Carroll Schools receive $2M in grants
Friday, January 25, 2013 10:00 AM
Carroll County Schools received confirmation this month of grants totaling more than $2 million for the district, administrators told school board members Thursday.
Superintendent Lisa James spoke about the Race to the Top grant that was recently awarded to the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative and the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative.
The $41 million dollar grant will provide funding to 22 school districts - including Carroll County - for the next four years, she said.
"We are very appreciative to be awarded this," James said. "There's all kinds of things encompassed in this grant."
The grant - specifically awarded to rural school districts - will help schools make personalized learning plans for each student, focus on career goals, personal passions and career skills, as well as identify students as leaders with the help of research-based curriculum.
The grants will provide more than $1.6 million worth of materials, professional development and funds to the district over the life of the grant. Carroll County will receive a new preschool curriculum, as well as technology and software programs for the curriculum changes. The district will also receive coaching on an almost daily basis to help students achieve college and career readiness.
"We have a busy, busy time throughout this next summer to get things going," James said.
The grant will provide additional school personnel to the district as well. A "Preschool Pal" will work in early childhood centers with parents and families. Each of the 22 districts will also receive funding for a college career counselor to help students in a College Career Center located at the high school level.
"I'm excited because this was work we were going to do anyway," James said.
Funding will also help address needs of students in poverty and allow schools to evaluate and assess concepts working for the students and issues that still need to be addressed during the next four years.
"It's wonderful news for our district," board chairwoman Mona Kindoll said.
The district's grant writer and public relations specialist Jeff Fremin reported the school district also received a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant for $637,000 over five years. The grant will allow the district's elementary schools to increase academic achievement in core subjects, improve non-cognitive indicators such as increased attendance and help parents to become full educational partners.
The grant will help fund the STEAM program, as well as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity - or the 4Cs - and wellness programming. Parents will also be encouraged to become engaged with the learning opportunities with their children. Programming will take place during the school day, as well as student events after school and throughout the summer.
The district's technology director Cindy Johann also reported to the board that some grants will cover several upgrades and new items to the district's technology systems. Portions of the grant money will be used for internal connections to speed up the internet central hub, which will help make connections smoother. Other grants will help with maintenance and web hosting costs for the district's website.
"Mrs. Johann and the rest of her staff worked very hard to get (these grants)," James said.
In other business:
Dru Maiden was sworn in before the meeting as the newest school board member. No one applied for the seat during the November elections after Tommy Unker decided not to run for re-election. Maiden was appointed by the Kentucky Department of Education to fill the vacancy.
James recognized school board members Kindoll, Mary Ann Pearson and Maiden for school board appreciation month in January. Rob Spenneberg and Carolyn Jones were absent from the meeting and will be recognized at the next meeting.
"I really want to say we can't do it without them," James said. "They're very good about hearing the voices in the community."
Kathryn Wynn Primary Principal Gerda Wise reported that the Lindamood-Bell training has been going well at the school. She has been learning some new concepts, which she will be implementing into the school day.
"We have been just super busy," Wise said. "I have been so energized and rejuvenated."
Cartmell Elementary Principal Doug Oak noted that the Lindamood-Bell programs at his school also have been going well, and that he recently learned how to score the tests for the program.
Carroll County High School Principal Tom Stevens told board members that the high school will be the host site for the District Governor's Cup Competition on Saturday.
The school has also begun to focus on preparations for next year. Teachers and administrators hope to make a few changes next year with a main focus to help students make pathways to college.
Elementary instructional supervisor Pam Williams said both elementary schools have made progress with the training during the past two weeks.
"We have really hit the ground running with the Lindamood-Bell project," Williams said.
The training will give teachers the necessary tools to teach skills needed throughout a student's school career in many subjects.
"We really feel like this will benefit our students," Williams said.
The district's Chief Operating Officer Larry Curell said administrators had been working on lockdown drills to evaluate ways to improve procedures in case of an emergency. The district also has worked with emergency personnel to implement new procedures and communications for the best response to any situation.
Fremin told the board reports showing trends in drug and alcohol use are down when compared with results in 2006.
"We are making progress in reducing use," Fremin said.
The Carroll County School District Finance Corporation approved a temporary easement for a road project on KY 227. The addition of a left turn lane caused a sidewalk near the roadway to cross a section of the school's property. The state offered to pay the district $150 for the small space.