Magnet Schools of America Newsletter
December 2018
Register Now! National Policy Conference 
Register now  for MSA's annual National Policy Training Conference February 6-8, 2019 in Washington, DC. You don't want to miss this!

The policy conference will include  powerful keynote presentations, congressional speakers, panel discussions, Capitol Hill meetings, and networking opportunities. When you attend the conference you will have the opportunity to join other magnet school professionals in the nation's capital for three days of sessions, workshops, and activities that will keep you informed and prepared to navigate the education policy environment. 

Compelling Presenters:

NAACP President and CEO - Derrick Johnson is a longstanding member and leader of the NAACP. He is a veteran activist who has dedicated his career to defending the rights and improving the lives of Mississippians. As State President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, he led critical campaigns for voting rights and equitable education.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Scott Stump serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Education on all matters concerning high school, career, technical and adult education as well as community colleges, the workforce and economic development. He is the former assistant provost and state director for career and technical education (CTE) with the Colorado Community College System.

Education Legal Expert Maree Sneed will lead a panel of three local superintendents as they discuss school diversity, equity and magnet schools. Maree has built a reputation for helping school districts solve their most complex problems. She has advised clients on a broad range of issues, including social media, bullying and cyberbullying, harassment, sex and racial discrimination.

Conference Location: 

The National Policy Training Conference will be held at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC.  Be sure to make your room reservation by  January 14 , 2019  to take advantage of the conference group rate. 

Event Registration: 

Register for the conference by the Early Bird deadline January 17,  2019  and save. Don't forget, members of Magnet Schools of America receive a discount!

MSA Board Openings

Leadership_TEXT Magnet Schools of America (MSA) is accepting applications and letters of interest for election to the Board of Directors for 2019-2021. 
The open positions include:
  1. Secretary

    The Secretary shall keep accurate records and reports of the meetings of the Board of Directors, and the Annual Business Meeting; he/she shall have charge of all committee reports submitted for the record.
  2. Treasurer -

    The Treasurer shall report all dues and other monies to which the association is entitled as well as financial data as appropriate to all meetings of the Board of Directors including the members at the Annual Business Meeting. He/she will also prepare the annual budget in cooperation with the Executive Director and the Executive Committee.
The Secretary and Treasurer positions are members of the MSA Executive Committee. The Executive Committee meets virtually every month for one hour.  Participation is part of the role of each Executive Committee member.  

Interested candidates must be members of MSA and are requested to submit the required materials to  Todd Mann , Executive Director, Magnet Schools of America by Monday, January 14, 2019, 5pm EASTERN. 

Candidates for both positions will be asked to make a brief presentation on a video-based Town Hall to the membership on Thursday, January 17th. Candidates will need to be available on Thursday, January 17 at 11am ET for a run-through and test of the zoom technology, with the Town Hall for the Secretary position occurring on the 17th at 2pm ET and for Treasurer at 3pm ET.

Voting for these positions will take place by online ballot. Voting by MSA members will commence on Friday, January 18, 2019 and end on Friday, February 1, 2019. 
Fulfilling a Unique Mission at  Chicago
High School for Agricultural Sciences
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) has a unique mission: to provide a college preparatory education that prepares urban students for professions and careers in agriculture. Since it first opened its doors in 1985, CHSAS has attracted a diverse student population from across the city of Chicago. As the only school of its kind in the Midwest, CHSAS offers students the opportunity to develop skills and competencies that equip them to change the image of urban agriculture. Selected as a Magnet Schools of America National School of Distinction in 2018, CHSAS exhibits all the attributes that make magnet schools vital to the American education system.
CHSAS' curriculum is designed to prepare students for success in both the classroom and the world after high school. All CHSAS students are members of the National FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America), and they are immersed in a comprehensive agricultural learning experience. In fact, CHSAS has the largest FFA chapter in the state of Illinois. Students learn about farming, the environment and natural resources, agricultural science, emerging technologies and business.

CHSAS' dual role as both a magnet college prep school and a career and technical education (CTE) agricultural school is one of its greatest strengths. For most high schools, a rigorous college prep curriculum and a CTE curriculum target different students; at CHSAS all students complete a full college prep curriculum - including four years of math and science - and an eight-course sequence in CTE. Through this unique mixture, CHSAS prepares students fully for college, careers and life.

