GSD AWARDED 21st CENTURY GRANT
Grenada School District is currently implementing initiatives for our new $1,500,000 five-year grant for the 21st Century after-school program, providing drop-out prevention components and opportunities for student participation in extra-curricular activities. GSD had previously been awarded a five-year 21st Century Grant in 2007.
Grenada School District has made dropout prevention a major focus in recent years by implementing several initiatives targeting at-risk students from the elementary school through the high school. Our 21st Century career classes and tutoring initiatives combine academics, workplace relevance, and technology skills to create an environment to motivate students to stay in school and assist students in passing the state mandated subject area tests required for graduation.
In addition to offering these career oriented classes and student tutoring, teacher training, as well as parent workshops, are being implemented to enhance the connections between school and work. Parenting classes/workshops will provide information and instruction for the participant’s family members in parenting and technology skills.
Since this project will encompass a new five-year round of implementation, as a result of our experiences, GSD has identified several areas in our program that will receive improvements. We have evaluated thoroughly the outcomes and results of our previous grant and have determined several alterations to our program that will more effectively address the evolving needs of our students. Our ongoing feed-back loop between our staff, students, and administration will facilitate these changes and will effectively discern new issues that may need to be addressed in the future. Specific changes to our program will include:
• Adding middle school students to expand the reach of our programs
• Creating more inter-relationships between programs. For example, the agriculture program will provide fresh produce for the culinary class, or podcasting will create a “how-to” podcast outlining the steps to build an Adirondack chair from wood-working class.
• Program will emphasize more hands-on inter-disciplinary activities specifically correlating academic disciplines with work-related activities and vice versa.
• Tutoring will address specific needs of students determined via standardized testing and classroom performance. Specifically, weaknesses in SATP testing will be foremost in the tutoring processes to facilitate the completion of students’ requirements for graduation.
High Hopes partners and community members will also be offered the opportunity to participate in the grant initiatives. Community members will be recruited to visit the classes and share real-life experiences with the student participants. Community partners will also be requested to provide incentives for the students for the completion of objectives and for class attendance. The partners of our adopt-a-school organization are enthusiastic about the receipt of the 21st Century Grant and welcome the opportunity to assist our students in connecting the educational environment with the workplace.