Yakama Schools Receive Federal Improvement Grants

Yakama Schools Receive Federal Improvement Grants

Richard Walker

Toppenish and Wapato school districts on the Yakama Nation reservation are among six districts in the state that will receive federal School Improvement Grants to improve student achievement.

The six districts will share a total of $4.5 million for the 2011-12 school year. Each district will work with the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to finalize improvement plans for the schools to be served and determine improvement funding for each school.

In all, 11 districts applied for School Improvement Grants and requested around $13.5 million.

Recipients of the School Improvement Grants had to demonstrate a commitment to one of four models for change: “turnaround,” “restart,” “closure” or “transformation.” The goal of the program is to understand which practices produce the most significant improvements in student achievement. The selected districts serve large populations of traditionally underserved students, including American Indian/Alaska Native, Latino, English-language learners, and economically disadvantaged.

The school improvement plans include addressing health issues; principal, teacher and parent leadership training; gang-awareness and gang-prevention training; a 10-day teacher boot camp; math and reading coaching; and new curriculum.

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