School officials described the elements of their five-part approach, to be executed jointly with the South Panola School District, that reflect the innovations and reforms funders want to see in the projects they support.
“Our grant application is in good shape because we already are positioned with facilities and curriculum,” said Superintendent Lee Childress.
The five program components of the grant proposal, which the district has titled “Forward First,” include:
• Strengthening the Transformational Schools Model, which emphasizes academics and assessment, behavioral and social elements, school culture and dropout prevention.
• Stressing Technology, introducing iPads into fourth- through 12th-grade classrooms and several other computer-based learning tools.
• Placing greater emphasis on Community and Family Partnerships and Resources, with “one-stop service centers” at sites throughout the community.
• Expanding the International Curriculum to pilot schools and introducing more college and career readiness programs.
• Creating an International Teaching and Learning Center to provide a center for distance learning, teacher resources, multi-media center, international peer pals, corporate sponsored exploration labs and a professional development center.
“We are using the high-performing leadership institute model, which was originally designed for school improvement, but has transformed to become the model for school change,” Childress said.
The board granted approval to submit the application, and notice of about 20 award recipients is expected in December.