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Join us for an exciting and engaging experience at the Pre-Conference to learn about Magnet Schools of America.  MSA Executive Director and Board Members will lead conference attendees in several rounds of fun sessions to entertain and elucidate.   Begin the day with a quiz about MSA resources and what’s new in the only organization that supports magnet theme-based curriculum in diverse environments based on equity and access for all students.   The second round will test your knowledge about national awards that members can use to both improve school performance and market their programs. The last session of the day will test your skill in developing ideas for your magnet programs.  Participants will share their own experiences in this exciting version of Food Network’s Chopped.


Session Descriptions

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About MSA!

You surely know that MSA stands for Magnet Schools of America, but do you know the goals and objectives? What about the Board of Directors and the governing body? Who are they and how were they chosen.  What are the member benefits, and do they provide training?  Even as a member, you may not know the entire history of magnets and MSA or our recent work with congress to raise the level of awareness about our programs and how we are different than charters.  Learn about our growing relationship with the USDOE and our work to affect the MSAP grant

MSA Certification or Merit Award?

MSA has been awarding merit awards of excellence and distinction for almost 20 years.  In recent years, MSA has added awards for principal, teacher, and superintendent of the year as well as for district sustainability.  This year we also added a district administrator of the year.  Four years ago, after an arduous process, the MSA board developed a certification process based on the five pillars and the standards of excellence.  Learn how the long-standing merit award is different from the process of certification and which one of these awards, if any, are right for you. 

Are You Ready for Certification?

Are you ready to look at your school through the lens of excellence and raise the level of performance? Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation, help them as they grow, and become an invaluable marketing tool. Based on the National Magnet School Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools, the certification process defines and ensures these standards as consistent, essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs.

Magnet: Chopped!

Experienced administrators from urban school districts will share sustainable marketing strategies used at elementary, middle and high school magnet programs that made them extremely popular. We will also share ideas and success stories about getting the community and parents involved in marketing and becoming ambassadors for your magnet program! Contestants teams will use mystery ingredients to create or refresh a magnet program working in three rounds: The Appetizer (Timeline), the Entree (The meat or heart of the program), and the Dessert (Icing on the cake or evaluation methods for success).  

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