With a population that is roughly 40 percent Black and 22 percent Latino, CHSAS exemplifies the magnet school principles of diversity and inclusion. CHSAS attracts students across the socioeconomic spectrum, including the 52 percent of its students who come from low-income backgrounds. CHSAS caters to all students who are enthusiastic about learning, no matter who they are or where they come from. Keep Reading>>

Augmented Reality-based learning:
Bridging the technology gap in Education

In 2018 at the World Economic Forum, an important issue has been raised - that current education still applies a knowledge-based teaching approach from 200 years back that needs to change in order to comply with the learning demands of a digital native generation. It has been mentioned that the top skills that will be required for the jobs of the future in the next 10 years are problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. Those skills will differentiate humans from machines in the digitized era. The skills that today's children need to develop to prepare for the future workforce.

The world is changing at a rapid pace, driven by existing and emerging technologies that transform the business environment, affect our lives and the jobs that emerge under its influence. The current challenge that educators face is how to keep up with digital progress, and maintain relevancy  in their classes and use effective teaching methods in the rapidly changing technological world to prepare a qualified workforce.   Keep Reading>>

Money for Magnets 

Money bag with dollar sign and money tree growing out of top isolated on white
Crayola, in collaboration with the  National Association of Elementary School Principals , is accepting applications for the 2019 Creative Leadership Grant program.
The program will award up to twenty grants of $2,500 each for innovative, creative leadership team-building programs in elementary schools. In addition, each program will receive an in-kind grant of Crayola products valued at $1,000.  Crayola will begin accepting applications on December 1, 2018.

The Toshiba America Foundation is accepting applications from middle and high-school teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Grant proposals for amounts of up to $5,000 are accepted on a rolling basis.

Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants support educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their schools.  These grants, ranging from $500-$10,000, support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy.  The grants fund projects on three levels: school, classroom,  and  district. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Kinder Morgan Foundation  supports K-12 programs that promote the academic and artistic interests of young people in cities and towns across North America where Kinder Morgan  operates . Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded for academic programs, including tutoring; arts; and environmental education programs. Application deadlines are the tenth of every other month beginning in January. 

American Electric Power (AEP)  is accepting applications from pre-K-12 teachers for mini-grants in support of classroom projects during the 2018-19 school year.
Through the  Teacher Vision Grant Program , AEP will award grants of up to $500 to projects that have an academic focus and a goal to improve student achievement. Priority will be given to projects that promote science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety, the study of energy and the environment, and energy efficiency. Application Deadline: February 22, 2019

Magnet Schools Making News

Students at Lincoln Magnet School got a chance to meet a scientist who's worked with NASA. Siobhan Malany is a researcher who has had some of her experiments sent into space. The focus of her visit Friday was to help encourage more young women to enter the STEM fields.

Due to the rural nature of the Northwest Arctic district, an important educational need had not been met :"  The greatest piece that was not being met was career readiness or secondary-education readiness. The kids were not ready for the workforce, for the jobs that were in high demand here in our region." In response to this need, the regional school board enacted a plan to create the Star of the Northwest Magnet School.

School on Wheels program reaps benefits for mentors, students 

This semester, about 15 School on Wheels high school students have been shadowing elementary school teachers and helping out in the classroom. Every Wednesday morning, there's a special vibe throughout the long, winding halls of S.R. Marmon, described principal Sandra Fernandez. "Everybody is excited to go to school on Wednesdays," she said. "They want to see their student teachers."

In a fifth-grade classroom at the Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School on Thursday, cadets from the Coast Guard Academy's Cyber Team gave a presentation on cybersecurity and the tools to protect computer systems in the nation's ports. And the cadets said the work relates to what the young students are learning in school today.

Spotlight: Belaire High School's magnet programs 

In this classroom turned robotics lab, students enrolled in Belaire High School's magnet program are learning the fundamentals of engineering.  "We push the kids everyday to perform they're very best" said Principal Angela Jones. "We're a school of excellence and we hold everyone accountable" she said. 

* Do you have exciting news to share about the magnet schools in your community? Please send them to:


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Schools Students Want. Schools Students Need. 

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

 Got Talent!

Magnet Schools of America is proud to sponsor its 13th Annual National Student Poster Contest as part of the celebration of National Magnet School Month in February. 

Submission Deadline:

January 15, 2019

Call for Presenters
Are you interested in sharing your expertise during the 37th 
National Conference in Baltimore, MD this April?

If so, please submit 

Note: The deadline to submit has been extended until January 15, 2019 

Major Reorg

The U.S. Department of Education announced that the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) and the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) will be combined into a single office, starting in
January 2019.
The news was announced to MSAP grantees via letter 
on December 19 by the 
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Frank Brogran.
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