Grants Boost Specialized Services
Tahlequah Public Schools is committed to serving the needs of every student and removing any obstacle we can. Besides academic preparation, a child may need homework help, exposure to cultural education, avenues for family involvement, prevention education and advocacy. Grants and federal programs are valuable resources with which the district is able to address these student needs.
Many student services are provided through the federal Title programs. Title I is our primary funding source for the district’s pre-kindergarten program, elementary literacy coaches and pullout remediation 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. The district’s Homeless Liaison is also supported by Title I and a grant. The liaison, as well as the district’s social worker, help support homeless students with advocacy, clothing, school supplies, dental and eye care, transportation, and many other supports.
Another service under our Title programs is our Migrant grant which supports a migrant student recruiter to ensure children of 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 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 VI. This grant supports a Native American Student Advocate, literacy paraprofessionals at the elementary sites and cultural specialists to teach students Native American language, 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 district is always in search of grant opportunities with which to serve the students and community. TPS just submitted a grant proposal for the Education, Innovation and Research Program or EIR Grant. This is a five year grant for over 5 million dollars which would help our district explore innovative methods to motivate rural students for success and prepare them for postsecondary education. Our main focus will be STREAM…science, technology, robotics, engineering, the arts and mathematics. Approximately 30 of these grants will be awarded across the nation. If awarded, this grant would help our students PK through 12th grade.
We also submitted a proposal for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs or GEAR UP grant in partnership with eight other districts in northeastern Oklahoma. This is a seven year grant for over 8 million dollars. This grant would form cohorts of 6th and 7th grade students for the next seven years at each district involved. These students would have specific activities through these years to prepare them for postsecondary education including but not limited to: academic and career counseling, college visits, scholarship and financial aid guidance, concurrent enrollment and many STEM experiences. We hope to hear that these are funded this August so that we can start to add these valuable experiences for our students. Despite the crisis our state is facing in funding education, Tahlequah Public Schools will continue to do our best in supporting students by Removing Obstacles and Achieving Results.