Lansing awarded $3.4 million for magnet school program

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by Danielle Carrier
Lansing Township News Staff Writer

The Lansing School District received a $3.4 million Magnet School Assistance Grant that will be used at six locations throughout the community.

Lansing is the only district in Michigan to receive the federal grant. Cavanaugh, Fairview, Lewton, Mt. Hope, Sheridan Road, and Everett schools will house the themed classes. Yvonne Camaal Canul, Lansing School District Superintendent, said on WILX that each location will receive between $500,000 to $750,000 in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Magnet School Assistance Program gives students a chance to demonstrate their skills through various projects rather tests.  The program provides direct career-oriented options for children.

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“I’m so grateful that we received this grant,” said MSAP Project Director, Delsa Chapman. “The amount of time I have to organize the curriculum will be challenging. A summer is not enough.”

Lansing School District already offers a school for pre-kindergarten to 8th graders called STEM that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Data from STEM has shown that students are more excited to attend school and learn skills that apply to everyday applications,” said Everett High School Assistant Principal Dustin Gill. “High school students are bored of learning the same material over and over, I believe a lot of them will flock to this program.”

Several themes will be dispersed among the six schools.

Cavanaugh and Mt. Hope will focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) with sub-focuses on physical, manual, social and visual arts with a mathematical foundation.

A 4th grader at Cavanaugh hopes her parents enroll her into the art program. “I want to be a fashion designer when I grow up,” said 10-year-old Sharise Williams. “My friend and I love cutting out paper dresses and painting them.”

An example of Sharise Williams’ paper dress she painted


Zara Woder’s paper dress she painted in art class


Sharise Williams,10, and Zara Woder, 9, washing their hands in art class.






Fairview and Sheridan Road will house another STEM program that focuses on technological literacy related to biomedical and environmental engineering design. A strong emphasis will be imposed on robotics and mechanical design. Lewton Elementary School will incorporate the Spanish language with global studies. Both object and project-based learning will help students who want to specialize in foreign languages and cultural studies.

A full STEM curriculum for 600 students will be implemented at Everett High School with a new technology approach. Everett will also assist students with problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills.

Parents can choose whether or not to their children into a specific program.

“I’ve talked about the grant in some of my classes with students and it’s about 50-50 whether their parents agree with the magnet system,” said Heather Clark, 10th grade science teacher at Everett. “Some parents are concerned that their children won’t receive an all- around education.”

Families who want to apply can download the application from the districts website.

“The grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Magnet School Assistance Program has provided, what seems like, endless opportunities for our students,” Chapman


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