District gets funds for schools with large military populations
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 1, 2012 1:50 AM
Wayne County Public Schools has been awarded a $1.6 million grant to implement technology programs in seven schools that have a high concentration of military-connected students.
The funding comes from the Department of Defense Education Activity Educational Partnership, grant program.
Schools that will share the grant funding are Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Norwayne Middle, Tommy's Road Elementary and Wayne School of Engineering.
"The schools were eligible to be a part of the grant because, one, the district had 10 percent of its total student enrollment being military-connected and two, the schools themselves had 15 percent or more of their student populations being military-connected," Ken Derksen, director of communication services and public information officer for the school system, said.
Kathleen Facon, chief of the educational partnership program, said the DoDEA received many high-quality proposals for the initiatives to support military students.
She said that this year's grant competition focused on programs that infuse STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- principles throughout the curriculum as well as ongoing programs that encourage family engagement.
WCPS will use the funding to build upon its efforts to become a model STEM district.
Derksen said the grant will be used to introduce two STEM learning centers -- similar to one launched earlier this year at Norwayne -- at Greenwood Middle and Wayne School of Engineering's new middle school program, which is being added in the fall. It will also provide professional staff development for teachers in the areas of technology and STEM education, and place a digital media program in the high school at Wayne School of Engineering.
While the funding targeted schools-aged children from military families, the proposed program will benefit all students at the schools -- an estimated 4,900 military and non-military-connected students, said superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor.