National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL)

Sponsored Webinars 

Members of Magnet Schools of America may access all our past webinars by clicking on the following button. To gain access, please email membership@magnet.edu for a member passcode.


2013-2014 Webinars

Distributed School Leadership in Magnet Schools

Professor Supovitz discusses the roles of different school leaders in leading successful school change. Using data collected from the study of a Distributed Leadership Initiative in a diverse urban district, he first briefly describes the initiative and its impacts. Next, he focuses on the different ways that school leadership team members - including principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders - chose to enact their leadership in their school contexts. Analyzing these approaches, Professor Supovitz comments on the affordances and constraints of different strategies and different positional roles in leadership for instructional improvement.  

Presenter: Jonathan Supovitz, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education & Co-Director, Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania

Next Generation Science Standards

Science education at the K-12 level is in need of a revamp, as many current curricula are based on standards that are more than a decade old. This is causing American students to lag their global peers in performance. Based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education from the National Research Council, the Next Generation Science Standards have been developed through a collaborative, state-led process. This webinar is designed to describe the development process, discern what makes these standards different from the previous standards, and how states are working together to implement the NGSS.

Presenter: Peter McLaren, Writing Committee Member, Next Generation Science Standards Science and Technology, and Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education

CCSSM or Conceptual Mathematics: What does it look and sound like? How do we get there from here?

In this webinar, participants are introduced to a mathematics concept, play with the new concept, listen as the facilitator talks through some math problems that use the concept, compare the concept to the mathematics procedures commonly taught today, and discuss how to begin the journey of aligning these techniques with the Common Core State Standards. 

Presenter: Ellen Clay, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, Drexel University School of Education

Ask A Lawyer

John W. Borkowski is an attorney whose litigation focuses on education law issues arising under the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and federal statutes and regulations. He actively advises public school districts, universities, and private companies in the education sector about a wide variety of matters. This webinar covers the most important legal matters magnet school principals and directors need to consider.

Presenters: John Borkowski (Hogan Lovells LLP)

Why Diversity Matters

School and classroom diversity is a discussion that is often used in a general sense to refer to either the demographics of a school or classroom, or as a proxy for how we are different. This webinar explores the research on how student diversity impacts cognitive and social learning and how educators can leverage practices that maximize the benefits of diversity within schools and classrooms.  

Presenters: Donna Elam  (Consultant, Author) & Scott Thomas (Executive Director, Magnet Schools of America)

What does the Supreme Court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas have to do with Magnet Schools?

The legal landscape for schools seeking racial diversity can sometimes feel like it is on shifting sands. This presentation covers the most recent affirmative action decision from the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas as well as how that decision impacts the joint guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education on the voluntary use of race to pursue racial diversity and prevent racial isolation. Magnet schools play a key role in developing innovative strategies to bring together diverse groups of students, including students from all racial and ethnic groups, and this presentation explores how magnet schools can lawfully pursue such diversity.   

Presenters: Richard Foster, Supervisory General Attorney, and Mary Hanna-Weir, Attorney. Both from Program Legal Group, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

Magnet Programs: The Original Public School Choice Option Excels in an Era of Demand Driven Reform

The development and effectiveness of new magnet programs and schools have been directly tied to Demand Driven Reform in Miami-Dade County. Successful magnet programs have been in demand for many years by parents and students. The district has responded to that demand by duplicating popular programs in strategically identified areas in order to provide greater equity and access to those programs, and parents have responded. Today, there are over 100 magnet schools with over 375 magnet programs. The challenge is creating financially feasible programs that become self-sustaining. This webinar will provide attendees with an overview of strategies Miami-Dade County Public Schools has used to develop and expand its magnet programs. 

Presenters:Virna Kaufman, Director of Magnet/Choice Programs
Dr. Robert D. Strickland, Administrative Director of School Choice & Parental Options
Marcus Ortega, Director of Community Outreach, Magnet Programs
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL

Marketing Choices in Education

Today's education landscape offers students and parents more choices than ever before. Choices have expanded to not only include what type of school to choose from but also what type of program within the school. Navigating all of these options can prove challenging and overwhelming for many students and parents. Therefore, a strong marketing campaign is essential in aiding students and parents decipher what their choices are. This webinar provides attendees with a breakdown of the needed parts of a successful marketing campaign and demonstrate how these various parts play a pivotal part in achieving the desired results at both, the district and school site levels. 

Presenters: Virna Kaufman, Director of Magnet/Choice Programs
Dr. Robert D. Strickland, Administrative Director of School Choice & Parental Options
Marcus Ortega, Director of Community Outreach, Magnet Programs
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL 

Inclusive STEM Schools: How They Work to Build Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration

This webinar will discuss findings from a National Science Foundation research study on 12 Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools. The goal of the research was to understand each model and document its critical components. The schools in the study were carefully selected for their considerable success serving groups of students traditionally under-served in STEM education. The research targeted schools that self-identify as "STEM-focused" and have inclusive admissions policies for "regular" students as opposed to students already identified as gifted and talented. This includes minority students, low-income students, or "first generation to attend college" students. The case studies focus on inclusive STEM schools that have been thoughtfully established with strong community and district-level support along with strong records of positive student outcomes. 

