By Nicole Gelfman ’18 and Damali Ramirez ’18
Hornets were frantically buzzing to fill out their lunch forms last year. The dedication and anticipation paid off as the school was awarded $2.3 million in extra Title I federal funding.
According to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) website, “Title I provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.”
The school is funded under a Title I targeted assistance program which aims to help students in the lower third percentile who are failing classes or missing credits to graduate on time.
The money will go towards additional tutoring, after-school and weekend programs, books, software, teacher resources, Regents preparation, a lateness prevention program, extending testing modification and more computer lab time.
“The reality is the submission of lunch forms helps the school as a school wide thing. It helps us continue to receive this Title I funding,” said Mr. Alan Stack, the Assistant Principal of Organization.
The science department, for example, implemented Gizmos, an interactive math and science website designed to help students from grades 3-12 by giving extra teaching tools. Teachers can assign a login username and password for assignments that help students grasp concepts better.
Ms. Beth Vershleiser, the Assistant Principal of the Social Studies Department and Athletic Director, stated, “I think Title-1 will benefit struggling students if they take advantage of the o
opportunities that are given to them.”
Teachers also benefit from Title I as they receive professional development to further improve their teaching capabilities. Professors offer insight, strategies, and feedback to enhance their teaching styles and curriculums. Particular methods that could be efficient in helping students understand a subject is part of this process.
Next year, teachers and parents will be allowed to vote on whether the program should be extended to all students. This will allow students to take extra classes and take more electives and AP classes.
“It’s important the word gets out to widen the program for more music classes, art classes, and other electives,” said Principal Michael McDonnell.
For right now, it is essential that all students complete the lunch form by November 1 and return it to room 127 or 139. This form generates data that enables the school to get more funding.