Hamilton County school board approves more than $700,000 in state grant funding

Hamilton County Schools’ vocational programs will receive more than $700,000 in state grant funding.

The board of education voted unanimously on Aug. 20 to approve a grant that will assist in preparing sixth to 12th graders for a career. There are 9,507 students participating this school year, 7,740 of whom are high schoolers.

The district received a $704,759 Carl Perkins grant, a source of federal funding aimed at improving secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the country. Hamilton County Schools has relied on the grant for decades, communications director Tim Hensley said. The grant is given to school systems based on their population and poverty levels — specifically those with at least 70% of their families reporting earnings below the poverty line.

This school year, the Perkins funds will be dispersed through the career and technology education department, mostly on equipment used by students. A maximum of 5% may be spent on administration, with the district spending less than 1% on such costs last year.

Hensley said the vocational programs are forging a path forward during the pandemic, much like other studies such as math and science.

“There is some in-class, hands-on work, and there are also online programs that are assisting teachers of these classes with activities along with other online learning platforms. The classes are going on and effective in a new way of learning,” Hensley said.

The school district is returning to five-day-a-week, in-person instruction beginning Monday, which is expected to run at least through Sept. 11, barring any changes due to increases in coronavirus cases in the community.

Contact Monique Brand at mbrand@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook @MoBrandNews.

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