Grants are awarded yearly to support innovative projects, classroom instruction, and programs that enhance the school curriculum and enriches the learning experience for students. Each application was reviewed on a rubric and must focus on student achievement, be innovative, appropriately aligned with school district goals and the School Improvement Plan, have measurable impact and results regarding student achievement and be cost effective.
South Paulding High School, led by Principal Keith A. Rowland, won the high school grant award with its Reality Fair program. This event is for rising ninth-graders to visualize their career choices and how these choices will affect their economic well-being. More than 500 students are involved in a simulated experience of managing personal finances through real-life stations set up at the school.
After attending the Reality Fair, students have an opportunity to attend the school’s Pathway Fair to determine course placement. Many components of this program are managed by current SPHS students.
Austin Middle School, led by Principal Gary Plunkett, accepted the middle school grant for its “Visual Thesaurus: Using Digital Tools to Help Students Acquire Academic Vocabulary Across Disciplines” program.
This program will be used across the entire school as a way to implement intense vocabulary usage. The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning.
Poole Elementary School and Principal Angie Capobianco will implement the “eReading — Comprehension and Vocabulary Instruction through Content Areas of Science and Social Studies” program as a result of the elementary school grant.
This program allows for an electronic library for school and home, filled with leveled science and social content books. The eReaders also provide assessment and data analysis and additional parent training is available at monthly meetings and family nights.