Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

McGary Middle Receives $1.1M ; Grant Will Affect All Areas

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

McGary Middle Receives $1.1M ; Grant Will Affect All Areas

Article excerpt

McGary Middle School is receiving a $1.1 million grant to improve grades through staff development, use of data to drive instruction and increased learning time. School officials plan to use the money for

Improving focus on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) with instructional materials, teaching staff and community partnerships.

Increased time for staff collaboration and professional development

Teacher performance bonuses tied to evaluation and student achievement

Extended learning time after school and throughout the summer for students

Increased technology usage and embedded professional development

Student behavior supports and counseling services

Incentives to recruit, attract and retain highly effective staff

"I'm just excited about all the things that we can do for the kids at McGary as a result of this grant," said Tammy Dexter, McGary principal.

McGary has children in grades six through eight. This year, 38 percent of students passed both the language arts and math sections of ISTEP, up from 30 percent in 2011.

Dexter said when looking at data, she found engagement being an area kids struggle in and she wanted to provide better learning opportunities for students.

"That's really the goal of the grant with STEAM, trying to get kids more engaged in what they're doing by all this cross- curricular opportunity," she said. "We've got money in the grant for a lot of core experiences, taking them different places, letting them have hands-on opportunities. So I think that's going to be huge as far as increasing engagement and a by-product obviously is what we really want to increase - achievement."

This is Evansville's third school to receive this grant - Glenwood Leadership Academy was awarded the grant in 2010 and Evans K-6 was awarded the grant in 2011. The grant is renewable for up to three years. The program is federally funded and administered at the state level. …

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