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
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.