Grant Supports Student Achievement
receives $150,000 to improve student achievement
Poudre School District is one of 11 school districts in Colorado selected to receive one-time funding of $150,000 to support efforts to close achievement gaps and improve student achievement. This is in addition to the six districts participating in a three-year pilot focused on closing achievement gaps.
The Colorado State Legislature approved $1.7 million in funding to continue work in the 11 approved districts. Funding for the 11 districts is for one year and must be spent by June 30, 2011. Funding is limited to a maximum of $150,000 per site. The new grantees attended a spring meeting to learn from the six school districts currently completing the second year of the pilot.
Blevins Middle School will pilot a Learning Together (L2) middle school peer learning program which provides academic acceleration for low performing students. L2 is an elementary and middle school program being used throughout Colorado. The program provides support to students with low academic achievement and/or having difficulty in reading or math and who are most at-risk of dropping out of school through a peer tutoring, coaching and mentoring program.
“We are excited to be among the districts selected to receive this funding,” says Manny Ortega, assistant superintendent of secondary schools. “We look forward to implementing these additional strategies to help close the achievement gap for our students.”
The State Board of Education approved new rules for the administration of closing the achievement gap program in December, providing structure for the new grants. The revised rules include strategies for closing the achievement gap that must be used as part of the grant. A few of the eight strategies are:
· A district may use student data to set academic improvement targets in reading writing and mathematics.
· The district may examine and realign school scheduling, academic support systems and assignments of personnel.
· The district may design a plan for increasing parental knowledge and skill to support academic objectives.
For a complete list of the strategies, visit www.cde.state.co.us/turnaround/cde_turnaround_ctagpilot_home.htm
The 11 districts are: Adams-Arapahoe School District 28J (Aurora Public Schools), Ault-Highland School District RE-9, Boulder Valley School District, Cherry Creek Schools, Colorado Springs School District 11, Douglas County Schools, East Grand School District 2, Holly School District RE-3, Littleton Public Schools, Poudre School District and Thompson School District R-2J.
The 11 districts were selected based on persistent gaps in achievement and growth associated with race, income and low student achievement.
“We appreciate the willingness of these 11 districts to step up and participate in this effort,” said Colorado Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones. “We also thank the legislature for support of this important work during what we know is a difficult economic time. Closing achievement gaps is a priority for the department and across Colorado and the work requires this kind of collaboration—and diligence.”
The Colorado Department of Education announced in 2008 a partnership with six districts – Roaring Fork School District RE-1, Eagle County School District RE-50, Summit School District RE-1, Weld County School District 6 (Greeley-Evans), St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J and Yuma School District RJ-1 – to participate in a pilot program to test strategies and solutions to eliminate achievement gaps associated with race and income. The Colorado State Legislature allocated $1.8 million for the development of the program.
The six districts are part of a three-year pilot that began with comprehensive appraisals of district improvement needs, identification of resources to meet those needs and the development of comprehensive plans. Each district is working with an independent service provider to assist in the implementation of the project. For more information, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/scripts/reforms/detail.asp?itemid=192515