Grant received by parish
By Katherine Miller
CROWLEY – During a special meeting of the Acadia Parish School Board, held Wednesday, September 23, the topic of discussion was a competitive grant received by the parish, through the Title II- Part D program. The total allocation granted by the state of Louisiana was $349,500.
This project is a HIGHTech project which includes funding for one public high school, Rayne High School, as well as one non-public high school, Notre Dame. Due to an increased decline in ninth grade student achievement in core discipline classes, which include math, science, social studies and English and non-improving attendance, Rayne High was the public school of interest. Notre Dame was selected due to a need to raise ACT science scores. It was also stated that both schools have “demonstrated a strong desire for change in order to improve student achievement in its content areas.”
Acadia School Superintendent John E. Bourque stated proudly, “We are extremely excited to have been the only parish in the region to have been awarded this grant.”
Of the money received through the grant, Rayne High has been awarded $321,289.27, under which $240,966.95 will be used toward technology, and $80.322.32 is allocated for professional development. Through its School Improvement Plan (SIP), Rayne High has placed utmost importance on the improvement of student performance and achievement over the past several years. Each year, the committee re-examines student achievement and parent involvement and makes needed modifications to the SIP. Rather than abandon efforts that appeared to be moving ninth graders in the right direction, the faculty and staff has chosen to add strengthening components in order to strengthen efforts already in place.
Rayne High School’s advisory committee has researched the one-on-one Laptop Initiative, which has evolved over the last ten years. The program targets freshman of the 2009-10 school year, and will change the way teachers provide instruction and the tools the students use to learn. During the school year, each student will be supplied a laptop for both classroom and home use.
Aspects of the grant for this school, as explained by Jill Doga, technology supervisor, include providing 202 ninth grade students and teachers with one-to-one laptop initiative, as well as 12 interactive Promethean Boards that are incorporated to provide students with more than just the basic tasks of learning how to use computers.
The goals of the program regarding Rayne High students include, student achievement, including technology literacy of all freshman students to increase attendance and to lower dropout rates; to ensure that teachers effectively use technology and research-based practices to support student learning; and to provide technology integration throughout the freshman core curricula.
Notre Dame High School has received $13,387.05, under which $10,040.29 is allocated for technology and $3,346.76 for professional development.
Initiatives outlined by Notre Dame High School will emphasize student achievement in the area honors science. The overall intent is to increase the average percent of ACT-tested students ready for college-level coursework in science from 30 to 40 percent by including weekly sessions focused on such science skills as graphing, interpretation of visual models, analysis of scientific data and modeling, and utilizing course-specific software.
The school shall receive 17 laptops for science mini-lap, physics simulation software and professional development on all software and hardware for science teachers.
“Through this one-year grant, students will allow our students to work one-on-one and have a greater chance to be educated through technology, which is extremely important in this day and age,” added Bourque. “We also appreciate both schools for their strong efforts in re-arranging their curriculum in these areas in order to help their students succeed.”