A competitive second round Comprehensive Literacy grant awarded to the Wayne County School District was announced during the Board of Education’s monthly meeting on Thursday, October 21. The
Assistant Superintendent Brian Dishman explained that the $853,726 grant will provide funding for literacy work over the next three years. The grant coordinates with the goals the district has had in place for several years that emphasize Reading instruction. Besides helping the district purchase resources for teaching literacy to students, there are funds for professional learning for teachers and family engagement. Wayne County is one of 17 districts in Kentucky, fortunate enough to be awarded this federal grant.
Wayne County has joined the national push to provide additional training for the staff in the Science of Reading, where experts are understanding more and more how children learn to read and what the best practices are for teaching. Local administrators are anxious to provide training, especially to new teachers (Wayne County has a record 35 new teacher this school year) that may not have been exposed to specific instructional strategies of Reading during their college training.
Wayne County Schools received $500,000 during the first round of this impressive grant that helped provide programs like Reading Horizons. That grant was implemented two years ago and has supported this on-going learning focus.
The district is setting big goals in regards to how they are going to make up for the learning loss, during the height of the pandemic. They are focusing on planning appropriately regarding students’ needs and trying to level the playing field for them, so their education does not suffer from any gaps they may have suffered during COVID. Even though teachers provided the best on-line learning possible, the recent state test score release revealed the lapses in learning through virtual means. As expected, it is obvious that students learn more while attending school in person.
In other business:
*Received a report from DPP Stewart York regarding attendance from the 2020-21 school year. There were 3,120 students enrolled at all the schools in the district at the end of the year with 93.88 percent participation rate and seven dropouts.
*Made progress on the approval of the BG1 for the new Wayne County Early Learning Center project. Agreed to pay an invoice to Deco Architects, Inc. for $42,000 for professional services in regard to this building project.
*Approved a BG1 for the gym mechanical and electrical renovation project.
*Approved the purchase of five new school buses for approximately $503,777. The transportation department received a $56,000 grant that helped keep the cost down.
*Approved the 2021-22 Gear Up agreement that will fund two positions and supplies.
*Accepted the Universal Service Fund Schools and Libraries Emergency Connectivity Fund offer of Erate funded technology items valued at $170,812.98.
*Discussed the Kentucky Department of Education’s COVID19 Vaccination Stimulus Program, with two of the board members indicating they were against it. No action was taken.