ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — October 1, 2008 — The Department of Defense Education Activity recently awarded three grants to the Hawaii Department of Education, Beaufort County School District, and El Paso Independent School District under a pilot grant program. The Fiscal Year 2008 Pilot Grant Program, which was designed to enhance learning opportunities at military-connected schools, will provide $300,000 to each of the three schools.
The three grant projects are:
- The Hawaii Department of Education, Bridging the Mathematical Continuum Project is a 3-fold initiative that ultimately aims to prepare all students for successful achievement in Algebra I and II courses. However, as its name implies, activities will not focus solely on high school mathematics. The project aims to enhance the quality of teaching and the preparedness of students across the grade levels so all students will have the knowledge, skills, and habits-of-mind needed for successful achievement in mathematics. Its three components are Math Whizz, Developing Mathematical Ideas, and TI-Nspire Teacher Leader Cadre.
- The Beaufort County School District introduced Advancement via Individual Determination in order to help improve student achievement at secondary schools system wide in 2007. AVID programs are found in over 3,500 schools in the US and abroad, and it has extensive internal and third-party research validating its success. The grant will expand this initiative by introducing AVID into two military-impacted secondary schools: Robert Smalls Middle School and Battery Creek High School.
- The El Paso Independent School District will contract with The Princeton Review to serve teachers with a science coaching initiative at four priority schools to include Bassett Middle and the elementary campuses of Bliss, Burnet and Travis in year one. The science coaching program includes: small-group and one-on-one professional development sessions; classroom support and feedback to teachers; model lessons using best practices and the inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning; lunch time and conference period professional development; and co-teaching and model instruction for new science teachers.
"We are very excited about all three of the grants that have been awarded,"said Kathy Facon, Chief, Educational Partnerships Branch, DoDEA. "We have great faith and expectation that each one of the partner school districts will work hard to provide results for the children of our military service members."
In FY 2007, the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act gave DoDEA the authority to work collaboratively with the Department of Education in efforts to ease the transition of military dependent students from attendance in DoDEA schools to schools in local education agencies.
One aspect of assistance is the authority to issue grants for programs that enhance student achievement – specifically grants for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs. Grants or cooperative agreements to fund research-based best practice programs to address school district identified education needs are also being funded.
The grant program will be expanded for FY 2009. Policies and procedures for the FY09 Grant Program are currently being developed and will be announced in early 2009.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.