HISD Receives Magna Award For ASPIRE Program
The Houston Independent School District is being recognized for its ASPIRE Educational- Improvement Model. The district has been selected as a first place winner in the American School Board Journal’s 15th annual Magna Awards program.
ASPIRE – Accelerating Student Progress, Increasing Results and Expectations – connects all of HISD’s educational-improvement initiatives and encompasses new technology, training and communication vehicles.
HISD was one of 15 school districts across the nation to win the 2009 American School Board Journal’s Magna Award. The district also won a first place Magna Award in 2007 for the Board of Education’s Community Builders Program.
The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. This year’s three grand prize, 15 first place, and 15 honorable mention winners were selected based on three enrollment categories: less than 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000, and 20,000 and above.
“The ASPIRE Educational Improvement and Performance Management Model has been critical in helping to create a culture of excellence within HISD,” said HISD Superintendent Abe Saavedra. “We are so proud of the outstanding results our leaders and educators are making to accelerate academic progress of the nearly 200,000 students we serve. This work is possible as a result of the vision and support of our Board of Trustees, and we are pleased they are being recognized with the prestigious Magna Award.”
Three other Texas districts – Hidalgo, Richardson, and Mesquite – will be recognized in this year’s awards contest, which is presented with the support of Sodexo School Services. Indiana’s Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Oregon’s Springfield Public Schools, and Washington’s Bridgeport School District earned grand prize honors.
HISD Board President Lawrence Marshall said, “We are thrilled that ASPIRE has been recognized by the American School Board Journal and we are honored to receive the prestigious Magna Award.”
The 2009 winners are highlighted in a special supplement to the April issue of American School Board Journal and will be formally recognized April 6, at the School Leaders Luncheon at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, California. The luncheon is part of National School Board Association’s 69th annual conference scheduled for April 4-7 in San Diego.
“As schools face unprecedented challenges in today’s difficult economy, the Magna Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovation and the bold steps taken by districts every day,” said Marilee Rist, ASBJ’s publisher and associate executive director of the National School Boards Association. “This year’s entries reflect the hard work of school boards, superintendents, and staff who strive to meet changing community needs in creative and innovative ways.”
American School Board Journal initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected winners from more than 340 submissions. This year’s applicants came from more than 45 states; districts in 22 states were winners or honorable mention recipients.