Janesville School Board to review grants Tuesday night

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Nick Crow
Friday, April 4, 2014

JANESVILLE — The Janesville School Board at its meeting Tuesday will consider approving two grants, one to help homeless youth and another to bolster the district's tech program.

The district has received the Education for Homeless Children and Youth grant each school year since 2005-06. The proposal, if approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, would be for three more years with the district receiving a maximum of $50,000 per year, according to the written proposal.

The grant would be awarded in June 2014 and continue through July 2017.

Ann Forbeck, Janesville School District homeless liaison, outlined in the proposal four academic goals that must be reached to qualify for the grant.

-- High school seniors who are homeless and participate in graduation coaching must meet or exceed the district's graduation rate.

-- Of the homeless high school seniors who participate in graduation coaching, 75 percent must have a post-secondary plan.

-- Of the homeless middle school students who receive one or more "F" grades in a core class, 75 percent must improve those grades within two grading periods.

-- Of homeless elementary students in non-title schools who receive at least 12 sessions of volunteer tutoring, 75 percent must achieve their individualized goals.

"The grant proposal will increase student achievement and parent satisfaction as all students and families ... will receive the school support necessary for academic success," Forbeck wrote.

The second item under consideration by the Janesville School Board will be getting $75,000 as part of the Wisconsin Technology Initiative Grant.

The grant would be for the middle school world language program, Franklin Middle School's art classrooms, and for portable TelePresence at Wilson, Jefferson and Lincoln elementary schools.

TelePresence is high-definition video collaboration equipment.

The district would match funds to the remainder of the TelePresence costs at Lincoln while also providing the service at Roosevelt, Washington and Harrison schools, according to the written proposal.

A response is expected on the grant by the end of the spring semester.

SMARTBoards and TelePresence when used together have proven to engage students, reduce discipline problems and raise academic achievement, Kathy Boguszewski, coordinator of library media and instructional technology, wrote in the grant application.

District matching funds would be $51,368 for the remainder of the TelePresence, $8,550 for installation and $1,000 for materials for a total of $60,918 from the IT budget, according to the proposal.

The projected grand total of the project including the world language and arts projects, would be $140,918. The project would be 53 percent funded through the grant, 43 percent funded locally and 2 percent funded federally through Title II.

The project would positively impact 7,228 students, according to the grant proposal.

"Professional development emphasizes that teachers plan lessons that engage students demonstrating their communication, problem solving and collaboration skills," Boguszewski wrote.

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