Duquesne Elementary to receive $1.3M School Improvement Grant
Duquesne Elementary is among nine public schools across Pennsylvania that will receive its share of $21 million in grant funding for educational improvement.
Gov. Tom Corbett awarded Duquesne City School District a $1,338,804 School Improvement Grant for the transformation of its kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary program.
“Pennsylvania is home to thousands of high-quality educators; however, there are still too many schools that have a history of failing to provide students with a quality education,” Corbett said. “Through the federal School Improvement Grant program, schools have the opportunity to implement innovative educational initiatives to better meet the needs of their students and improve academic performance.”
Duquesne's court-appointed receiver, Paul B. Long, said the district is pleased to learn of the governor's announcement that a local School Improvement Grant was approved.
With the grant allocated in equal annual amounts over the course of three years, Long explained, the district's plan to apply the funding will be revised slightly.
“In the original grant application, several new initiatives were proposed to include pre-kindergarten, extended school day, model classroom professional development, parent involvement and increased social worker services,” Long said. “Now that we know the amount each year, we will prepare a budget revision to assign specific amounts in each year for each initiative. This grant will enable worthwhile programs that will enhance teaching and improve learning at Duquesne Elementary School.”
The district's acting principal, Jennifer Jennings, and acting assistant principal, Stan Whiteman, said the grant will support concepts introduced during the 2013-14 academic year and allow teachers and students to flourish in 2014-15 and subsequent years.
“What we do this year will be a continuation from last year with new developments in our curriculum,” Whiteman said. “Strengthening instructional technology within the school district will provide teachers with the opportunity and experience to enhance lessons for all students.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded the nine grants through a competitive process involving 20 applicants, though 47 schools qualified. Applications were reviewed by a peer panel that made award recommendations.
For a facility to be eligible for funding, it must be among the lowest-achieving schools in Pennsylvania that has not made substantial progress on state assessments, or has a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for at least two of the last three years.
Duquesne City School District operates only elementary-level classrooms. Students in seventh through 12th grades travel to East Allegheny and West Mifflin Area schools.
A preschool program for 4 year olds, for students whose birthdays fall before Aug. 31, is in the works for 2014-15.
“We want to offer an alternative to families whose children aren't enrolled in the HeadStart program,” Jennings explained. “We want more children to have the opportunity to attend a quality preschool program.”
The program is intended to prepare students for kindergarten while instilling an early love of reading and eagerness to learn. Long said early literacy lays a solid foundation for success in kindergarten, first grade and future years.
“Education starts at birth,” Jennings agreed. “The most pivotal years are birth to age 6, which sets them up for success in meeting their educational benchmarks.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fire breaks out for 3rd time in abandoned McKeesport house
- McKeesport Area discusses easier access of public documents
- Former McKeesport resident donates to heritage center children’s raffle
- Kennywood Holiday Lights festival returns for 5th year
- Elizabeth proposes big jump in small local services tax; councilwoman steps down
- Salvation Army kettle drive about to kick into high gear in Western Pennsylvania
- Levin Furniture to close Century Square store in West Mifflin
- After 27 years, Clairton emerges from state ‘financially distressed’ status
- Auberle celebrates success stories in employment, outreach programs
- North Versailles’ Dance Company’s ‘Nutcracker’ expands with bonus program for students