CUSD Board Accepts $1.25 Million Department Of Defense Education Grant - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

CUSD Board Accepts $1.25 Million Department Of Defense Education Grant

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Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2016 4:09 pm

Coronado Unified School District’s (CUSD) Governing Board voted unanimously to accept a five-year $1.25 million Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA) Partnership during their meeting of Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. Formally titled ‘Project Arts for Learning,’ the grant will run through August 2021. The grant’s target group is students who are below proficient in English Language Arts and students with chronic absenteeism. Military dependent students are the target population, but all CUSD students will benefit from the grant.

Significantly, this is the fourth DoDEA grant won by CUSD, one of the few districts nation-wide to have attained that level. In addition, CUSD is the first district to ever be awarded an arts grant by DoDEA. The total amount of the four grant awards, which first began in 2009, is now $5.3 million. Major impacts to the district and its students from the prior grants include:

Netbook/Chromebook access for all students since 2009

Measures of Academic Progress Assessments for all students through 2020

Certificated intervention teachers since 2009, and

Personalized education plans for all district students since 2012.

According to CUSD Senior Director of Learning Claudia Gallant, the Project Arts for Learning grant has two goals. The first is to increase teachers’ content knowledge of visual and performing arts through professional development and the integration of arts and English language arts. The second goal is to close the achievement gap in English language arts and increase student engagement and attendance. Elements to be included in the program include visual arts, dance, drama, digital media and music.

The format for the grant is that 2016-17 is a planning year for the district, which includes the hiring of a one-half FTE (full-time equivalent) director to oversee the grant. The grant itself will run from 2017 through 2021. One feature of the grant will the collaboration of ‘Arts for Learning San Diego,’ with CUSD teachers for the Kindergarten through fifth grade and secondary English language arts portions of the grant program. Arts for Learning San Diego is an affiliate of Young Audiences, the nation’s largest provider of arts-in-education experiences and an innovator in professional development.

Gallant added, “Our district’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) and personalized learning initiatives would not be possible, or would not be as far along as they are, without the support of DoDEA. Representing nearly 40 percent of our students, our military students are the largest subgroup in our district and they have unique needs due to frequent transitions and parent deployments. We are so proud of our partnership with DoDEA.” Gallant credited CHS Assistant Principal Shane Schmeichel for doing the bulk of the writing for the successful DoDEA grant application.

This was the final meeting of the CUSD Board with this configuration of members. Dawn Ovrom and Kristina Cook chose not to seek re-election. Current Board President Maria Simon was re-elected to a four-year term on the Board. She will be joined by Julie Russell, who won election to a four-year term and Esther Valdes, who is completing a term first held by Ledyard Hakes and then Cook, that will run for two years. Cook was not in attendance at the meeting due to an illness in her family.

Simon, Russel and Valdes will be sworn into office as part of the district’s annual organization meeting that will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. That meeting will begin at 4 p.m., during which the Board officers for 2017 will be elected and the district’s calendar for the year will be formally approved. Technically these are two separate meetings, with the organizational meeting

immediately followed by the monthly Board session that will start at approximately 4:30 p.m.

In other actions taken by the CUSD Board of Governors

• By a vote of 3-1, the Board approved a $2,880 annual stipend ($240 per month) for its members. Prior to the vote, serving on the CUSD Board was a voluntary position. Board member Lee Pontes voted against the motion, with members Ovrom, Smith and Simon voting in favor. Smith said during the board discussion that he would not accept a stipend while he served on the CUSD Board.

• The Board heard the annual school site update from Coronado High School, presented by CHS Principal Jenny Moore. She said the current enrollment at CHS is 1,210, a figure that includes 186 inter-district transfers; 187 students in the Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA); and 105 students in the school’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) program.

As noted above, the next meeting of the CUSD Board will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, at 4 p.m. CUSD Board meetings are held at the CUSD District Office located at 201 Sixth Street in Coronado.

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