Expertise | Grant Development

Magnet Schools Assistance Program:
Grant Development in Several School Districts

Orangeburg Schools

In Orangeburg, South Carolina, District 3, students design, build, and test kites as part of a magnet school curriculum focusing on science and technology.

For more than 20 years, Metis Associates' grant-development specialists have worked with urban, suburban, and rural school districts throughout the United States to develop magnet-school initiatives in support of court-ordered and voluntary desegregation plans and to obtain federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) funds to implement these plans. Securing more than $100 million for these clients, Metis has helped more than 70 elementary, middle, and high school teams to design magnet program plans that cover a wide array of innovative and research-based curricular and instructional models—from aquatic studies, to performing arts, to law and engineering. These plans incorporate extensive professional-development and parent engagement activities, community and cultural partnerships, as well as enrichment opportunities for students.

Metis staff also help craft outreach and recruitment strategies to attract new students and families to these magnet schools and assist in the design and implementation of program plans that meet the stringent criteria of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, including lottery systems for student selection and placement in the magnet programs. In addition, Metis has a demonstrated track record assisting MSAP grantees to meet their evaluation and reporting requirements. These evaluations, employing a wide variety of data-collection and analysis methods, provide feedback on the districts' success in meeting federal objectives and performance indicators associated with school desegregation, capacity building, and student achievement. Metis's magnet evaluation tools and methods are highlighted in a Web-based toolkit produced by the U.S. Department of Education, which is designed to help school districts assess the progress of their magnet initiatives.