The Dual Language and Arts Magnet Middle School in Waterford will have a share in a recently announced three-year $11.8 million federal grant.
LEARN Regional Education Service Center in Old Lyme received official notification on September 30 that it was one of 27 school districts in 12 states to receive the federal Magnet School Assistance Program Grant (MSAP) this year.
According to LEARN, the grant—called Partners for Equity & Achievement in eastern Connecticut’s Education (PEACE)—will expand choice for families and students across eastern Connecticut through the addition and expansion of magnet school opportunities, with a specific focus on Early Childhood, Arts, and STEM-focused curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The schools will share in a projected $11.8 million over three years, with $3.9 million expected in the first year.
This funding will assist the following schools: Science & Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut in New London, Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School in Waterford, Moriarty Elementary School in Norwich, Wequonnoc School in Taftville, Quinebaug Middle College in Danielson, Charles Barrow STEM Academy in Windham, and Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School in East Hartford.
LEARN stated the funds will be used for expansion of curricular themes, equipment, rigorous professional development for teachers and cutting edge technology and resources that will support these schools and their students in achieving success in response to the state's newly adopted Common Core Standards throughout their educational careers.
Dr. Eileen Howley, Executive Director from LEARN stated, “This MSAP grant is a tremendous source of support across multiple communities in southeastern Connecticut. We are grateful that the federal government recognized the powerful efforts of our communities to support diverse urban and suburban populations of students and to decrease racial isolation. This grant helps to address the disparities in funding for schools of choice and will provide the necessary resources for program development, staff development , and curriculum development for special magnet programs and ultimately, to support increased student achievement.”
Magnet School Assistance Program grants, administered by the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement, provide funding to districts for up to three years. The first-year grants range in size from $737,626 to $4 million. The awards help school districts bring diverse groups of children together through the use of innovative educational programs and will create more school choices for parents.
This is the only federal education grant designed specifically to promote school integration and diversity in America's classrooms. It was established in 1985 and has played an integral role in helping school districts create magnet schools across the country.
"Magnet schools help increase public school options for parents and students in communities across the country," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release announcing the awards, which totaled $89.8 million nationwide. "These grants will help students gain access to challenging curricula that will help prepare them for college and 21st century careers."