YONKERS, N.Y. -- The Yonkers Public School District recently received the national 2014 Magna Award.
The collaboration between Yonkers Public Schools and Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) to enhance college readiness, access and success among students earned the district a 2014 Magna Award first place honor.
The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, were created by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) American School Board Journal (ASBJ) to honor districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools, according to a release.
“Throughout the country, school districts struggle to find innovative ways to engage external stakeholders and elicit a sustained investment in student success," said Interim Superintendent of Schools Michael Yazurlo, according to the release. "This partnership personifies this kind of shared mission by leveraging community support to provide our students with resources usually reserved for the wealthiest of districts.”
The district, which received the first place award in the category of school districts with enrollment of more than 20,000 students, will be included in a special section of the April 2014 issue of ASBJ. The district will also be part of the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon on April 5. The event is part of NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference taking place in New Orleans.
“Through this collaborative effort, we have enriched the district’s college-going culture and assisted our students in attaining their post secondary aspirations, which for some have included attending the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities like Brown, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia,” said Yonkers Board of Education President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh in the release.
"We take pride in the partnership that exists between the Yonkers Public Schools and Yonkers Partners in Education, which successfully engages our community to invest resources in our schools that otherwise would not be available to them," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano in the release. "Congratulations to our district and our community leaders for being recognized for their innovative collaboration, proving Yonkers continues to best prepare our students for college and beyond."
The YPIE Scholars Program pairs mentor volunteers with high school students and enlists “Graduation Coaches” to assist the students throughout high school.
"YPIE has a unique partnership with the Yonkers Public Schools that benefits thousands of Yonkers students each year," said said YPIE’s Executive Director Wendy Nadel. "Through work that takes place in YPIE's College & Career Centers, together we have increased the number of YPS students who enroll in two and four colleges and vocational programs each year – a significant step to help secure their future success. We are thrilled to be recognized through the district’s receipt of the Magna Award."