Edmond is one of 18 winners of a new Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) competitive grant focused on ensuring students have access to a well-rounded education in a safe and healthy school environment.

For the new “Champions of Excellence” grant, Oklahoma is leveraging millions of dollars in federal Title IV, Part A funds to increase the ability of local schools to improve conditions that lead to student learning.

This year’s grantees were awarded a total of $4 million. Edmond will receive $111,000 of that money to fund improvements in Elementary Science and Social Studies.   The Elementary Social Studies will focus on DBQ (document-based questioning)  This strategy teaches social studies through historical documents.  In this process, students not only learn historical information but improve their reading skills as well.  There is also a writing component where students learn to use the historical documents as evidence in the writing process.  For the elementary science portion, Edmond is partnering with the K20 Center to build a team of teachers that have expertise in science instruction.  Two teachers from each building will be a part of the team.  These teachers will receive seven days of science education training in order to provide experts across the district.

“We are really excited about the opportunities this grant is going to provide for professional learning and growth among our elementary teachers,” said Associate Superintendent Angela Grunewald. “Receiving this grant is just another example of the excellence in Edmond Schools and the dedication to always providing the best for our students.”

Forty-one districts applied for the $4 million made available to Oklahoma through Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Many of the 18 winners are pursuing multiple focal areas for a total of 34 new programs that will launch in Oklahoma schools in July 2018 as a result of the grant funding.

The competitive grants will serve as investments in schools seeking to improve or advance student achievement by addressing well-rounded education, safe and healthy schools, and effective use of technology. However, the Champions of Excellence program is available to all Oklahoma districts. After successfully completing a rubric in one of six focal areas (fine arts, mathematics, science, social studies/civics, world languages and safe and healthy schools), Programs of Excellence will receive recognition on the state’s school report card dashboard to be unveiled in December.

Oklahoma will receive an additional $11 million of Title IV, Part A funding this fiscal year, which will be distributed to all Oklahoma schools. OSDE will introduce two new focal areas – computer science and English language arts – at that time.

“By leveraging Title IV, Part A funds in a competitive grants process, already we are seeing innovative projects that will have a significant impact on students,” said Hofmeister. “These funds will help districts ensure their students have access to the well-rounded education all Oklahoma students deserve.”

Learn more at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/TitleIVA.