>Longer school days, new programs and more differentiated instruction are coming to Albion High School thanks to almost $2.7 million in federal school improvement funds the district was recently awarded.
The high school and 23 other Michigan schools that are considered to be the state’s lowest-achieving schools were granted the money based on detailed redesign plans they submitted to the state earlier this year.
The grant will be dispersed in annual installments of roughly $890,000 for three years.
“It’s given us a big boost — and when I say us I’m talking about the school, the teachers, the students, the parents and also the Albion community as a whole,” said Albion High School Principal Derrick Crum.
Crum said the grant will help the high school increase its allotted time for learning each day, a requirement of the transformation model redesign plan.
“We will have a seven-period day (instead of six), and right now it’s still in the works because it’s a negotiating thing in terms of the time,” he said. “What we’re looking to do is maybe start 30 minutes earlier and keep the kids 30 minutes longer.”
The grant cannot be used to call back any teachers who are laid off for the 2011-12 school year, but it will support several new positions within the district.
The redesign plan states the high school will hire two outreach workers to “support the students, parents and school in ensuring academic success for the students.” The district has one outreach worker.
The funding will also provide assistance for the district’s new Coordinator of Differentiated Instruction, a nongrant-funded position. Crum said the district was interviewing candidates Tuesday for a position that will help develop more targeted curriculum, assessments and instructional methods for classrooms.
“Within the grant there is support for that person to bring people like college students in to be in the classroom and be able to help them differentiate instruction by working with small groups of kids,” he said.
Crum said he would go into more detail about new programs and class offerings the grant is supporting at a public meeting from 6-7 p.m. Thursday in the high school cafeteria.
School board President Dan Skean said the funding is a “testimony to the hard work of our administration and staff and to the strong support we have received from the CISD.”
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on June 7, 2011