students are encouraged to select at least one language arts, one math elective, and one science elective. It is hoped that all students will select at least one course which will provide good physical exercise. Students in grades 3-5 must select at least one PE elective per year. PE and dance electives are available at all skill levels. (This is because we are required to have students meet with a PE teacher once a week.) It is our responsibility to provide intervention electives at every grade level. Students performing below grade level or students at-risk in the areas of language arts, math, and writing will be strongly recommended to take intervention electives. We are committed to student achievement and offering electives that provide enrichment and support exemplify our commitment to education.

Most of the elective courses are appropriate for any student willing to learn and be exposed to new situations. These courses are highly motivational and give students the opportunity to study selected subjects.

AIG Selected Elective Courses

AIG selected electives are open to students with outstanding strengths in one or more areas. Nomination for these courses may be made in several ways. All identified academically and intellectually gifted students may take AIG selected academic electives. Others may be nominated by parents or teachers and screened for admission. AIG visual and performing arts elective nomination is accomplished through teacher screening and/or audition and parent recommendation.


State ABC Rating :

  • 2010-11: High Growth, Priority School (58.8%)
  • 2009-10: Expected Growth Not Met, School of Priority (50%)
  • 2008-09: Growth Met. Priority-EXP (57.8%)

End-of-Grade Test Scores

School Scorecard

NC School Report Card


From I-40:

Take exit 276, Fayetteville Road. Turn north onto Fayetteville and travel approximately 3 to 4 miles to the sixth traffic light. WG Pearson is located on the right.

From I-85:

Exit Gregson Street. Travel south on Gregson to Hwy. 147 South. From 147 South, take the Fayetteville Street exit. Turn right onto Fayetteville Street. WG Pearson will be approximately 3 1/2 miles on your left.

Link to Google Maps

Improvement Plan

Improvement Plan