Innovation in the classroom awarded grant money

By Amy Cherry 2:30pm, August 20, 2013
The state Department of Education gives grants to more than a dozen schools and districts for innovation in the classroom.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Nearly $1.5 million will go to 14 schools and districts.

Among the winning programs, bullying prevention at H. duPont Middle School, a one to one iPad ratio in Laurel School District with i-Impact.

State Education Secretary Mark Murphy says technology like that really aids a teacher in a classroom of 25.

"You are able to engage five or six or seven kids in a really targeted set of instructions for their need, while maybe you are working with another five, six or seven in an individualized group," he explains.

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Murphy says they're not just handing out money and walking away.

"We give funding to people who we think are going to do great work for kids, and then we make a real commitment to learn from it, and frankly, hold ourselves accountable to outcomes," says Murphy.

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Murphy says his office will be tasked with sharing these programs statewide and tracking their results.

"What is happening for kids, what's happening for educators. Is this working for children? Is this making a difference?" Those are all questions Murphy will seek to get answered.

Other award winning programs include:

$600,000 split between Brandywine, Indian River, NCCo Vo-Tech and Colonial school districts for personalized learning opportunities that include online classes and dual enrollment opportunities.

Stanton Middle School will get $45,000 for a trauma-informed system of care that includes training teachers in social competence, compassion and resiliency. The money will also fund universal screening for behavioral deficits and targeted intervention planning for all students.

SAT prep programs in Red Clay will get $70,500 along with the astronomy program at A.i. duPont middle and high schools getting $39,000.

Cape Henlopen School District will get $48,000 to bridge the gap through blended digital learning with a focus on fifth grade.

Extracurriculars like LEGO Robotics, Science Olympiad, poetry, Spanish and agriculture at Warner Elementary School in Red Clay will get $29,000.

Other winners have developed innovative initiatives centering around the state's implementation of the Common Core standards.

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