Oklahoma City, OK – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has awarded 102 grants totaling $8.4 million to schools throughout Oklahoma, Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said today. After a competitive grant process, 87 sites in 32 districts will have supplemental funds to enhance programs for sustainable school improvement in the upcoming school year.
“These federal funds are an investment in continuous academic improvement in schools that have faced significant challenges even prior to the pandemic,” Hofmeister said. “The leaders of these awarded schools are showing their commitment to kids and their investment in people and programs that will foster sustainable success for their students.”
The Edge grants are named after Oklahoma Edge, the state’s 8-year strategic plan for public education, approved in 2018 to meet requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Oklahoma schools designated as low on performing through federal Title I, Part A, Sec. III were able to apply for Edge grant funding to improve academic performance among the overall school population or in federally identified student populations, which include economically disadvantaged students, English learners, students of color and students with disabilities.
Designated schools could apply for up to $100,000 in up to two categories, including: curriculum with training, extended learning opportunities, instructional coaching, parent and community outreach, and professional development for teachers. Two schools, Hartshorne Elementary School and Howe High School, received the maximum possible grant award of $200,000, while others received amounts between $24,800 and $199,473.
Okmulgee Public Schools received five grants of more than $400,000 for three of its schools – Dunbar Elementary, Okmulgee Primary and Okmulgee High School – in Extended Learning, Professional Development, Parent and Community Outreach and Instructional Coaching categories.
“We expect to see literacy gains with the implementation of Reading Plus for grades 5-8 and Lexia for grades 9-12. We have also hired a high school graduation coach and a computer coach to work with our virtual students across all grades,” said Renee Dove, superintendent of Okmulgee Public Schools. “These academic supports for our students would not be in place without the Edge grants.”
The OSDE has awarded Edge grants since 2018. The agency’s Office of School Improvement works closely with all federally identified schools to develop a continuous cycle of improvement to ensure all students have opportunities for academic success.