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TraumaSmart training at Linden West Elementary School in Gladstone, Missouri. | Photo by: @juliebadders

Grants allow school leaders to create innovative solutions

Individual Schools Grants enable schools to explore their greatest opportunities and tackle their most pressing challenges in a way that goes faster and deeper than with public funding alone.

Educators at Linden West Elementary in the North Kansas City School District saw an opportunity to be proactive – to effectively care for students whose academic and social outcomes are effected by trauma. The school applied for an Individual Schools Grant (ISG) of $217,200 to implement trauma-informed care practices throughout the school during the next two years.

Wasting no time, they began TraumaSmart training this week – the day after their students’ last day of school.

An Individual Schools Grant was also provided to the Belton High School, which will receive $450,000 to support the transformation of Belton’s only high school into career academies using the Ford Next Generation Learning model, during the next two years.

Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy will also receive an Individual Schools Grant for $167,668 to support the integration of effective instructional technology practices in the school during the next two years.

“These grants empower school leaders – who know their schools, students, and their needs best – to identify the greatest opportunities and the most pressing challenges their students and schools face, to dream big, and to propose solutions,” says Amy Gale, senior program officer in Education. “With these funds, schools are able to move faster and go deeper than they otherwise would be able to do on public funding alone.”

Impact of ISG

The Individual Schools Grant program supports improvement and enhancement efforts in Kansas City-area district, charter, and private schools that demonstrate proven or promising academic and life outcomes while serving a significant percentage of students from lower-income households. These grants allow schools to quickly and effectively implement initiatives that improve access to quality education opportunities in the Kansas City area.

A 2015 Individual Schools Grant to the Kansas City Public Schools New Americans Academy at Gladstone Elementary just finished its two-year implementation to expand the program to serve more students and improve academic results for a fast-growing number of English Language Learners in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Grant outcomes showed that, compared to the outcomes of students at two other similar district schools who would have qualified for the New Americans program if it had been available, New Americans students at Gladstone Elementary greatly outperformed those unserved by the program. For example:

  • In reading, 75.9 percent of kindergartners through third grade students in the New Americans program at Gladstone Elementary met their growth targets versus 42.1 percent at the unserved schools.
  • In math, 64.3 percent Gladstone New Americans showed 1.5 years of growth during the 2016-17 school year, versus 29.4 percent at the unserved schools.

Learn more about the New Americans program by watching the video below.

To be happy | an immigrant student’s tale


As if being 14 years old wasn’t hard enough, try learning a new language in a new country.


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