Grants Boost Specialized Services
Tahlequah Public Schools strives to serve students with services above and beyond Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. While educating students is the main objective, the district is committed to serving the needs of the whole student. A child may need homework help, cultural education, family involvement, prevention education, advocacy, or other considerations. Grants and federal programs are valuable resources with which the district is able to address these student needs.
Many specialized services are provided through the Title I Improving Student Achievement grant. The district’s PreKindergarten teachers and paraprofessionals are primarily funded with this grant. Literacy Coaches to train teachers and guide classroom instruction of Literacy, as well as one-on-one pullout remediation are provided at the elementary sites. Title I supports the middle school’s remediation teacher, a literacy teacher, and a Family and Community Support Coordinator. The high school is provided with a bilingual paraprofessional and instructional materials and software. Professional development consultants in Literacy for the middle and high school teachers are funded here. The district’s Homeless Liaison is also a Title I position. The liaison, as well as the district’s social workers, help support homeless students with advocacy, clothing, school supplies, dental and eye care, transportation, and many other supports.
Several other grants fall under the umbrella of Title I. The Migrant grant supports a migrant student recruiter to ensure children frequently moving families have access to a quality education. Title III Immigrant and Limited English Proficiency grants are focused on improving the learning of immigrant students and those that are not fluent in English. The district’s Title II grant is for professional development of teachers and administrators. These funds pay for training consultants, Math Coaches at the elementary and middle schools, a districtwide Technology Trainer, stipends for mentor teachers and those developing curriculum, and registration and travel expenses for teachers and administrators to attend professional development activities focused on improving student learning. Certified teachers are able to tutor after school with the aid of Title VI funds. These smaller grants provide specific services so that all students in the district have the opportunity to learn and perform their best.
Indian Education is a big part of Tahlequah Public Schools’ grant programs. The primary Native American education grant is Title VII. This grant focuses on supplemental supports for Native American students. A Native American Student Advocate works with middle and high school students to help them overcome personal obstacles so these students succeed in school. Literacy Lab paraprofessionals are provided at the elementary sites to give students more individualized attention in learning to read. Cultural Specialists teach students of Native American culture and values. Tutoring funds are also provided for before and after school remediation and homework help. Instructional software and some student instructional supplies, like calculators, are also purchased with these funds.
The Johnson O’Malley grant funds graduation caps and gowns, ACT tests, student organization dues, and cultural education materials. JOM also provides students with books at the annual school book fairs. Every year, the high school hosts a Native American Cultural Day to involve students and families in the Native American food, games, storytelling, and art. The Indian Demonstration Grant funds a Student Advocate, PreKindergarten Academic Coach, Attendance Officer, tutors, and cultural education.
There are various other grants within the district that address specific needs. The district is always in search of grant opportunities with which to serve the students and community. When a person’s needs are met, learning is easier to achieve. Tahlequah Public Schools will continue to do the best in supporting students by Removing Obstacles and Achieving Results.