By DEBRA GASKILL Special correspondent
December 18, 2013
BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek schools are among 150 Ohio districts slated to receive one of 24 grants to aid students through the use of technology.
Beavercreek will receive $3.8 million from the state’s Straight A Fund, which will be used to purchase iPads for every K-8 student, along with instructional software that assesses each student’s knowledge base and measures their achievement in mathematics and English Language Arts.
The grant will also allow the district to partner with an educational technology firm that develops personalized curriculum for each student that is aligned with Common Core State Standards.
“We are thrilled that our project was selected for this grant, and believe that the program we outlined will improve individual growth and achievement among all of our kindergarten through eighth grade students,” said William McGlothlin, Ed.D., Beavercreek Schools’ superintendent. “When combined with classroom instruction and personalized learning tools, this program will support our students in a way that promotes their engagement and continual growth, blending technology with 21st century learning skills.”
According to school officials, there was tremendous competition for these grants.
“This first round of Straight A Fund grant opportunities has started the process of re-examining the ways that we educate the boys and girls of Ohio,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio Department of Education. “We will look to the winning proposals for ideas to reduce costs and transform learning in our state.”
The $250 million Straight A Fund was created in the new state budget signed this summer by Gov. John Kasich, and is part of a $1.6 billion increase in state education funding over the next two years.
The grants include broad-based plans to increase student access to high-tech manufacturing skills, expand post-secondary class offerings in Appalachia and expand the use of digital technology in classrooms, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
Grant applications were first assessed to determine their fiscal sustainability, and were then evaluated on the basis of innovation, value, and lasting impact. Grant advisors, who recommended the highest quality applications to the Straight A Fund Governing Board, then reviewed applications that met all of these criteria. This Board made the final recommendations for funding.
The district will begin a pilot program based on this proposal during the second semester of the 2013-14 school year at Parkwood Elementary. Full implementation of the program will begin district-wide in September 2014.