How magnet schools attract some, repel others, and contribute to Pittsburgh’s polarized education system

Image Credit: Friends of CAPA Facebook


Dejsha Demus is a 12th grader at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts [CAPA 6-12], a Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] magnet, studying musical theater. As a student, she loves her school and believes that she receives leadership opportunities and support that she wouldn’t get elsewhere in the district.

Demus is one of the many students who chose to attend a magnet school, in her case to pursue her passion for singing. Had she not decided to enroll at CAPA, Demus would have been assigned to Perry High School on the Northside, her neighborhood school.

Demus was concerned about safety issues at Perry and felt the school did not have enough resources or opportunities for her.

“I think that if they did have those kinds of opportunities, then it would be more appealing to go to my home school,” she said.