Magnet Schools of America Newsletter
   December 2016
National Policy Training Conference

Magnet Schools of America will hold its Policy Training Conference February 15-17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Please plan to be a part of the national conversation about magnet schools. 

Now is the time for education leaders like yourself to be actively engaged in the policy making process. The conference will be held just weeks after the Presidential Inauguration and the beginning of a new session of Congress. 

Therefore, it is imperative that you help us raise awareness of the value and success of theme-based magnet programs. Only through your voice can we persuade key decision makers in the Trump administration to support and invest in magnet schools. 

During the event, you will benefit from participating in a wide range of education policy discussions, grant writing workshops, and networking events. 
Conference Location:

The conference will be held at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, DC. 

Be sure to make your room reservations by January 23, 2017 to take advantage of the conference group rate. 

Marriott Marquis
901 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Event Registration: 

Register for the Policy Conference by the Early Bird Deadline January 11, 2017 and save. Members of Magnet Schools of America also receive a discount.

The National Policy Training Conference is supported by:  

Flying Colors 
A monthly column focusing on MSA members

G.W. Carver Cultivates Talented Students and Faculty 

T he year 2016 has been a huge year for G.W. Carver student La' Jasha Champion and her teacher, Mr. Matthew Kirkpatrick. Not only has La' Jasha, a junior at G.W. Carver a High School in Aldine Independent School District, gained recognition through Magnet Schools of America's Annual Student Poster Contest , but she has also won awards for other art competitions as well, including the IWrite Book Cover Contest. G.W. Carver's rigorous Visual Arts Program fosters this sort of competitive spirit and instructors in the program introduce students to contests like these, encouraging students to seek out opportunities to shine. La' Jasha attributes her success to her lifelong passion for art, G.W. Carver's real world approach to art instruction, and to the support of her teachers and parents as she continues to pursue her passion and develop her skills in artistic expression. 

Magnet Schools and Opportunity

La' Jasha Champion has always loved art. She says that for as long as she can remember she has delighted in playing with different mediums and finding new ways to be creative. However, participating in contests like the ones she's won this past year is new to her. It takes guts to put your work out to the world and La' Jasha ascribes her initial participation and success in competitions to the guidance, support, and enthusiasm of her teachers and her parents. Now La' Jasha even seeks out such opportunities on her own. Not only is La' Jasha a talented artist, but she has received training in numerous artistic mediums both in school and in extracurricular art classes. In classes taught by Mr. Matthew Kirkpatrick (G.W. Carver's 2016 Teacher of the Year), assignments are modeled after real world situations. Keep Reading...

A New Year's Resolution for 2017 -
Become a Nationally Certified Magnet School 

Magnet Schools of America will launch its second cohort for the National Certification Process beginning  January 18, 2017

Mark your calendar! Don't miss out on this important opportunity for your school and district. The demand is high, so plan on signing-up on the opening day to allow your school to be recognized as one of the premier magnet schools in the country. 

The certification process is based on the five pillars of magnet schools and the National Magnet School Standards of Excellence. These  standards define the essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs.  When you apply for certification, you will be self-evaluating, providing documentation, and in some cases writing SMART Goals in the areas that need improvement. 

The cost is $1395.00 per school, payable via check, purchase order, or credit card. Payment is due at the time of application submission. B e sure to go to the certification website   to apply for the Magnet Schools of America Cohort II Certification Process starting January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am EDT We look forward to assisting you in this process!

U.S. Department of Education Announces
MSAP & School Diversity Grant Competitions 

Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant 

This month the U.S. Department of Education announced the much anticipated Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant competition for next year. This will be the first time the grant will be administered under the new Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. 

The department estimates that it will award between 20-30 new grants. This will depend on a final congressional appropriation that is still pending. The grants will range from $700,000-$4,000,000 for a maximum of five years.

School districts that are interested in applying for MSAP funding must submit a notification of intent to apply by January 9, 2017.

The application deadline will be April 11, 2017.

