RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the award of high school innovation grants to thirteen school divisions to develop or implement programs that promote Virginia’s 5 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship while preparing students for careers and postsecondary education. The grants are for the 2019-2020 school year. Eight school divisions received initial planning grants, while five divisions were awarded funding to support implementation this fall of previously planned innovative programs.
“Modernizing instructional approaches in our schools helps to improve educational outcomes and adapt to the needs of a 21st-century economy,” said Governor Northam. “These grants will allow our teachers to design innovative programs that pair classroom learning with the professional skills and experiences required for success after high school, regardless of whether Virginia students are college bound or plan to enter the workforce.”
Buchanan County, Fauquier County, Franklin County, and Goochland County will each receive $50,000 first-year innovation planning grants. Charles City County, Halifax County, Henrico County, and Mecklenburg County will share a fifth $50,000 grant. The proposed innovative high school programs are as follows:
“I congratulate these divisions for their vision in designing innovative programs to prepare students for successful transitions from high school to college or the workforce,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “I also want to thank the businesses in these communities for their willingness to partner with schools and open their doors to students. This type of collaboration will ensure that our students will have readily accessible opportunities to align their skills and personal interests by exploring career paths and work-based learning experiences that prepare them for a successful future beyond high school.”
Cumberland County, Louisa County, Montgomery County, Staunton, and West Point were each awarded $50,000 high school program implementation grants as follows:
“Virginia is leading the way in transforming the high school experience,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “These grants will help students receive relevant instruction and experiences that expose them to in-demand field and equip them to succeed after graduation,”
The 2018 General Assembly authorized up to $500,000 in competitive grants in 2019 for school divisions to plan high school program innovations approved by the Virginia Department of Education, or to implement previously approved plans. The legislature defined the essential elements of high school program innovation as including the following: student centered learning, with progress based on proficiency; “real-world” connections aligned with local workforce needs and emphasizing transitions to college or career or both; and varying models for educator supports and staffing.
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