RCS District Office
P.O. Box 100
15 Mountain Road
Ravena, NY 12143
(518) 756-5200
Robert K. Libby,

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RCS Wins $1.2 Million District Performance Improvement Grant

(September 28, 2012) Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District has been awarded a District Performance Improvement grant from the New York State Education Department totaling $1.2 million over a three-year grant period.

The three-year grant will fund "Shoring Up the Middle (SUM)," a program targeted to improve student performance in grades 5-8 and better prepare students to achieve success in high school and beyond. Shoring Up the Middle expands support programing and enhances existing instructional practices that have demonstrated promise for all students in the district, particularly those with the highest educational need: economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

“In a time when schools across the state and nation are being forced to make cuts, funding the improvement of educational programming requires innovation and creativity,” said Director of Curriculum and Instructional Elizabeth Santa Barbara. “This grant opportunity was a competitive one, and we believe the win to be a state endorsement of a thoughtfully developed program that will achieve its aim of strengthening instruction and improving student performance.”

The SUM initiative will expand co-teaching opportunities and provide increased Academic Intervention Services for struggling students in grades 5-8. Grant funding will enable the district to hire two reading teachers, two special education teachers and one teaching assistant to support the expansion of the co-teaching and AIS services.

Through the grant, RCS will also purchase new computers and SuccessMaker licenses for use in grades 5-8 school classrooms. This award-winning instructional software provides students with access to individualized and interactive reading and math content and assessments, and delivers on-demand data to help track student progress and inform instruction.

In addition to expanding instructional offerings, Shoring Up The Middle will also improve academic and social/emotional support services by increasing the capacity of the Homework Club after school program, strengthening school transition programs for students entering and graduating the middle school and establishing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a character education program designed to teach, model and recognize positive and appropriate behavior.

“This grant award represents a $1.2 million dollar victory for our students,” said Superintendent Elisabeth Smith. “This funding will allow us to significantly enhance our academic and support offerings for students during their formative middle school years at no cost to district taxpayers. We are thrilled by the grant win, and by the opportunity to implement the Shoring Up the Middle program for our students.”

The School District Performance Grant was written by the Capital Region BOCES Grants and Development Service on behalf of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District.