NEW: Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities Grant 

U.S. Secretary of Education John King, Jr. recently announced that the Department of Education will invest $12 million in up to 20 districts or groups of districts through a new  Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities grant competition. This federal grant will help school districts  improve academic outcomes for students in low-performing schools by substantially increasing socioeconomic diversity in those schools. 

The grant application deadline is February 13, 2017, with an anticipated Spring announcement of awardees. 

Support for Magnet School Educators

Money bag with dollar sign and money tree growing out of top isolated on white

The National Science Teachers Association, with support from the Shell Oil Company, is inviting nominations for the Shell Science Teaching Award, an annual program that recognizes an outstanding K-12 classroom science teacher who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and community through exemplary classroom science teaching.

The award includes a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to attend NSTA's national conference; two finalists will also receive all-expenses-paid trips to the conference. Application Deadline: January 6, 2017

Learning and Leadership Grants 

The NEA Foundation is inviting applications for its Learning and Leadership Grants program. It provides funding to public school teachers and public education support professionals. Grants may be used for high-quality professional development experiences such as summer institutes or action research; or grants to groups to fund collegial study, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for new faculty or staff.

The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups. All groups must include partner information.  Application deadline: February 1, 2017

Teacher Vision Grants

American Electric Power (AEP) is accepting applications from pre-K through 12th grade teachers for mini-grants in support of classroom projects. AEP will award grants of up to $500 for projects that promote science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety, the balanced study of energy and the environment, and energy efficiency. Applicants must live or teach in the AEP  service area  or in a community with a major AEP facility. Application Deadline: February 24, 2017

Magnets in the News

Promoting choice at the expense of quality isn't an education strategy, it's a political agenda. Rather, those of us creating education policy need to simply focus on providing the quality choices that students deserve.

District Five roots mold a special bond for brothers at Naval Academy

It is challenging enough to get an appointment to the United States Naval Academy (USNA). It is even more challenging for two brothers to earn that same feat. Irmo High School graduates Mattison and Grayson Gossett always had a passion for serving their country in the military, but they never knew it would lead them on the same path once they moved on to college.

Students at the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts (BRCVPA) came together to celebrate the arts in Louisiana.  The students, dressed in color-coordinated school t-shirts, were used as 'human paint' drops to recreate a piece of artwork that celebrates Louisiana music and culture. 

One of Carlos Reyes-Couvertier's favorite compliments came from a student who told him: "You were tough, but I really appreciate it." Reyes-Couvertier recalled that compliment Monday night as the Board of Education announced that it has chosen him as New Haven's 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Creating a business is more than just an idea. It requires a plan, a brand and an amazing pitch to get an investment. Olivia Hooper teaches fifth graders business at the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and this semester, her students learned how to create a business that they recently pitched to some local sharks.

First-grade teacher Teresa Duncan said her students are about to embark on discovering the difference between organic and genetically-modified food. But first, her students needed to learn about genetics.

The National Council for the Social Studies named Ron Hustvedt Jr.,  a sixth
and seventh-grade teacher at Salk Middle School STEM Magnet Program, Outstanding Middle Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

AP Calculus teacher Joshua Newton said it is an unprecedented round of college admission success for a school that does well every year. "We usually have maybe two or three early accept to an elite school," Newton said. "I've never seen ten before."


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MISSION: Providing leadership for high quality innovative instructional programs that promote choice, equity, diversity, and academic excellence 
for all students.

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Season's Greetings

On behalf of Magnet Schools of America and the Board of Directors we would like to wish you  a wonderful 
holiday season !

Please note:

Our office will be closed from December 23-
January 2.

Mark Your
this February! 

35th National Conference on 
Magnet Schools 

Los Angeles, CA
April 26-30, 2017

Be a Presenter!

Interested in presenting at the National Conference?

Submit a presentation proposal by January 6.

Magnets Got Talent!

We encourage all elementary, middle, and high school magnet students to participate in our 11th annual National Student Poster Contest. 

Submission Deadline:

Friday, January 20,

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