District Earns Prestigious Recognition in National School Board Associations 26th Annual Magna Awards Program

Posted by Bergenfield Public School District on 5/25/2021

Bergenfield, NJ (March 19, 2020) – National School Boards Association’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal announced Bergenfield Public School District as a recipient of a 2020 Magna Award. This is the third year that the Magna Awards recognize school districts and their leaders for their efforts to bring educational equity to their students. It also marks the second Magna Award for the district in the past 7 years.

The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, honor districts across the country for programs that break down barriers for underserved students. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from more than 100 submissions. This year’s three grand prize winners and 15 first place winners were selected from three enrollment categories: under 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000 students, and over 20,000 students.

“Focusing on equity requires school leaders to think differently and creatively,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, National School Boards Association executive director and CEO. “The 2020 Magna Award-winning districts showcase the amazing and innovative work going on in public schools to ensure students are supported and provided with the tools and opportunities needed to succeed.”

Bergenfield was recognized as a First Prize winner for its “IEP For Life Project,” which was created to target a cadre of students in grades nine through 12. The district began by increasing staff to improve the staff-to-student ratio; training staff to implement person-centered planning and instruction, purchasing new curriculum and instructional supplies, and building a manufactured home called the Bear Den to enable students to practice life skills.

In addition, the program also increased access to community-based instruction and structured learning experiences; to internships, employment, and community service opportunities; and to postsecondary adult education and college classes.

“This program provides hands-on learning experiences that will last these students a lifetime. It is rewarding to be able to offer this opportunity here within our community” said Bergenfield Superintendent, Christopher Tully, Ed.D.

The National School Boards Association is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S.

To read more about the awards and the IEP For Life Program, visit https://www.nsba.org/ASBJ/2020/April/first-place-magna-awards.

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