The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 25, 2013

Five of seven school districts apply for Straight A Grant

Five of the seven school districts in Ashtabula County have applied for the Straight A Fund Grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

The five applications are requesting a total of $3,578,002 from the $250 million fund. The ODE has received 570 applications which are requesting nearly $868 million.

The Straight A Fund was created to encourage school districts to improve acheivement and increase efficiency, according to the ODE. All of the applications can be viewed online through the ODE website, education.ohio.gov.

Conneaut Area City, Buckeye Local, Grand Valley Local, Jefferson Area Local, and Pymatuning Valley Local school districts applied for the grant. Buckeye is requesting the highest amount, partly because they are partnering with Ledgemont Local School District, and the districts are requesting $2,300,000.

The Buckeye/Ledgemont proposal states, “This project restructures the K-12 environment by focusing on mastering the content standards as the constant for students and time being a variable that is flexible to meet the standards of students.” In kindergarten through eighth grade, grade levels will be eliminated, and ninth through twelfth grade will take an academy form in which students will have the choice of three academies.

Grand Valley Local is requesting the second greatest amount so they can purchase 1,400 Chromebooks and cases for students and staff, as well as training software, to implement a “1:1 device program in order to improve student achievement and increase resources in the classrooms.” The total amount requested is $580,000.

Conneaut Area City is requesting $337,806 in order to provide Lakeshore Primary and Conneaut High School with wireless internet, and to provide all four schools in the district with mobile computer carts (6 carts total).

The Jefferson Area Local proposal states that its goal is to update and implement new software to collect, manage, and maintain student assessment data. The amount requested for upgrades, software, and training is $295,196.

Pymatuning Valley Local is requesting the lowest amount of funds. The proposal requests $65,000 for increasing the bandwidth and wireless capacity to “allow teachers and students to efficiently access all appropriate web-based educational opportunities and to lay the groundwork for every student and teacher to access those opportunities simultaneously at any single point in time.”

Geneva Area City and Ashtabula Area City school districts are the only two districts in the county to not apply for the grant. The Straight A Fund Governing Board met recently in Columbus, and is comprised of nine members.

Grants will be awarded by March 1, 2014.

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