Rayne High, Notre Dame share $349,500 grant
By PAUL KEDINGER
The pairing of Rayne High School and Notre Dame High School in Crowley has proved to be a winning combination with the awarding of a major technology grant expected to have a far-reaching impact on both student bodies.
Earned in a competitive atmosphere, the Title II-Part D program grant represents an investment of $349,500 in Acadia Parish by the State of Louisiana.
The lion share of the grant goes to Rayne High School, which has been awarded $321,289.27.
Of that total, $240,966.95 will be used toward technology, while $80,322.32 is allocated for professional development.
Notre Dame High School has received $13,387.05, with $10,040.29 allocated for technology and $3,346.76 for professional development.
The pairing of a public high school and a private high school was integral to the successful grant application.
The grant application was assembled by Technology Supervisor Jill Doga, RHS Assistant Principal Paula Cutrer, RHS social studies teacher Hannah Labbie, and RHS science teacher Shelley Hamlin.
The team gave up three weeks of their summer vacation to write the application for the grant.
Principal Bobby Hamlin commended the grant-writing team, none of whom realize any personal benefits.
“They did it for the school,” praised Hamlin. “That’s what teamwork means.”
Regarding the impact of the grant on Rayne High, Principal Hamlin remarked, “It’s a great opportunity for Rayne High School to advance itself in technology for leaps and bounds.”
Aspects of the grant for Rayne High, 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 focus on the Rayne High freshman class is predicated on a marked decline in ninth grade student achievement in core discipline classes, consisting of math, science, social studies and English, along with declining attendance.
Rayne High school officials will focus their goals on 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.
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 laptop computers for science mini-lab, physics simulation software and professional development on all software and hardware for science teachers.
Targeting this year’s freshmen class, Rayne High administration will begin a one-to-one laptop initiative to change the way teachers provide instruction and the tools students use to learn.
During the fall semester each freshmen student will be given a laptop computer to use in each core teachers’ classroom.
In addition to using the computers in the classroom, the program will emphasize individual responsibility and permit use of the computers at home,
A spring 2010 laptop checkout program will be implemented based on student needs, demonstration of responsibility and parental approval, thus providing 24-hour access to the laptop computers.
“Through this one-year grant, our students will work one-on-one and have a greater chance to be educated through technology, which is extremely important in this day and age,” commented Supt. 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.”