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Two Elementary Schools Awarded Innovation Grants

 Two elementary schools in the West Chester Area School District have each been named the recipient of a Title 1 Reward School Innovation Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Innovation Grants are awarded to promote the implementation of new learning structures and processes that will help meet individual student needs and may be used for programs, services, professional development, materials, and/or supplies to support the school’s Title I program. With a combined total of nearly $80,000, the schools will use the grant funds to incorporate technology into new literacy programs and will create more opportunities for learning to go beyond the classroom.

East Bradford Elementary School is the recipient of a $40,430 Innovation Grant, which will be used to enhance student achievement and parent engagement as it relates to reading. Students in kindergarten, first, and second grade will receive backpacks that contain multiple books to read and discuss in school and at home. Students in third, fourth, and fifth grade will receive tablets to use both in school and at home to read and respond to text.

Fern Hill Elementary School is the recipient of a $37,350 Innovation Grant. The school will use the funds to coordinate an after-school literacy program that uses tablets to create opportunities for students to collaborate.

Both elementary schools will provide opportunities for parents to get involved through teacher-led educational sessions, meetings, and workshops, as well as through the distribution of parent learning materials and resources.

In order to be eligible to compete for an Innovation Grant, Title 1 schools must be designated as Reward Schools. Both East Bradford and Fern Hill were recently designated High Achievement Reward Schools. In order to attain a High Achievement Reward School designation, schools must be in the top 5% of all Title I schools in Pennsylvania based upon aggregate math and reading PSSA scores. They must also meet a number of objectives related to attendance rates, test participation, and progress on closing the achievement gap.

East Bradford and Fern Hill are two of only 21 schools in the state that received Innovation Grants this year.

“It was an honor to have four of our Title 1 schools awarded the opportunity to apply for an Innovation Grant as High Achievement Reward Schools. Having not one but two schools earn an Innovative Grant exemplifies the great work that’s done across the district,” said Bob Sokolowski, assistant superintendent of the West Chester Area School District. “The digital literacy opportunities that will be coordinated as a result of these grants will serve as a fantastic support to our Title 1 students at East Bradford and Fern Hill, as well as their families.”

For more information, please contact Ms. Tracey Dukert, Digital Communications Coordinator, West Chester Area School District at 484-266-1170 or tdukert@wcasd.net.