5/8/2021 • Longview, Texas• Public Montessori Schools Receive Magna Award, Consider Name Change
5/8/2021 • Longview, Texas • Longview Independent School Disrict, which offers district-wide Montessori early childhood education, won one of this year’s Magna Awards from the National School Board Association, recognizing Montessori for removing barriers to access and improving outcomes for minority and economically disadvantaged students.
The National School Board Association (NSBA), founded in 1940 to “advocate for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership,” has been presenting the Magna awards for 26 years, recognizing “school district innovation and creativity in helping increase student achievement.” This year’s awards focused on “district programs that remove barriers to achievement for vulnerable or underserved children.” Five winners and one grand prize winner are identified across three enrollment categories. Longview ISD was a winner in the 5,000 to 20,000 enrollment category.
“Montessori at LISD is different from the typical Montessori school because we are within a public school setting,” said Jacqueline Burnett, director of East Texas Montessori Prep Academy. “We serve a diverse population, both racially and economically disadvantaged, free of charge.”
As “evidence of success,” the NSBA noted that “In 2019, Longview received 40 state distinctions, proving that district teachers and the Montessori education platform are making a difference in those who are moving into the testing grades,” and that “testing results were the highest in 10 years for minority students and economically disadvantaged students. This shows that Montessori education is positively affecting early childhood students.”
Also in Longview, South Ward Elementary School is considering changing its name to honor the district’s first Black school board member, Clarence Bailey, recently deceased. According to reporting from The Longview News-Journal the school board will vote at its next meeting on a proposal to rename the school The Bailey School.