Superintendent Heath Morrison says he’s excited about the grants and sees the seven schools becoming models for reform in the district.
“We were hoping to get somewhere between $6 to $8 million to help the identified schools,” Morrison said. “The fact that we received more than $8 million shows the outstanding work and dedication of our staff in applying for these resources. The funding will help us implement our district-wide reform efforts and new strategic plan to improve the quality of education for our students, which is why we were proactive in pursing these SIG grants.”
The schools were identified by the Nevada Department of Education under the terms of the grant and will be instituting one of four reform models, including a change of leadership. The schools are Clayton Middle School, Dilworth Middle School, Echo Loder Elementary School, Glenn Duncan Elementary School, O’Brien Middle School, Smithridge Elementary School and Veterans Memorial Elementary School.
New principals are in place at each school and the grant will help fund nearly 20 staff positions at the schools over the next three years.
“Another new feature,” said Kristen McNeill, the district’s chief officer for state and federal programs, “is each school will have an academy. Veterans, Duncan, Smithridge, O’Brien and Dilworth will become STEM Academies, which stands for Science Technology, Engineering and Math. Loder will become a Language Academy with three languages available for the students, and Clayton will be a Pre-Advanced Placement Academy.”
“Being on the ground level of such impacting school reform is exciting,” said Susan Kehoe, principal at Duncan. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of being involved in something that’s so cutting edge in terms of school reform in our state.”
The total grant amount awarded to each school is as follows:
Echo Loder: $1,185,870