The Dodson Gifted and High Achieving Magnet is located on the grounds of Dodson Middle School in Rancho Palos Verdes and shares facilities and grade levels (6-8) with that school. The curriculum is enriched and accelerated in all four of the academic disciplines: language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science/health. Magnet students are separated from the resident middle school students in these academic classes. In addition to the four academic areas of study, students take an “elective” course and physical education each semester. In electives and P.E., magnet students are co-mingled with the students of Dodson Middle School .
Magnet teachers work together to provide a qualitatively different curriculum for the students. All academic studies are accelerated and all classes provide a variety of types of enrichment activities. Working within the structure of the middles school curriculum, magnet teachers expand and enrich the course offerings. The development of critical thinking skills is an important objective. Students are given the opportunity to make choices, learn time management skills, to be self motivated and work with the students of like talent and investigate new areas of interest.
Magnet students participate in a variety of enrichment activities designed to enhance academic achievement. Students participate in advanced project work in all academic areas. Study units often conclude with culminating activities which allow students to interact and share experiences. Some examples of special enrichment activities might be: curricular trips to The Museum of Tolerance, LACMA, Norton Simon Museum , Japanese American Museum or Gene Autry Museum , a five day science/ecologly experience in Yosemite , a Greek Festival, and the Science Fair, health projects or videotaping an original dramatic presentation. Enrichment activities are designed to provide students with new opportunities to make choices, work together, accept responsibility and become involved. They provide a meaningful avenue toward a holistic approach to education.