By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester Schools is on the receiving end of an Ohio Department of Education Straight A Grant bringing more than $870,000 to the district to redesign elementary classrooms.
“The Straight A grant was officially announced today,” said Superintendent Jim Sotlar during a July 28 meeting. “The controlling board approved a grant of $878,583. Canal Winchester Local Schools is partnering to help increase student achievement.”
The grant will help the district create learning zones to redesign traditional elementary classrooms to create spaces to promoting creative thinking and problem solving. Science learning zones will focus on state science standards and teachers will receive professional development.
“We hope to engage all students in the learning process and improve achievement,” said Sotlar. “This is an absolutely fantastic grant. A lot of professional development is tied into this grant. This was totally a team effort. We are moving ahead. There’s no stopping us now.”
According to the ODE, educators statewide are coming up with new ideas to solve problems, new ways to serve students and creative solutions that save money while improving service.
In related action, the school board approved a $5,000 extended school year service agreement with Mickey Bumpus to serve as the Straight A Grant Project Manager. Funding will come from the grant and compensates Bumpus for time outside of her regular contract.
The board also approved a five-year contract with Sotlar effective Aug. 1 2015 through July 31, 2020.