Two Kalamazoo schools awarded millions for improvement projects

LANSING—Two Kalamazoo area public schools were awarded federal School Improvement Grant funds to help them increase student achievement and improve teaching and learning, said state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker.

The Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts and Milwood Middle School were included in the group of 24 Michigan schools according to the Michigan Department of Education.

“The education of our youth is essential to Michigan’s future, and this federal funding will give these schools added resources to help improve student achievement,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “The two Kalamazoo schools were given this opportunity by developing a turnaround plan that will help increase academic success, and I have high expectations that it will.”

Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts and Milwood Middle School will each have three years to use the respective $4,066,968 and $4,412,160 they were awarded. The money comes as part of the second round of federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) awards.

As with the first round of recipients last year, current schools receiving grants earned them based on meeting the federal grant requirements and having the highest quality applications. The four federally-required school improvement models, from which the schools had to select, were a transformational model, turnaround model, restart model or close/consolidate model.

The eligible schools were identified by student achievement and academic growth based on state testing data from the 2007-10 school years. Districts with eligible schools had to submit a detailed school improvement plan using one of four improvement models. SIG funds must be used to provide federal Title I allowable school programming and activities.

Schools will begin implementation of their plans this fall and will have three years to use their federal School Improvement Grant funds.