Regulatory and Legislative Update | Region III Spotlight: 2020 Award Winners |
Fall Technical Assistance Conference | Student Posters | Magnets in the News
Regulatory and Legislative Update
Connecticut Districts and MSAP

MSA is supporting the two Connecticut education agencies LEARN, CREC, and New Haven Public Schools. In late August, these entities were told by the U.S. Department of Education that their three MSAP grant-funded projects would likely be de-certified and all funding would end, unless transgender students were prohibited from participating in all interscholastic athletic events. The U.S. DoE’s communication would force these agencies to violate state law, which requires schools to permit such participation. MSA is working with Members of Congress to seek a reversal of the U.S. DoE’s position.

Congressional Action

MSA is a major supporter of the Strength in Diversity Act, which is seeing House Floor action this week. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Education to award grants to educational agencies to develop or implement plans to improve diversity and reduce or eliminate racial or socioeconomic isolation in publicly funded early childhood education programs, public elementary or public secondary schools. MSA teamed up with the National Coalition on School Diversity, which is stewarding this effort.

The Need for Congressional Action

As most MSA members are aware by now, the U.S. Department of Education sent out notices that MSAP award grants are being delayed. The holdup is due to the fact that Congress has not passed funding bills for the new budget year which starts on October 1. While the word on the Hill is that there very likely will be a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open and agencies funded at current levels, there is a likelihood that the CR will fund the government only until December. It is uncertain whether this two-plus month extension would be enough to trigger the release of the MSAP grant awards. The U.S. DoE may seek to wait for a longer CR extension, or a full-year government funding deal, before awarding grants. MSA will keep members posted.
Region III Spotlight: 2020 Award Winners
Congratulations to our Region III Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year. Over the next few months, we will be highlighting each of our regional winners in e-Choice, so be sure to check them out!
Redland Middle School
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Homestead, Florida

Teachers and experiences can often define students, and Teacher of the Year award winner Wayne Worthley cites both as integral to his path in life. He credits a high school teacher and a stint in the Peace Corps as critical to his success later in life.
Read more about Worthley's path to becoming a teacher.
Medical Academy for Science and Technology
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Homestead, Florida
In only eight years, Principal Lisa Noffo has led the Medical Academy for Science and Technology to be one of the most diverse and successful magnet programs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Read more about Noffo's path to becoming a principal.
Don't Miss the Fall Technical Assistance & Training Conference
Join us October 14-16 as we re-imagine the role of magnets in the new normal. From school closures to distance-learning with a flip of a switch, districts and schools were challenged getting to the end of the school year. As we forge ahead into the new school year, we know two things: there will be variations of blended learning to incorporate, and it is even more important not to lose sight of these areas that remain so valuable to magnets, including equity, self-care, social emotional learning, marketing and recruitment and more.
2021 Magnet Student Poster Contest
To celebrate National Magnet Schools Month in February, Magnet Schools of America is sponsoring the 2021 Magnet Student Poster Contest. We encourage all districts to involve their magnet students in this exciting and educational project. MSA is looking forward to receiving many innovative, student-created posters. See the application packet.

As part of the celebration, Magnet Schools of America is sponsoring its 15th Annual National Magnet Schools Poster Contest, and invites entries from elementary, middle and high magnet schools. Plan to enter this exciting and fun student-based project. Districts or schools entering the poster contest must be paid members of MSA for 2020-2021 by November 3, 2020. Submit your entry now.
Magnets in the News
Fairfax Co. Could Change Admission to Elite Thomas Jefferson High School
The head of Fairfax County Public Schools is proposing a radical overhaul of how it admits students to an elite magnet school in an effort to develop a more diverse student body. Read full story.

State-of-the-Art Sanford Magnet School Copes with Pandemic Realities
Seminole County Public Schools is the first district in Central Florida to return to school with a face-to-face learning option during the coronavirus pandemic. It's also the first time the new and improved Pine Crest Elementary School of Innovation in Sanford will have students. The state-of-the-art magnet school opened Monday for the first time. Read full story.

MSA is collecting stories about how schools and districts
are dealing with the changes due to the virus.
Please share yours, and then we will be sharing them all!
Send along to

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e-Choice | September 2020