MCPS to receive multiple grants

At Monday night’s school board meeting, it was announced that three of the county’s elementary schools will be receiving grants to assist with various student needs.
Chase City Elementary School Principal Frederick Taylor along with Century 21 representative and Park View Middle School Computer Applications Teacher, Corlis Thompson announced that Chase City Elementary School is the recipient of a Century 21 educational grant of $200,000.
Taylor explained that the grant will be used to provide before and after school tutoring, remediation and extracurricular activities for the students.
Some of the programs that will be offered will include before school tutoring, after school remediation courses along with after school gardening, STEM and culinary arts programs.
Thompson explained that out of 80 applicants, only 29 grants were awarded and only two of those 29 were awarded to schools in Region 8. Thompson went even further to explain that Chase City was also only one of seven schools that received the grant in the amount of $200,000.
Along with being granted the $200,000 for the 2018-19 school year, Thompson explained that the school will also have an opportunity to apply for a continuance for at least three years as long as the requirements for the grant are still met.
As a co-applicant of the grant, Southside Virginia Community College has agreed to work with the school to provide workshops for parents and teachers along with offering campus tours.
Also assisting Chase City Elementary School under the Century 21 grant, there are plans for Virginia Cooperative Extension to provide gardening and nutrition programs and for the Center for Energy Education to provide a program on solar energy education.
In addition to Chase City Elementary School’s grant announcement, both South Hill Elementary School and Lacrosse Elementary School announced that they are the recipients of a VTSS (Virginia Tiered System of Supports) grant.
South Hill Elementary School Principal Michele Icenhour and La Crosse Elementary School Principal Connie Puckett explained that the grant will be used to implement PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) approach which will provide new disciplinary techniques that are meant to reduce disruptive behavior.
Icenhour said the new approach is moving away from disciplining students through suspensions because she said they do not always have the desired outcome.
The new approach is meant to provide the schools with proactive prevention and intervention behavioral strategies that should promote appropriate student behavior in a positive school culture.
It was stated in Icenhour and Puckett’s presentation that though the VTSS approach school personnel will learn to alter aspects of the social as well as instructional environment, explicitly teach students what is expected of them, acknowledge appropriate ways that are valued by the students and explicitly provide faculty and staff with effective strategies to address behavioral problems.
The program will be implemented by first creating behavioral teams that will examine disciplinary data on a deeper level, then a clear set of behavioral expectations for students and staff will be created along with creating spaces such as a sensory room or sensory spaces in classrooms to assist in managing behaviors in a more proactive and less reactive manner.
The next steps will involve a book study designed to look deeper into the research bout trauma-sensitive classrooms and developing school-wide discipline followed by planning to address students’ behaviors in ‘need-specific’ ways, using similar strategies that are used within academics.