Polk County Public Schools

Two female students in school uniforms work with robotics materials
Winston Academy of Engineering students explore STEM careers using We Do Lego robotics kits

Polk County Public Schools, between Tampa and Orlando, Florida, serves over 93,000 students. More than 10 percent of these students attend one of Polk County’s 20 magnet and choice schools. The majority of the students in the district are minorities, and more than two thirds receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Polk County’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant supports five schools, three of which are using the magnet grant to turn around their low-academic performance. Of the five, one existing arts school (Jewett School of the Arts) has been transformed into a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) academy, and another (Winston Academy of Engineering) has established a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) theme.

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What Happens When Schools Become Magnet Schools? A Longitudinal Study of Diversity and Achievement

We are pleased to announce that American Institutes for Research has released the magnet report. This report presents results of a descriptive study of 21 MSAP-supported elementary schools. The study collected data on these schools for several years to see how their student enrollment and academic achievement changed over time. A PDF of the report is available now: Learn more


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Magnet Schools Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center

Welcome! The Magnet Schools Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (MSAP Center) supports the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement as it provides students with equity and choice in public school education through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP).

The MSAP Center is a technical assistance resource for MSAP grantees and the greater magnet school community. It offers tools, information, and strategies to assist in planning, implementing, and revising magnet school programs. The MSAP Center’s resources and tailored support services focus on diversity, academic excellence, and equity.

Please browse our resources page to find articles, tool kits, and newsletters about best practices and innovative approaches.

The Quarterly Newsletter

Magnet Compass Newsletter Read this issue of The Magnet Compass for principles and strategies for selecting and implementing evidence-based programs and practices to ensure your magnet program improves outcomes for students. Learn more

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Upcoming Conference

upcoming conference

MSAP Project Directors Meeting

Organization: Magnet Schools Assistance Program
Location: Washington, DC
Date: November 9-10, 2015

This meeting is an excellent opportunity for current and past MSAP grantees, the wider magnet school community, and other school choice and diversity experts to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas with peers and experts in the field. Sessions will generate ideas on programmatic sustainability, the evolution of magnet schools, and how magnets can help meet the challenges of our country in the 21st century. Session topics will include sustaining family and community support; understanding how desegregation efforts impact students, schools, and communities; and improving STEM magnet programs. Learn more

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Upcoming Webinar

upcoming webinars
Effective Literacy Interventions

Organization: REL Mid-Atlantic
Date: October 29, 2015

Research shows that literacy intervention programs can help students who have reading difficulties, especially when the interventions occur schoolwide. Janice A. Dole, Professor and Director of the Reading and Literacy Program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, will discuss different strategies for delivering literacy instruction to meet a range of student needs, including the ways in which teachers can collaborate with reading specialists to achieve this purpose. Participants will also learn about the role of school leaders in implementing effective literacy intervention at the school level. Learn more
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