Magnet Program

Borton’s Magnet Program

Borton is a magnet school that puts special emphasis on project-based learning that is authentic and relevant to the community. The school employs systems thinking to give students an understanding of big picture thinking and how subjects are interconnected.

In addition, Borton has an emphasis on fine arts, including visual arts and music, and outdoor learning. Borton has been recognized as one of the top magnet schools in the nation, receiving merit awards from Magnet Schools of America in 2006, 2007 and in 2017 receiving the Magnet School of Excellence award.


Project Based Learning: In Project Based Learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a question, problem or challenge.

— The Buck Institute


Systems Thinking: Systems Thinking is a set of tools that help students clarify and deepen their thinking. Systems Thinking is integrated where appropriate into existing curriculum.

Borton is pleased to be a Waters Foundation Project Center School.


Research on PBL and Systems Thinking

     Systems Thinking “in 25 Words or Less” (pdf)

     Research on Project-Based Learning and Systems Thinking (pdf)


Literacy: Authentic literature-based instruction.


Mathematics: Process strategies-based instruction.
Outdoor Learning: Borton has a number of garden areas, as well as a 2.5 acre wild area (Borton’s Environmental Learning Lab, or BELL) south of the playground, which gives students plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning.
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