FWISD Recognized As Magna Award First-Place Winner
The Fort Worth ISD was one of 15 school districts recognized as 2019 Magna Award first-place winners, last weekend in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The district was acknowledged for its Equity and Excellence initiative at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) annual conference, March 30-April 1. Three school districts -- Winchester Public Schools of Winchester, Virginia; Coatesville Area School District of Thorndale, Pennsylvania and Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa -- received the Magna Award grand prize.
The Magna Awards, sponsored by NSBA’s flagship magazine American School Board Journal, honors school board best practices and innovative programs that advance student learning. The Magna Awards program has a long history of recognizing school district innovation and creativity in helping increase student achievement.
FWISD is one of five districts recognized in the over-20,000 student enrollment category. The 2019 awards program theme was equity in education. This year’s judges looked for programs that:
- Remove barriers to achievement for vulnerable or underserved children, based on race, ethnicity, gender, special needs, geography, or socioeconomic status
- Support their school board’s equity mission and vision for the district
- Exhibit success over time
- Has longevity and sustainability
- Can be replicated by other school districts with similar conditions and resources.
“It takes commitment to start an equity program and fortitude to sustain it,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA executive director and chief executive officer in a recent statement. “I congratulate the 2019 Magna Award winning districts for performing the hard and sometimes unpopular work to ensure all of their students are supported and provided with the tools and opportunities needed to succeed.”
FWISD’s robust award entry highlighted its Equity and Excellence initiative. This initiative includes the work of the Division of Equity and Excellence; the Board of Education’s Racial Equity Committee; programs such as My Brother’s Keeper; the launch of Leadership Academies; Racial Equity Summit; “Critical Conversations: Connecting with Our Community” town hall meeting; and much more. The entry demonstrated the board’s commitment to achieving goals outlined in its racial equity policy.
American School Board Journal’s April issue will feature all winning districts.
The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education is comprised of nine trustees who each represent a single-member district. The group has a combined 126 years’ experience as school board members.