Local schools named among top magnet programs

Four Anoka-Hennepin schools have been nationally recognized as award-winning magnet programs.

University Avenue Elementary School for Aerospace, Children’s Engineering and Science in Blaine is one of two Anoka-Hennepin magnet schools to be named a Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America this year. File photo
University Avenue Elementary School for Aerospace, Children’s Engineering and Science in Blaine is one of two Anoka-Hennepin magnet schools to be named a Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America this year. File photo

Anoka Middle School for the Arts in Anoka and University Avenue Elementary School for Aerospace, Children’s Engineering and Science in Blaine, have each been named a Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, a nonprofit organization that provides support and assistance to magnet schools across the nation.

In addition, Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts in Anoka and Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy for Math and Environmental Science in Champlin have each been named a Magnet School of Distinction by the organization.

While final details have not been announced by Magnet Schools of America about nationwide winners, last year just 74 schools were named schools of excellence and only 134 schools nationally earned the distinction honor out of 4,000 member schools.

To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged and scored on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.

At Anoka Middle School for the Arts, in addition to arduous core classes, the extensive arts curriculum provides students the opportunity to explore performing, visual, technical and literary art courses in depth. AMSA students work with professional guest artists, attend live performances, participate in educational field trips and engage in public showcases. These experiences create collaborative and creative environments, build student confidence and engage students in learning.

At University Avenue Elementary, students of each grade level become “experts” at a particular focus within the theme. To support these focuses are special guests, field experiences, hands-on activities, engineering challenges, the use of computer coding applications, special partnerships and more. The teachers and staff at University integrate the aerospace theme to better engage students and families, while also connecting with the community.

“We are thrilled about this award and what it represents,” said Principal Anissa Cravens. “To be recognized on a national level reaffirms the work that we strive to do each day.”