Presenter: Sharon J. Lynch, Ph.D. (Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy--Secondary Science Education, George Washington University) 

Sustaining Strong Magnet Programs: With and Without MSAP Funds

Creating and sustaining highly effective magnet programs that attract students and satisfy families requires financial resources that aren't always available. While many school districts have launched or expanded successful magnet programs with the support of the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), this funding is limited and temporary. During this webinar, two highly experienced magnet administrators and former MSAP project directors discuss how to develop action plans for building and sustaining magnet programs with and without MSAP funding. These plans address fundraising and relationship building, curriculum development, marketing and recruitment, and navigating district politics. 

Presenters: Dr. Michelle Frazier (MSA Board President & Elementary Magnet Schools Coordinator, Chicago Public Schools) and Susan King (MSA Board Secretary & Education Consultant) 

Scream Your Theme: Giving Students a World-Class Education

This webinar features our current Magnet School Principal of the Year, Kathleen Decker from Walter Bracken S.T.E.A.M. Academy and our Teacher of the Year, Tere Pujol-Burns from Sunset Elementary School. Principal Decker discusses innovative technology practices and how to develop a whole school magnet theme with the help of an engaged community. Ms. Pujol-Burns talks about her school and how it provides students with a comprehensive international education through enriched programs, partnerships with international governments, and community and family involvement. 

Presenters: Kathleen Decker, MSA Principal of the Year 2013 (Principal, Walter Bracken S.T.E.A.M. Academy) and Tere Pujol-Burns, MSA Teacher of the Year 2013 (Lead Teacher, Sunset Elementary School) 

Why IB? Strategies for Success

This webinar provides an introduction to the International Baccalaureate's (IB) educational continuum that provides learning opportunities for students ages 3-19. Participants will gain an understanding of the philosophy, pedagogy and requirements of the IB's Diploma, Middle & Primary Years programmes as well as the newly launched IB Career-Related Certificate (IBCC). Participants are provided with strategies for successful theme planning and implementation. In addition, ideas generated by recent IB program coordinators are offered to provide additional and practical solutions for new grantees.

Presenter: Dr. Maria Hersey  (Regional Development Specialist, International Baccalaureate Americas)

Tools of the PSAT: Helping Schools Improve Instruction, and Helping Students Connect to College

During this session, presenters from the College Board explain the Summary of Answers and Skills (SOAS) report, which allows school administrators to take a detailed look at their students' academic skills on the PSAT. This online tool is arranged by skills categories and extends across disciplines. By using this analytical tool, schools can fuel a conversation about improving instruction based on student data. The presenters will also talk about, My College Quick Start, a web-based toolkit for students to improve their performance on standardized tests and to plan for college.

Presenters: Theodore Gardella, Executive Director, AP Strategy and Partnerships, College Board
Alan Bernstein, Senior District Director, New England Regional Office, College Board

A Relentless Focus on Excellence & Access: A Quarter Century of Magnet Schools in Hillsborough County  

Magnet schools were introduced in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) located in Tampa, Florida nearly 25 years ago, largely as a tool for promoting diversity and integration in its urban schools. Since then, the goals - and themes - of the magnets have evolved. Today, HCPS and the nation have more magnets than ever. Diversity remains an important goal, but now magnets serve many additional purposes. Besides offering families real choices, magnet schools are crucial components of the district's ongoing efforts to offer excellent educational opportunities and continuous improvement. In this webinar, the district's superintendent and former magnet school supervisor discusses what has worked in Hillsborough County and why. 

Presenter: MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, Florida

Support College and Career Readiness with a Strong AP Program

During this webinar you will learn how to support college and career readiness for your students through rigorous AP coursework. Presenters from the College Board showcase free resources that help schools launch individual AP courses, or build a more robust AP program. They review the College Board's "How to Start an AP Course" website and provide information about national AP course expansion initiatives and funding sources. They discuss AP Potential, a free web-based tool, that schools can identify students with the potential to be successful in AP. The tool offers the ability to customize reports and lists, and can help launch a student recruiting campaign. Share AP, a website with a diverse collection of recruiting and awareness campaign tools is also covered. 

Presenters: Theodore Gardella, Executive Director, AP Outreach and Partnerships, College Board
Heather Tsonopoulos, Senior Director of Communications, AP, College Board

Beyond Field Trips: Museums and the Classroom

This webinar showcases the many ways in which museums are participating in the learning landscape. You’ve heard about field trips, but traveling exhibits, professional development for current and future teachers, and in-depth partnerships with schools? Come see how museums are reaching students in new and innovative ways.

Presenters: Barry Joseph, Director of Digital Learning, American Museum of Natural History New York
Sarah Trueblood, Vice Principal, Roosevelt Middle School, San Diego, CA
Rebecca Grabman, Manager of MAKESHOP, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Ben Kershaw, American Alliance of Museums 

Raising the Bar: Magnet School Standards of Excellence

Magnet Schools of America is in the process of developing national standards to certify high-quality magnet schools. Learn about the standards, provide feedback, and learn how implementation will impact your school and district.

Presenter: Scott Thomas (Executive Director, Magnet Schools of America) 

Starting or Reviving an Arts Magnet School 

This webinar provides an overview of best practice planning, evaluating, and implementing effective organizational development for elementary, middle, and secondary arts magnet schools. The presenters, who are active magnet school principals, address a wide range of issues from purposes to finances, governance, staffing, facilities, evaluation, planning, and more.

Presenters: Kristy Callaway, Executive Director, Arts Schools Network
Tamara Williams, Principal, Pine Forest Elementary, Jacksonville, FL
Donn Harris, Executive Director & Artistic Director, Oakland School for the Arts, CA

Kyle Wedberg, CEO/President, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, LA


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