Although summer vacation has come to an end, we could not be more excited for all the possibilities the new 2019-2020 academic school year will bring!
I’d like to start by spending some time reflecting on the extraordinary 2018-2019 academic school year. Each Magnolia campus, and our Magnolia network as a whole, collaboratively developed goals to further our academic achievements to bolster our commitment to providing a STEAM-focused, rigorous curriculum and grow stronger as a community of scientific thinkers and engaged citizens. These collective objectives help us to continue to raise the bar. Although we just developed these goals, we are making marked progress already. Our overall family satisfaction rate is higher now than it was at this point last year at 94 percent in the areas of climate of support for academic learning, knowledge and fairness of discipline, rules and norms, safety, and a sense of belonging. We’ve made terrific strides towards these goals and I look forward to seeing what we can realize together as an organization by the school year’s end.
One of our major network goals which is personally close to my heart is for 100% of all Magnolia students to create and demonstrate a STEAM-focused project, experiment, model or demonstration at our capstone event the Magnolia Public Schools–STEAM Expo. To inspire our students to participate and with the generous support provided by the Joseph Drown Foundation, we took over 800 students to see the critically-acclaimed movie, Science Fair.
Among our many achievements, I am thrilled to share with you that five of our Magnolia schools have been recognized for their incredible work in advancing student achievement for all of our students. Four Magnolia schools were among the top 6% of high schools in the country, according to rankings by the U.S. News & World Report. The rankings also put MSA-1 and MSA-2 in the top 25 best charter high schools in Los Angeles Unified. This is the 12th year in a row that Magnolia schools have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report. I am proud of the repeat validation that Magnolia is providing a high-quality, college-going learning environment for all of its students—and is doing so consistently.
Furthermore, in a separate report, three Magnolia schools were listed among the Top L.A. County Public Schools for Underserved Students, according to research conducted by Innovate Public Schools in partnership with USC. This report analyzed over 2,000 schools and found only 300 that are actively working to close the achievement gap for low-income students of color. I’m proud that MSA-1, MSA-3, and MSA-5 were recognized as part of that group for their work advancing student success and doing their part to close the achievement gap. Magnolia proves every day that when you provide a challenging STEAM-focused education, students will rise up to meet the higher expectations. Each year, more than 94 percent of Magnolia seniors are accepted to college and among the graduates each year, 85 percent complete high school meeting UC/CSU required courses.
Through the support of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Grant as part of the California SUMS Initiative by the Orange County Department of Education and CA Department of Education, we are aligning our instructional programs to help all students access a rigorous STEAM-based, college preparatory program with specific, embedded support for English Language Learners (ELL), Students with Disabilities (SWD) and students below grade level. SUMS MTSS Trainings and Technical Assistance allow schools to refine, implement and expand a system for helping all students academically as well as social-emotionally and creates an inclusive school culture by fully incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Moving forward, this 2019-2020 academic school year will be focused on providing a well-rounded education to all of our students, increasing the impact and effectiveness of our staff and involving our parents and community for a voice and choice in our students' lives.
Here’s to a fantastic 2019-2020 school year!
Chief Executive Officer & Superintendent
Magnolia Public Schools