End of Year Message from Dr. Young
Congratulations on a successful 2017-18 school year!
Dear Magnolia Family,
Congratulations on a successful 2017-18 school year! As I reflect on this past year, I am so proud of our Magnolia community as our students and faculty continue to take on new and bigger challenges and truly thrive.
Our students continue Magnolia’s amazing graduation streak and we are so proud of what they’ve accomplished! This year, 98 percent of Magnolia’s seniors were accepted to college and 87 percent graduated with the qualifications to attend a UC/CSU institution of higher education! Our graduates are heading off to universities such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, CSU Channel Islands and Cal Poly Pomona.
Last month, U.S. News & World Report named three of our high schools, among the top in California and the nation. Magnolia Science Academy-1 (Reseda) was ranked in the top 6 percent of high schools in the state, while Magnolia Science Academy-3 (Carson) was ranked in the top 10 percent and Magnolia Science Academy-2 (Van Nuys) was ranked in the top 11 percent of the nearly 2,500 California high schools U.S. News and World Report analyzed. The rankings also put Magnolia Science Academy-1 in the top 20 best charter high schools in Los Angeles Unified! We’re so proud of these noteworthy honors.
Our schools continue to receive strong accolades. Just last year, U.S. News & World Report named MSA-1 the 14th highest-performing high school in California, making it the top charter high school in Los Angeles Unified. The Washington Post also named Magnolia Science Academy-3 the #1 challenging public charter high school in Los Angeles Unified on its prestigious “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list.
A STEAM-based curriculum continues to serve as the basis for our educational model as we put all of our focus into creating scientific thinkers and instilling a love of learning within our students. Last month, we celebrated this work with our fourth annual STEAM Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. We showcased more than 250 student projects including snow makers made from baby diapers, a machine that can harness energy from hamsters to power a light, a student-built robot arm using hydraulics and a working volcano made from lemons.
We learned from Michelle Flowers Taylor, Director of the Institute of Engineering Community and Cultural Competence at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, just how important it is to have women and minorities represented in STEAM-focused careers. These are the high-paying jobs of the future and students of color and women are sorely underrepresented in these fields. We want to change those statistics and give our students a leg up on these lucrative careers by providing them with a rigorous education that will prepare them for the tough classes in college.
Our unique partnership with the Mt. Wilson Observatory, one of Southern California’s landmark science institutions, continues to provide our students a truly one-of-a-kind, historic classroom. We’re proud to say that Magnolia students piloted the program, and because of its success, Mt. Wilson opened its doors to all public schools this year. Hundreds of our students have gone on field trips to the observatory, studying in the same rooms used by Einstein and Hubble as part of a curriculum that aligns with the rigorous Next Generation Science Standards.
In March, our sixth-grade students from MSA-1 were selected to participate in one of the largest student-driven programs ever launched to protect the world’s rainforests. Global NGO Rainforest Connection (RFCx) taught our students how to transform recycled cell phones into forest guardians—solar-powered listening devices placed in rainforest conservation hotspots in the Amazon to monitor sounds of illegal logging. Our students truly made a difference, learning about protecting our planet and getting the opportunity to protect over 100,000 acres of rainforest in South America.
MSA-1 just broke ground on a brand-new addition to the campus school that will house grades nine through 12 and provide state-of-the-art chemistry, biology and tech classrooms, an outdoor recreation area on the roof of the building and other amenities to all of our MSA-1 students. We’re so excited to provide this state-of-the-art facility to the MSA-1 community to continue helping our students in Reseda achieve their full potential. We appreciate the support of our community, elected officials and MSA-1 students and staff as we undergo this exciting transition.
I wish you a wonderful summer and I hope you’re all able to relax while continuing to explore the many STEAM opportunities Los Angeles has to offer – the Annenberg Space for Photography, The Broad museum and the California Science Center all have free admission! We look forward to hearing about what you learned and your adventures when you return in the fall.
It’s been my privilege serving all of you. Magnolia stands on a solid foundation thanks to the dedication, hard work and commitment of all our leaders, teachers, staff, families and students. Our students thrive because we have a solid team that every day creates the opportunities for them to not only strive for excellence but to build their character and become civically responsible scientific thinkers. The schools are primed to accomplish even more in the 2018-19 school year and I look forward to continuing to hear about all of our students’ successes.
Caprice Young, Ed.D.
CEO and Superintendent
Magnolia Public Schools