Message from the Magnet Director
Joshua P. Bogin, Esq.

August, 2015.

A
s Director of Springfield’s Magnet Schools program, I get to wear multiple hats. Working with colleague JPB PhotoKathe Harbour along with a fabulous group of building principals and creative magnet resource teachers, I am responsible for implementing unique theme-based programs in schools funded with highly sought after US Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program funds. Our magnet office works to create high-level educational environments for students and adults, environments that respond to particular educational interests of students. SPS has won yet another three-year federal grant to support these exciting programs and develop new ones. In this magnet cycle, we will build upon significant successes at Springfield Renaissance School and Springfield Central High School and we will also create new 6th-12th grade options at Duggan and at the new and exciting Springfield Conservatory of the Arts (“SCotA”).

By the end of this funding cycle, SPS will be well on its way to featuring three magnet 6th-12th grade schools (Renaissance, Duggan and SCotA). The district will feature three schools (STEM Middle Academy; Central and Renaissance) with an important STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] focus. Renaissance will connect STEM work to its thriving Expeditionary Learning magnet theme, well known for its emphasis on making connections between in-school work and the real lives of students as community members. Duggan will expand its Expeditionary Learning theme to focus on issues relating to Social Justice. Central will augment its Advanced Studies and the Arts magnet theme with a STEM focus, making it the first “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) school in the district. The new SCotA will open deep learning opportunities in all areas of the Arts to 60 students per grade there. All students attending these schools are expected to meet the high-level SPS standards as well as the unique requirements expected of them within their magnet programs.

Not to be missed are ongoing magnet programs at STEM Middle Academy, with its Expeditionary Learning and STEM focus; Van Sickle Middle Years IB Programme; the High School of Science and Technology, combining STEAM and 21st Century Global Communications; Kensington International School, the only IB Primary Years school in the state; and the High School of Commerce, offering both IB Middle Years and Diploma Programmes; and our two Montessori programs at Zanetti (PreK-8) and Gerena (PreK-5).

My other magnet hat is what I call my “daddy” hat. My two kids, both of whom began their school lives in Zanetti’s Montessori program as 3-year olds, have made their way successfully into a magnet high school and in my daughter’s case from there into college. They have experienced the uniqueness and the boldness of SPS magnet programming, and as a parent I could not be happier. They are stronger students and, more important, stronger human beings for the journey they have traveled here. Springfield’s magnet schools are strong evidence that joy, passion and discipline are critical partners with rigorous instruction in classrooms. Our new magnet grant connects the idea of “just schools” to the work that we do to improve our kids’ chances in life beyond school. Several of our schools have received national awards for holding to that mission. I invite you to join us on this next leg of our magnet journey. Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions you may have about our schools and our program.

Joshua P. Bogin, Esq.
Magnet Director for Springfield  Public Schools

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