District Five receives $9.6M grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Lexington-Richland School District Five has received a new $9.6M grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the department’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP). The money will be used at Harbison West Elementary School and Seven Oaks Elementary School. School District Five is one of 16 school districts across the country to receive the grant and the only district in South Carolina.

The MSAP 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.

Seven Oaks Elementary will transform into a Global Magnet School, using the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP). This Global Magnet will focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in school and in the world beyond. The IBPYP will offer a transformative experience for students, teachers, and whole school communities and will strive to deliver excellent outcomes by providing an education that is engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant.

“I am thrilled that Seven Oaks Elementary is the recipient of this grant to significantly revise the magnet program,” Seven Oaks Elementary School Principal Christian English said. “One of Seven Oaks’ defining characteristics is the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff. Being a Global Primary Years International Baccalaureate Magnet gives us the opportunity to highlight and celebrate the numerous cultures represented within our school and provide students with a world-class education.”

Harbison West Elementary will become a Gifted and Talent Development Magnet School using the School Enrichment Model (SEM) developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli out of the University of Connecticut Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education and Talent Development. The SEM focuses on enrichment for all students through high levels of engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are built around students’ interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression.

“I am overjoyed at the opportunity to bring Project Aspire to Harbison West. This is a win for our students, faculty, community and district,” Harbison West Elementary School Principal Dr. Thomas Turner said. “Project Aspire will allow us the ability to provide students with engaging learning experiences that will develop their confidence through programs that are aligned specifically with topics that speak to them. These curriculum enhancements will create a school where every student can enjoy an authentic sense of belonging and maximize the learning potential of each day. I am excited to be a part of this next chapter at Harbison West as we continue to find ways to “Be the Hero of Our Story!”

The Department awarded $92 million to 16 grantees through MSAP this year. Together with the Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Program, the Department invested more than $100 million in the past fiscal year in support of school diversity and equitable access to high-quality education that prepares students to succeed academically in diverse learning environments.

“I am thrilled to be able to include these two magnet schools in School District Five and offer our community such unique learning environments,” School District Five Magnet Director Sara Wheeler said. “This grant will help us continue our mission to Love and Grow Our Students.”


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