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Liberty School Program Earns National Recognition

The Liberty Public Schools Liberty are among three grand-prize winners in the 26th annual Magna Awards program sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal (ASBJ). 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.

The two other grand prize winners were Fremont County School District 6 in Pavillion, Wyoming, and Moreno Valley Unified School District in Moreno Valley, California.

Liberty was recognized in the 5,000 to 20,000 enrollment category. The Liberty Academy is the alternative high school for Liberty Public Schools in Liberty, Missouri. Liberty Academy has no classrooms or teachers—at least not in the usual sense. And the school, housed in an office park, doesn’t look like a school at all. It’s different by design: Its students haven’t done well in traditional school settings. Teachers are advisors, and students work on projects based on personal interests.

The Magna Awards 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. Sodexo, a leader in facilities management and food service operations, supports the program,

“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.”

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.

The Courier Tribune published an in-depth feature on this program, which can be read online here.

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