116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Community School District is the first district in the state to be awarded a federal magnet schools grant — $14.8 million to be distributed over the next five years, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday.
The district applied for the funding from the Magnet School Assistance Program as it prepares to open its first magnet high school, named City View Community High School. The first disbursement of the federal grant will be $6.4 million for the first two years.
“This $15 million grant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff,” said school board President David Tominsky. “Cedar Rapids is nationally recognized for our innovative approach to education, and this grant will go a long way toward accelerating our magnet school programs here in the city.”
Magnet schools offer theme-based learning — such as science, technology, engineering, arts and math; or leadership and entrepreneurship, for instance. The Cedar Rapids district operates other magnet schools, but none until now at the high school level.
City View will be a magnet high school for students to engage in project-based learning and is expected to open by fall 2023. A location has yet to be announced for the school.
Up to 200 primarily rising ninth- and 10th- graders will be able to enroll at City View for the 2023-24 school year. If there are more than 200 students interested in attending next fall, the district will use a lottery system to select and accept students.
The school eventually will serve up to 400 ninth to 12th-graders. Other Cedar Rapids high schools have between 1,300 and 1,700 students each.
“Federal funding for our Future Ready Magnet Schools is a big deal” for the district, executive director of middle level education Adam Zimmermann said in a statement. “We are excited to build upon our current magnet school themes and launch our new City View Community High School next August. Our commitment to providing innovative, passion-based, effective school options is articulated in our strategic plan and the award will allow us to take the next step to realize our vision of Every Learner, Future Ready.”
The grant will support the enhancement of four existing magnet schools — Johnson STEAM Academy, Cedar River Academy, Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy and McKinley STEAM Academy — as well as the new high school, according to a news release from the district. The district also operates the Kenwood Leadership Academy elementary magnet school.
The objectives of the magnet schools are:
- To create racially, ethnically and socioeconomically integrated schools;
- Increase academic achievement for all students and to reduce gaps;
- Build capacity in staff to implement research-based innovative educational methods and practices;
- And increase student, family, and staff sense of belonging.
The district is one of 19 schools across the United States to receive awards from the Magnet Schools Assistance Program totaling $110 million.
The Magnet Schools Assistance Program awards support efforts to develop and revitalize magnet schools with academically challenging and innovative instructional approaches designed to bring together students from different social, economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds.
“We’re investing in schools and communities that have shown a commitment to intentionally serving students and closing opportunity gaps based on race, place, and circumstance in America,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
“Every child has something to offer this country, and they deserve access to effective educators, inclusive and supportive learning environments, and innovative, engaging programs that unlock their potential and lead to success,” Cardona said. “These grant awards will help communities re-imagine our schools through a more equitable lens and raise the bar for how we serve students who too often get left behind.”
Comments: (319) 398-8411; firstname.lastname@example.org