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Commitment to theme earns Mayberry Magnet Middle School national recognition

Commitment to theme earns Mayberry Magnet Middle School national recognition 

Mayberry Cultural and Fine Arts Magnet Middle School was recently named a National Magnet School of Excellence, the first such award for any WPS magnet school.

Magnet School of Excellence Awards are only given to a select group of magnet schools. To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators.

Mayberry was judged based on the following criteria:

  • Exemplary commitment to academic standards
  • Curriculum innovation
  • Desegregation or diversity efforts
  • Specialized teaching staff
  • Parent and community involvement

At Mayberry, students choose from 40 different magnet-themed enrichment and elective opportunities within the school’s daily schedule. Students are encouraged to discover their individual strengths through class offerings such as cultural studies, music, theater, art, foreign language and technology. Four times a year, Mayberry devotes an entire day to magnet activities. Teachers also incorporate culture and fine arts into their curriculum multiple times a month.

Mayberry uses innovative practices such as blended learning where teachers use a station rotation model to add a variety of instructional methods during a class. School-wide technology use has also helped to increase student engagement.

Student achievement has remained steady as Mayberry has worked hard to narrow the achievement gaps in both math and reading over the past several years.

The school embraces the diversity of its students; teachers have had extensive professional learning in culturally relevant teaching and restorative practices, to help students feel safe and welcome, and to develop empathy.

“Mayberry is a cultural and fine art magnet so writing the application was easy because of all the things our staff do in our building to promote our magnet theme,” said Principal Kristina Murray.

Jesse Milne, magnet school curriculum and instruction lead for the district, says Mayberry’s commitment to the magnet theme is the result of the diligence of school staff.

“Mayberry is the district’s first school to be named a School of Excellence and this award speaks to the hard work and innovative practices Kristina and her staff work hard to maintain,” said Milne.