Media Advisory: Local leaders urge community to join effort to transform Howenstine

TUCSON—Recognizing that sustained success can only be achieved through wide-spread collaboration, local leaders are hoping Tucsonans will join a national campaign working locally to help transform a struggling school.  In the process, they’re expecting to raise awareness about an undervalued TUSD gem making a profound difference in the lives of students, and the community in which they live and learn.

During an event Tuesday at Howenstine High Magnet School, the leaders will take—and then invite the public to take—an online survey aimed at gauging perception of the school.  The quick four-question survey is part of KEYS (KEYs to Excellence for Your Schools), a comprehensive school-based assessment and improvement system that gathers data for improving teaching and learning conditions. Community data will be coupled with survey results from parents, teachers, education support professionals and administrators for a picture of where Howenstine stands on some 42 indicators research shows exist at high-performing schools.

The survey will be open to the public at throughout the holidays.

The nationally renowned-KEYS comes to Hownestine as part of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Priority Schools Campaign (PSC), an effort that leverages the resources of the 3.2 million-member NEA to complement transformation efforts at struggling schools receiving federal School Improvement Grants (SIG). At Howenstine, PSC works with and through the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and the Tucson Education Association (TEA) to deliver on-site, on-line and on-paper technical assistance in the areas of teacher and staff quality and effectiveness, labor-management collaboration, school culture and family and community engagement.

Similar school reform support traditionally can be a big-ticket expense for already revenue-strapped districts.  Thanks to PSC—which comes at no cost to the Tucson Unified School District—an estimated $2.2 million in SIG funding for transforming Howenstine can go even further.

WHO:  Mayor-elect Jonathan Rothschild

Office of TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone

Howenstine Principal Maritza Nunez

TEA President Frances Banales

AEA President Andrew Morrill

Michael McDonald, executive director, Habitat for Humanity Tucson

Howenstine graduates

WHAT:  Media event in which local leaders will take—and invite the public to take—a four-question online survey aimed at gauging the community’s perception of Howenstine Magnet High School.

Former and current Howenstine students will lead tours and talk about how this Tucson gem has made a difference in their lives and the community in which they live and learn.

WHEN:  Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 3:30 – 4 p.m.  Student-led tour immediately after press event.

 WHERE: Howenstine High Magnet School

555 South Tucson Blvd.

Tucson, Arizona 85716

(520) 232-7300

WHY:  At the core of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign is recognition that shared responsibility and collaborative effort are the keys to students reaching their potential. For our schools and students to thrive, we are all—teachers, parents, students, the community and elected officials—accountable and responsible for fulfilling the promise of public education

For more information on NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, click here

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The Tucson Education Association is the largest local professional organization in Tucson and promotes quality public education and every student’s basic right to a great public school. The Arizona Education Association—with over 34,000 members—is the largest professional organizational in the state.

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.


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