The School District of Lee County is one of 32 school systems in the United States awarded a grant from the 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program. The $10 million Magnet grant will allow the District to implement engaging academic and arts attractor programs at Harns Marsh Middle School, Lehigh Acres Middle School, and Oak Hammock Middle School over a 5-year period.

“I am so proud that our organization has been recognized as deserving of these funds,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins. “The programs we will now be able to offer at these schools will provide excellent academic opportunities, increase rigor, personalize education, and prepare our students to compete in the 21st century.”

Harns Marsh Middle will use a portion of the grant money for its Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) Program which provides a globally recognized international curriculum, and will enhance its Arts Program to ignite creativity in its 1,138 students. “This will help our school have a level playing field by affording all of our students the opportunity to engage in high-level, rigorous learning experiences enhanced through the performing and visual arts,” explained Principal Linda Maere.

Lehigh Acres Middle will implement Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) to provide students with meaningful and engaging coursework to enhance left and right brain learning. Neketa Watson, Principal of Lehigh Acres Middle is thrilled about the opportunity. “With the help of the grant we can now implement a World Class program for our scholars.”

Oak Hammock Middle will enhance its academic program through Arts integration, in order to attract students of diverse populations. The staff at Oak Hammock is committed to incorporating the Arts into every classroom on campus to ignite student learning.

The grant will bring additional Arts personnel and educational equipment to these schools such as science lab supplies, theater costumes and props, pottery wheels, 3-D printers, musical instruments, and LEGO robotics kits.

About Magnet Schools Assistance Program

Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), is administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement, Parental Options and Improvement Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The MSAP, authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, provides funding to local educational agencies interested in supporting the development and implementation of magnet schools to increase racial integration, to assist in the achievement of systemic reforms, and to provide all students with the opportunity to meet challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards. In 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program awarded 32 grants in 16 states.