For the past 22 years, the National School Board Association (NSBA) has recognized excellent school districts across the nation with their top honor, the Magna Award. This award program recognizes school districts and their leaders for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of their students and their communities. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators select the winners. “Public schools work tirelessly to improve student achievement,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, NSBA. “These Magna Award-winning districts are some of the finest examples of the creativity and dedication of our public school leaders across this nation.”
The NSBA names Crown Point Community School Corporation (CPCSC) the 2016 Magna Grand Prize winner for the 20,000 to 5,000 enrollment category in the 22nd annual Magna Awards Program. CPCSC is the first Indiana school corporation in history to receive this category distinguished award and selected the CPHS Summer Engage Program in relation to the Freshman School within a School Programming to represent the district. The Summer Engage Program provides a positive first experience at the high school level for students who have had academic or behavioral difficulties in middle school. The experience gives students a renewed enthusiasm and confidence toward school and self.
Through research and data analysis, the CPCSC leaders determined that, as the school’s enrollment continued to grow, it needed to develop a solid transition program for incoming high school freshmen to help them feel connected to the school and maximize their potential. In 2010 the school incorporated several transition strategies to ensure a soft landing at the high school for incoming freshmen and to create a culture in which students, faculty, parents, and community work together to assist all those entering their high school journey. A group of teachers – representing the subjects of mathematics, English, reading, and physical education – worked with the freshman principal, Mr. Mark Gianfermi, to create a summer school curriculum that would remediate necessary core subject skills while also providing students with opportunities to make mature decisions, demonstrate leadership skills, and advocate for themselves.
Since the launch of the Summer Engage Program, the Crown Point High School graduation rate reached a high of 98% (a 15 percentage point improvement). It helped to change and reshape the culture of the school. It takes at-risk students and folds them into a community of learners who encourage one another. The Summer Engage Program celebrates success, gives students a chance to learn from their mistakes, and recognizes that all students have potential if given the right start.
“We proudly embrace this prestigious award on behalf of our students, faculties, and employees,” said Dr. Teresa A. Eineman, Superintendent of Schools. “Creating possibilities, ensuring success, and inspiring character one student at a time is our passionate mission supported by a caring community and dedicated Board of School Trustees.”
The NSBA is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents 100,000 school board members, 14,000 school corporations, and 50,000,000 public school students throughout America. Learn more at: www.nsba.org. In addition, CPCSC is highlighted in the April issue of the American School Board Journal (ASBJ) and was formally recognized on April 9, 2016 at the NSBA’s 76th Annual Conference in Boston.
Mr. Scott Angel, School Board President
Dr. Teresa A. Eineman, Superintendent of Schools
Mr. Mark Gianfermi, Freshman Principal