District One gets grant to assist military school kids
Yuma School District One has received a $1.2 million grant for fiscal year 2012 from the Department of Defense Education Activity Grant Program.
District One educates about 10,000 students each year and is the largest elementary school district in Yuma County. The district was one of 25 military-connected districts from around the country chosen to receive funding from the DoD program.
The funding will directly benefit Price, Sunrise, Desert Mesa, Rolle and Palmcroft Elementary Schools, as well as Castle Dome and Ron Watson middle schools. These seven campuses qualified for the grant because of the high percentage of military children who attend.
Darwin Stiffler, District One superintendent, said the grant will give the district additional tools to educate the children of military families.
“A perfect partnership: the Army, the Marines and District One. We are grateful for the ability to better serve the children of those who serve us.”
The funds “will increase science achievement for third- through fifth-graders by providing extensive professional development for their teachers in how to integrate science, math, language arts, and technology,” said Theresa Lowe, District One special projects coordinator.
“It will also increase science and math achievement for middle school students via the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. AVID provides collaborative tutoring to support advanced math and science classes, extensive professional development for teachers, and common deep-learning strategies school-wide.”
The schools will also receive interactive white boards, document cameras, and mobile pads intended to make math and science more exciting for the students.
In addition, the district will hire two full-time counselors to serve the unique needs of active-duty military children dealing with deployment, reintegration, transition and wartime stress issues.
The district will also use the funding to train other school staff to make the transition for students of military families into the district proceed more smoothly, and to host military family engagement activities.
“This is a confirmation we are willing to invest in education for our children,” said Col. Robert Kuckuk, MCAS Yuma commanding officer. “Everyone wins and I couldn't be happier.”
According to DoD, there are over a million school-aged military children across the United States who attend public schools not affiliated with the military each year.
Additionally, the average military child changes schools four to six times before graduating from high school. These issues can affect the quality of education and the support military children receive at each location.
Aware of the quality of education issues facing military children, DoD partnered with the Department of Education to help military families transition their children from DoD to non-DoD affiliated schools following the passage of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act in 2007.
The collaboration resulted in the development of the DoDEA Grant Program, which has awarded $195 million in grants to 162 military-connected public schools nationwide since 2008.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.