Magnet schools are changing lives and outperforming all other types of schools. Isn’t that the educational brand with which you want to be affiliated? With certification, your school offers parents, students and community partners confidence that each nationally certified magnet school, no matter its location, is held to the same high standard in every school district.
Based on the National Magnet School Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools (1. Diversity; 2. Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development; 3. Academic Excellence; 4. Leadership; and, 5. Family and Community Partnerships), the MSA certification process defines and ensures these standards as consistent, essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs.
Why become a nationally certified magnet school?
Call it, “looking at your school through the lens of excellence.” Applying for certification raises the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow. In addition, the certification becomes an invaluable asset to your marketing and ability to seek support for your school.
What is the process to become nationally certified through MSA?
To become nationally certified, MSA member schools must submit a detailed application and participate in a rigorous evaluation conducted by the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL). Cohorts begin every August and run through the following June.
Contact us today, to learn more about the Magnet Schools of America Standards of Excellence Certification Program.
The cost is $1395.00 per school. (If you hire a coach to assist your school, that is an additional cost.)
At this time, there is no district rate. Each school must apply separately and pay the individual school fee.
In addition to completing the application form, you must submit the fee of $1395 (via check, credit card, or purchase order). If you select to pay with a check or purchase order, payment must be received in the National Office within 10 business days of submission.
Make check payable to:
Magnet Schools of America, Inc.
PO BOX 45739
Baltimore, MD 21297-5739
A Supervisor Signature page is also required to be completed and emailed within 10 business days of submission to email@example.com (you may obtain this from our website ahead of time). Your application will be numbered in the order that it is received.
No refunds will be given. We encourage you to use the information you have learned to improve your school and to reapply in a subsequent year.
A one school year extension can be granted by the Director of NIMSL. The extension fee is $195 per school.
All schools are at different developmental levels of their program, but as a rule of thumb, three years. Schools that are in their third year may apply as they will be completing the process in their fourth year. During this time frame, you will have the data, documentation, and evidence needed for a complete application. With complete information, you will be able to tell the success story of your school.
When you apply for certification, you are looking at your school through the “lens of excellence.” You will be self-evaluating, providing documentation, and in some cases, writing SMART Goals in the areas that need improvement. You are asking that your school be rated as one of the “best of the best” magnet schools in the nation. Such a designation will be invaluable to your marketing and ability to seek support for your school.
We strongly encourage all of our schools to apply for any recognition opportunities that Magnet Schools of America offers to their members.
Your certification will be valid for four school years. At that time, you may reapply to continue or improve your rating. We encourage schools to strive for the top designation of MSA Certified National Demonstration School.
In order to recertify, you would work with extended indicators allowing your school to demonstrate maintenance or growth in all areas of Certified and Demonstration levels.
Upon your acceptance within the program, you will receive dates and times for your online training sessions.
The Certification Help Desk email, firstname.lastname@example.org, can assist you with log in needs and technical details.
The process allows for approximately nine months to complete toward certification. If the work is not complete within that time, you may ask for an additional school year extension at a small fee to complete your work.
The system is not set up to archive information; therefore, each application will require that you re-submit your information. Districts are encouraged to archive their information.
If we don’t reach certification, can we get a refund? No refunds will be given. We encourage you to use the information you have learned to improve your school and to reapply in a subsequent year.
Your school and district will be notified via official letter from the Director of NIMSL and recognized at the National Conference (see below).
At the conference, you will be presented as a National Certified Magnet School and receive your Seal of Recognition. You will stand before your peers from across the country as one of the “best of the best” magnet schools.
For specific help in addressing the Standards, the National Institute of Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL) will, upon your request, help you in selecting the appropriate professional development or assist you with questions in this area. Any specific professional development and/or coaching will be provided at an additional fee to the school. (All such fees will be provided at a very reasonable rate.)
Your questions will be directed to the Certification Help Desk email, email@example.com, that was set up specifically for this process.
MSA’s Standards of Excellence are based on the Five Pillars of magnet schools. These Pillars and Standards are available to all of our member schools, but you will not have access to the indicators until you are officially accepted into the certification process. (NIMSL does offer other training and coaching. Click here for more information.)
You should have most of the information at your fingertips. There is no need to create more work other than in the areas of a SMART Goal or professional development if needed. There is skill in providing appropriate evidence and avoiding the “wheel barrow” approach of including too much information. Evidence and documentation that is succinct and to the point will be discussed at length during informational webinars which will be recorded and posted on the certification page of our website.
All applications will be scored on a rubric by trained readers/evaluators within 60 days after the closing date.
There are two certification ratings: Certified National Demonstration Magnet School (exceeds the criteria) and Certified National Magnet School (meets the criteria).
Previously Demonstration School – complete 20 indicators (MSA determined) – if Demonstration status is attained, it will be good for 4 years; if Certified status is attained, it will be good for 2 years.Previously Certified School – complete 40 indicators – whichever status is attained, Certified or Demonstration, it will be good for 4 years.Previously Certified School – complete 20 indicators (MSA determined) – if Certified status is attained, it will be good for 2 years.
In addition to completing the application form, you must submit the fee of $995 (via check, credit card, or purchase order). If you select to pay with a check or purchase order, payment must be received by September 1st of the applying year.
Make check payable to:
Magnet Schools of America, Inc.
PO BOX 45739
Eligible Re-certification schools will onboard in June of their eligible year with a submission deadline at the end of June the following year.
Magnet School must be a member in good standing. Membership inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 202.824.0672.
The national certification process is based on the Magnet School Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools (diversity; innovative curriculum and professional development; academic excellence; leadership; and, family and community partnerships). These pillars and standards define the essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs.
To become nationally certified, MSA member schools submitted a detailed application and participated in a rigorous evaluation conducted by MSA. The application process required schools to submit evidence demonstrating how they met each of the multiple indicators included in the Standards of Excellence. This included providing specific examples of how the school was promoting school diversity, closing the achievement gap, integrating a theme-based curriculum throughout the school, and encouraging parent and community involvement.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.