Two schools in the district were eligible for award money, but never applied
Appeal Staff Writer
Mark Twain and Bordewich-Bray elementary schools could have received tens of thousands in Title I Distinguished Award money this spring, but failed to apply with the state for recognition.
Nearby Dayton Elementary School in the Lyon County School District did.
And the elementary school is splitting its $20,000 award in half – $10,000 to buy books to bring the school library up to date and $10,000 for technological upgrades, including computers and printers. The school applied for the award money with help from the Lyon County School District’s grant coordinator, according to Principal Nolan Greenburg.
“(The money) was helpful,” he said. “Any money is.”
To be eligible for a portion of the $585,000 Nevada Title I Distinguished Award grant money available this year and split among 29 schools from 13 of the state’s 17 school districts, schools had to show significant improvement in its sub-groups or continual high achievement over a two-year period under No Child Left Behind.
“I was told last year that none of our schools would meet the qualifications,” said Ron Beck, Carson City School District grants and Title I coordinator. “I was told (by the state) that we would not meet the criteria and that we would not make the ‘significant’ gains required by our test scores.”
Both Marcia Calloway, Title I education consultant with the state department of education, and Kathy St. Clair, state director for Title I, said that two of the three Title I schools in the district were eligible for award money for the 2004-05 school year.
“Bordewich and Mark Twain were eligible to apply,” said Calloway. “What happened last fall when the process began was they didn’t apply.”
Beck, a former Title I coordinator for Washoe County and a former state department of education Title I consultant, said he did not receive information about the criteria for the awards, but St. Clair said that information was sent out in the fall well in advance of the deadline.
“Every year we do a mailing to the Title I coordinator in the district,” she said. “That set out from the beginning what the criteria was (for award money).”
Beck also said that the responsibility for application lay with the schools themselves and that there was no guarantee that once the schools applied for an award, they would receive money.
“It’s competitive,” he said. “It’s not an automatic. You don’t get it automatically.”
“I can also tell you that I know that the schools that won made far more significant gains than we did,” he said.
But 29 of the 29 Title I schools that applied for an award received part of the $585,000, St. Clair said, and in the case that there had been more applicants for the award money, the $585,000 would have been split among them all.
She also added that had any Carson City School District Title I schools eligible for award money applied, they would “absolutely” have received some of the $585,000 total.
This spring was the first time that Title I Distinguished Awards were distributed to schools, money given out in amounts of $15,000, $20,000 and $25,000. One school in the Clark County School District received $30,000 and another Clark County school received $35,000.
The award money covered the 2003-04 school year and the 2004-05 school year, but no Carson City School District Title I schools were eligible for awards for the first year, St. Clair said. Schools eligible for awards both years were given an extra $5,000 with the final amount based on student population. In the future, each year’s awards will be given out for just that year.
“This is the first year we gave out monetary awards,” Calloway said. “I think in the future we might see people more proactive about it.”
Schools who have a high population of students who receive free and reduced lunches are given Title I status. The third Title I school in Carson City is Empire Elementary School.
– Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
Other award winners
Other nearby Title I schools receiving Title I Distinguished Awards grant money for improvement under No Child Left Behind include:
• $25,000 total to Silver Springs Elementary School in the Lyon County School District for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years.
• $15,000 to Jacobsen High in the Douglas County School District for the 2003-04 school years.
• $15,000 to Hillside Elementary school in the Storey County School District for the 2005-04 school years.
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