Technical Assistance & Training Conference

Home | Events | 2017 TATC Sessions



Opening Session

Ed Graff, Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools
Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Education, Minnesota Department of Education
Steven Unownsky, Superintendent, Richfield Public Schools

Beyond the Classroom: Five Strategies for Building Community Partnerships

"Strong community partnerships are a crucial component of magnet programs as they afford students the opportunities and experiences necessary for them to become fully immersed and engaged in their program. Done well, the formulation of community partnerships can expand the classroom experience where students can see their work as authentic and make learning more relevant. Learn five strategies that will help you establish an initiative to engage local business and industry leaders in partnerships that will serve as a critical step towards building a strong magnet program, engaged students, and a talented workforce."

The Learning Innovator: Magnet Super Hero

Education around the world is undergoing revolutionary change. Magnet school leaders must rethink traditional teaching and learning models and foster a wide array of new ideas, practices, products and services to remain competitive. In a 2013 Pricewaterhouse Coopers study, 51% of the 1,757 interviewed business leaders indicated that developing the right innovation strategy is a top concern. Fifty-eight (58) percent of US executives report scaling innovative ideas is a challenge. Leaders can either promote or strangle innovation. To shape a more creative work environment, bold-thinking, action-oriented leaders must steer the context, culture, and conditions for innovation and risk tasking. Magnet leaders must be learning innovators with the superpowers to leap over obstacles using their laser vision to soar into the future.

This session will allow learning innovators to discover their superpowers. Your superpowers allow you to leverage effective tools, nurture talent, and drive creativity and innovation. Magnet Super Heroes have the capacity to develop skills, gather meaningful insight, initiate master plans, and execute strategies successfully. Super Heroes fill the gap between planning and execution by:

- Propelling responsive and effective change strategies,
- Creating new ways to engage stakeholders,
- Maximizing internal staff super powers and capacity,
- Increasing value propositions, and
- Reinventing services and supports.

During this session, Magnet Super Heroes will engage in Master Planning For Innovation (MPI) strategies to re-engineer processes, engage critical stakeholders, and to enable cohesive, collaborative work focused on magnet school goals and MSA Standards of Excellence. 

Leveraging Diversity Through An Anti-Bias Framework and Perspectives For a Diverse America

Leveraging our school diversity is critical to the function of magnet schools, and to improve student interaction, we will explore a new resource for schools. Perspectives For A Diverse America (PDA) was created by Teaching Tolerance, a division of the Southern Poverty Law Center for schools and teachers to use alongside Common Core. This resource is an invaluable tool that Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts & Science and ISD 196 have used to align core curriculum with the Anti-Bias Framework and Central Text Anthology. Participants will have an opportunity to develop their own learning plan using the tool. 

The Magnet Trifecta: Leveraging National, State and Local Partnerships to Sustain Magnet Schools 

Creating strategic partnerships with national, state and local leaders can advance magnet schools as a vital component in the landscape of school choice. Learn how South Carolina is embracing magnet schools as part of its Office of School Choice and Innovation and how one district is leveraging this opportunity. Participants will learn how to translate these opportunities into funding to support magnet schools from three perspectives:

1) Barbara Turner, School Choice Education Associate, South Carolina Department of Education will provide an overview of how the role of magnet schools has evolved in South Carolina. Ms. Turner will explain what the South Carolina Department of Education Office of School Choice and Innovation is doing to support the growth and sustainability of magnet schools throughout the state.

2) Sara Wheeler, Magnet Director, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties and President of Magnet Schools of America (MSA) will provide an overview of how national partnerships can be leveraged at the state level to support magnet schools through coordinated advocacy and communication efforts. Ms. Wheeler will provide an account of how her role as a MSA Board Member was influential in elevating the role and expansion of magnet schools in South Carolina and how this has benefited her school district.

3) Allison Kirby, Grant Writer, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties will provide an overview of how the district is assisting its magnet schools to sustain funding for theme-based education by leveraging these partnerships into viable funding streams.

Magnetpolooza: A Compendium of Magnet Effective Practices

While the discussion of school choice has been reignited recently, magnet schools hardly qualify as novel. After all, magnet schools have been around for almost 50 years. For a long time, they were the dominant form of public school choice in America. Today, magnets are often the highest-performing schools providing additional theme-based options to children while modeling successful innovative practices. The National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL), the technical assistance arm of Magnet Schools of America, mission is to provide professional expertise, strengthen magnet school leadership, and building capacity in magnet practices and exemplars.

This workshop will engage attendees in an overview of the NIMSL professional development offerings, which support the Standards of Excellence - Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development and Academic Excellence. These standards define the essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs. Making a shift in their thinking and practice, work-session attendees will:

- examine barriers and opportunities,
- explore concrete, real-world examples of innovations, and
- design unique solutions to support theme-based education in a diverse and authentic innovative landscape.

This session will leverage engaging “hands on – minds on” activities. Participants will develop commitments to excellence and learn to apply effective strategies for their magnet schools and/or program. This workshop will provide participants an opportunity to examine exemplar practices in model magnet schools throughout the country. Focusing on all Five Pillars, magnet leaders will be introduced to several tools for strategically planning next steps to implement the Standards of Excellence. 

The Road to Equity, Diversity & Excellence

Join us for an engaging look at the collaborative route Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools designed to increase equitable access to high-quality magnet programs and school choice options. Using findings from a study visit conducted by Magnet Schools of America as a roadmap, the Office of School Options and Innovation, started the journey along the road to increase equity, diversity and excellence within district policies that impact magnet programming. Join us to explore the delays, detours as well as the destination celebrations along this journey to excellence.

Vision Mapping: Leveraging Talent to Gain District Support for Magnet Schools

Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has been offering magnet schools for over 35 years. Develop a Vision Map, in this session, to leverage support for your magnet school(s) and learn about essential systems, protocols, and processes used in WCPSS to sustain strong magnet schools. Presentation specifics will focus on budget expenditures, securing essential positions, non-evaluative program instruments, program implementation plans, and much more!

  • Magnet Shark Tank - MSA's own version of the hit show Shark Tank where top educational companies will demonstrate how their products can help magnet educators in the classroom.

  • How to Write a Successful Merit Application

  • Magnet School Tours

*Check back for updates.