2 grants will focus on making schools among the best, superintendent says
Two grants worth about $2.5 million will be used by Western Wayne School Corporation to improve student performance by building on successes.
The school corporation will receive $2.45 million from the Next Generation School Improvement Grant (Next Gen SIG) program, funded by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Western Wayne Schools is one of 8 schools funded, out of 40 applicants.
The funding will be spent over four years, with the first-year funds geared to planning and implementation to take place in each of the following years. Western Wayne will use the money to improve educational rigor for students in k-12.
An expert partner was required to be identified with all grant applications. WWS chose and will move forward with Equitable Education Solutions (EES). They will work with school leaders to teach them effective survey creation skills and strengthen curriculum building. Superintendent Andy Stover said they will employ data-driven decision making to guide the work and assure they are providing the education and skills students need.
Lincoln Middle School will be the predominant focus because it is the area of biggest need, Stover said. The school has received a D grade from the state. “We’ve got some really good rock star teachers. I just think we’ve been off focus” on reaching state standards for educational achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stover continued, “My goal is to make Western Wayne Schools competitive on a state level,” and “I want to make our schools stellar. I want to open the newspaper with the school performance report and say, ‘Look at that!’”
A second grant will be spent on equipment and supplies related to a curriculum called Digital Manufacturing 4.0. It will enhance the Lincoln Golden Eagle Industries program which started last fall. This Educational Readiness Grant (ERG) comes from the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and Conexus, the manufacturing industry network under the umbrella of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. The total grant amount is $500,000, and this is divided between WWS and 5 other schools across Indiana.
The ERG is intended to provide money to buy equipment that will enhance Lincoln Golden Eagle Industries. Materials for students, including tool sets, electrical wiring, hydraulic and pneumatic valves, electrical switches, PLC’s and motors are some of the types of items to be purchased.
ERG funds will also allow the program – a collaboration between several departments at LHS – to use a new platform called Digital Manufacturing 4.0, Stover said.
It will allow students to earn workforce certifications areas such as forklift driving that are required in many local jobs.