Magnet Schools of America Newsletter
November 2018
Register Now! National Policy Conference 
Register now  for MSA's annual National Policy Training Conference February 6-8, 2019 in Washington, DC.  The policy conference will include  powerful keynote presentations, congressional speakers, panel discussions, Capitol Hill meetings, and networking opportunities. 

  • Hard-hitting discussions on legal issues and civil rights.
  • Hear from superintendents.
  • Hear from the top Members of Congress and Agency officials.
Conference Location: 

The National Policy Training Conference will be held at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, DC. Located in downtown near Penn Quarter and Chinatown, the conference hotel  is blocks  from the National Mall monuments and Smithsonian Museums. With a plethora of food options and nightlife. 

Be sure to make your room reservation by  January 22 , 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 Regional Structure Change Approved

The word Vote on a red ballot box for collecting votes and ballots in a democratic election to choose a new president, governor, representative, senator, congressman or other official or As a member-driven organization, the MSA Board of Directors periodically reviews our regional structure to ensure that each region is receiving equal peer-to-peer opportunities. 

T o ensure that all schools and districts receive the  same services, the Board voted to recommend to the general membership that we eliminate Region VII and move those states to geographically contiguous regions. In this way, magnet schools in former Region VII states will have more schools and districts with which to meet, confer, and network. With the elimination of Region VII, Region VIII would be renamed as Region VII. 

This restructure required a change in the bylaws and as such, a vote by the entire general membership. We would like to report that this vote occurred this month and the change to MSA's regional structure was approved. 

Get Your Students Excited About Coding

is an online programming education platform with 500,000 users worldwide. They offer a fully equipped coding environment for beginners, along with a team dashboard for teachers to manage students. Progate offers coding lessons in multiple programming languages. 

" Progate  is a very effective teaching tool! My classroom experience with Progate has helped me develop a habit of self-exploration among my learners and has also helped my students study the latest programming languages at a click of a mouse. I am highly impressed by the way Progate has designed the lessons to introduce coding at an early age and would definitely recommend this platform for students and teachers." 

- Ms. Rakhi -  Middle School Teacher, Computer Science

"The best part of the Progate platform is the concept of using slides instead of long videos. Progate makes learning easier. I find it to be an interactive platform that makes you practice and learn simultaneously. Progate serves as the best platform for beginners to learn code from scratch. One should simply signup and start with a course!"

- Yash - Second-year Computer Science Engineering Student

As a special offer, MSA members can receive their first-year of service for free.
Please email: for details. 

5 Keys to Creating a School-Wide STEM/STEAM Culture
By Stacy Day, EdS, Principal, Arnold Magnet Academy
I believe that creating a truly effective STEM/STEAM learning environment in a school or school system requires a cultural shift. STEM/STEAM is a transdisciplinary approach to education that not only includes Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Science, but it embodies the 4 C's of 21st Century Learning (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity). STEM/STEAM education must contain real-world problem solving and a connection to careers.

Arnold Magnet Academy in Columbus, Georgia has been a Mathematics, Science, and Technology Magnet School within a school since 2001. We are a grade 6-8 Middle School. I began my mathematics teaching career in this school that same year and the next nine years were spent building a strong program. I then became an Assistant Principal at an IB School where I spent the next four years, then returned to Arnold as Principal. To my dismay in returning, the magnet program had been to some degree unrecognizable from my prior experience.

So, with the goal of becoming a Georgia STEM Certified Middle School as my North Star, began the process of changing the culture of the Arnold Magnet Academy and rebuilding our STEM/STEAM program. Here are five keys to our culture shift.
 Keep Reading>>

Coming to Orlando this November

For nearly 20 years, the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference has gathered the most dynamic and creative education professionals from around the world to share best practices. Its impact has been felt by thousands of districts, schools, educators - and ultimately students. Sharing best practices is a collaborative process - helping our colleagues and sharing what we know works can help not only our teaching practices, but our students' results.

If you are a principal looking for evidence based practices to better engage students, improve school culture, improve active teaching, use data to drive and improve instruction, integrate technology and increase student achievement for ALL students, this is the conference for you! 

Your colleagues at the Blue Ribbon Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference may come with different experiences and expertise, but they share your challenges and goals. Join us for 3 or 4 days of collaboration, innovation and learning, and discover new ways to spark change in your schools and classrooms with evidence based practices.

Our host hotel, The Disney Yacht and Beach Club has sold out, but educators are booking at the Swan and Dolphin hotel next door.

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

A day before the launch of her book tour, former first lady Michelle Obama on Monday returned to her high school, Whitney Young on Chicago's West Side, to talk to 20 girls, all seniors, about her memoir, "Becoming," in which she writes about how the school exposed her to a world outside the South Shore community where she was raised.
The Dufrocq School's microsociety, Crawfish Bayou, preparing students for adulthood, future careers 

The town of Crawfish Bayou, population 650, comes into being for kindergarten through fifth grade Tuesdays through Thursdays at The Dufrocq School. It has a mayor and town council, complete with political campaigns and elections. It has businesses, a bank and its own currency, called crawfish bucks. It has a peacekeeping force, so no running in the halls or you'll get a citation and a fine.

TUSD teacher wins 2018 Arizona EL Teacher of the Year 

For the first time, a teacher from the Tucson Unified School District has received the 2018 Arizona  EL  Teacher of the Year! We are proud to announce that Ms. Miriam Romero from Carrillo K-5 Magnet School has been selected among thousands of teachers across the state.

When it came time for Miami resident Lily Suquet and her son Ethan to determine which middle school Ethan would attend, they decided to shop around. After looking at five different schools,  they finally settled on Jose Marti Mast Academy in Hialeah, a magnet school with a STEM focus.

Nashville embarked on an ambitious path to transform the district's high schools in 2007. What followed was a 10-year concerted effort to fully convert all 12 high schools to "wall-to-wall" career academies. Students are involved in a career-aligned course sequence; interdisciplinary, project-based learning; and opportunities for relevant work-based learning. The results include a double-digit rise in graduations rates, and math and English proficiency rates. 

Magnet school students share knowledge of different cultures 

A script, a cardboard box  and  two sock puppets were all the two eighth-graders from Tuscaloosa Magnet School needed Thursday night as they gave a presentation on Guatemala. As parents and children walked past the table, the girls put on a news show to explain facts about the country, using the cardboard box as a makeshift TV set and the sock puppets being the narrators. 

Today, in celebration of National STEAM Day, LEGO┬« Education is spotlighting schools across the country that are introducing hands-on learning solutions to build their students' interest and confidence in science, technology, engineering, arts  and  mathematics.

Students at ACES Educational Center for the Arts dreaming of careers in  theater  were introduced to a face to which they can grow accustomed Wednesday. Television and stage actress Lauren Ambrose, a 1996  alumna  of the arts magnet school in New Haven, was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2018 Tony Awards for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in the "My Fair Lady" revival on Broadway.

* 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.

Give Thanks!

On behalf of  Magnet 
Schools of America, we would like to wish you 
 a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Still Time to Participate!

This annual award recognizes an exceptional superintendent that has embraced magnet schools as a priority in the portfolio of school choice options. 

Application Deadline: 

December 11, 2018  



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 

Magnet Schools of the Mid-South
December 5-8, 2018
Houston, Texas
Hosted by the 
Houston Independent School District (HISD) 

 Registration and 
lodging information is available at:

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