WEBINAR hosted on October 10, 2018
We have a school that merged with another school, and it began this year. One school has been a magnet and one has not. Is that school eligible to apply for a merit award this year?
If they applied under the school within a school column before but have always planned on expansion then I could see that they would just fill out a normal merit application for whole school. But, it sounds like this is a new thing and they have decided to do a whole school magnet. So, if the whole school magnet is brand new for them they need to wait until Year 2 and apply in the whole school magnet category.
We have 569 students in the main school -108 students in the magnet. That means we only have 18.9%. Can we still apply?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible. Twenty percent (20%) of the student population must in the program or a minimum of 200 students.
I received a question from one school that is only PreK3 & 4. Please confirm if they are ineligible since they are a PreK school. I noticed the application says K-12 schools.
Unfortunately, Pre-K schools are not eligible. Only schools that contain K-12 classrooms.
I am a magnet coordinator at ABC Magnet. This is our third year so we won't have 3 or 4 years of data. Can we still apply this year?
Yes, you can still apply, make sure to select ‘New & Emerging’ in the dropdown as you begin your online application.
My Magnet was established in 1994 as a Communications and Technology program; however, in 2015 we successfully changed the name and theme of our program to College Prep and Digital Arts. When applying for an award, can I apply under the "New and Emerging" category, since our theme has recently changed?
You may apply for “New and Emerging” only if your school has completely revamped the program including changing administration and most of their personnel. Evidence of that could be a new school code or a MSAP grant.
Otherwise, it’s an established magnet that has changed their focus.
CRITERIA 2: Section B. Demographic Profile
I am in the process of completing the demographic profile for my school. In LAUSD, Filipino is identified, but on your form it is not. Which ethnic category should I group them with?
Please include Filipino under the Asian category and make sure to provide an explanation in the narrative.
The data that is provided to the school, are we allowed to go in-depth with the data by looking into certain subgroups (ie. ELL, ESS, FRL) even though that particular data is not in a chart?
Since the information may not be captured in the data table, you can always describe this information in the narrative.
Can you tell me more about the information concerning mirroring the demographic diversity of the district? Our district is very segregated and our school is diverse. We are decreasing the gap and getting closer to reflect the diversity but our goal would never be to mirror our district because it needs to work on diversity. Can you tell me more about that?
If entire district is 60% AA, 30% Caucasian, 10% Asian—your demographic data should reflect those percentages. The information we are asking is aligned with federal government for MSAP funding. These are goals and aspirations, not rules, so please describe in the narrative what you are doing.
My school has a specific area application zone. The demographics of the application community is far off of the district. Can our goal be to reflect the population of our community - not the district? For example - the district has 27% black, my community has 55% black, my school has 68% black. In the past we were marked off for being more than 20 points off the district.
These merit awards are set up to award districts who are moving in the right direction of diversity. The district as a whole needs to be diverse. If the school started at 68%, then moved to 58%, you are still moving towards the district’s 27%, moving the needle. We encourage district support; district needs to change things as well. You may include a diversity goal for your zone to assist with showing that the needle is moving.
I didn't see any place to put a narrative for the lottery question. The rubric says up to 75 words, but the application only shows a yes or no.
We are trying to streamline the lottery questions to one section. The text-box for this specific narrative question is located in the general information section.
CRITERIA 4: Section D. Student Achievement
Our leadership academies, which are also early colleges, are grades 6-12. Is there the ability to upload multiple data sheets and multiple demographic sheets to speak to their theme?
Yes, multiple file uploads is available in the online platform for the Student Achievement Data section to account for the different reporting based on grade levels.
What is the Attendance Rate you are looking for on the Student Achievement Data Table? The percentage of students that attend? Also, how do we represent aggregated attendance rate (single number)? It appears that our state did not disaggregate attendance rates (historical years).
We are asking for the daily attendance rate as a possible indicator of success you could share. For instance, 95% attendance rate for the year (for previous year).
In the Student Achievement Section (Section D), is it advised to include other measures or data stories that are not communicated in the templates to communicate closing gaps?
For the narrative you want to describe what is in the data template. Be specific to describe where improving with subgroups; we did great for two years then there was a drop…talk about interventions taking place with evidence to prove things are moving in the right direction. Narrow it down to a story to show that you are making progress. Make your case the best you can.
We are a new magnet school, but used to exist as a typical neighborhood public school, so we do have data prior to becoming a magnet school, do we still include this in the table from several years back (prior to becoming a magnet). We are applying as a new & emerging because we are in year 3, but we existed as a normal neighborhood school prior to that.
Use only the data from since you have become a magnet school; you are only graded on academic criteria since started to become a magnet school. You can reference in your narrative that you transformed a school.
Can we provide multiple data sheets and multiple demographic sheets?
If you are a programs within-a-school; call or email the MSA office (email@example.com) and we can help clarify– can not upload outside tables or add any. We do offer additional file uploads for multi-year schools (i.e., K-12, 6-12).
What is the attendance rate you are looking for?
We are looking for the daily attendance rate. Attendance is celebrated as an incentive for students. Under ESSA school’s go on a watch list if attendance is under 95%.
CRITERIA 5: Section E. Parent and Community Involvement
I am in the process of typing up a letter of support for one of the magnet schools looking to be recognized. To whom should the letter be addressed?
Please address the letter of support to:
MSA Merit Awards Committee
1909 K Street, NW Suite C-140
Washington, DC 20006
CRITERIA 6: Section F. Awards and Achievement
Where should our priority be for the awards section since we never have enough room to cover everything for our school?
The biggest awards first; list awards that are whole school vs individual awards first.
Since this is our 3rd year, we don't have any awards that we received. Do we receive 0 points for the New and Emerging category?
Awards are not limited to just the program/school as a whole. Make sure to include student, staff awards as well. (Tip: Refer to the rubric)
POWERPOINT & VIDEO
Are the power point slide and video evaluated as part of the application?
The power point slide and video are not evaluated.
What should be included in the video?
Our district does not allow outside organizations to have shared access to our Google Drive. In the past, we needed your permission to use Dropbox so that we could share videos with you. Will we be able to use Dropbox again this year (as the .mp4 files would be too large to email to you).
If you are unable to submit the video with the online application AND unable to share with Magnet Schools of America via GoogleDrive, we will be more than happy to accept the files via DropBox. Please share with firstname.lastname@example.org.