Race to the Top funds for Island schools

Race to the Top funds for Island schools

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Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools (MVPS) will receive $118,129 over the next four years from the Race to the Top Fund (RTTF) grant won by Massachusetts in a national competition.

The competitive grant program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

As one of 12 winning states, Massachusetts will receive a grant of $250 million to promote reform in the K-12 education system’s standards and assessment, teachers and leaders, school improvement, and data systems.

In an update to the All-Island School Committee, Laurie Halt, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said half of the money would be directly allocated to participating local education agencies according to the federal Title 1 program formula.

The RTTF allocations to Island school districts over the next four years total $2,940 for Edgartown; $31,788 for Oak Bluffs; $37,835 for Tisbury; $40,970 for the regional high school; and $4,596 for the Up-Island regional.

Each MVPS school district school committee reviewed the RTTF materials and voted to take part, including the Island’s two teachers’ unions. Ms. Halt said all participating districts were required to create implementation plans for review and approval by the state in order to access their funds.

An Island-wide steering committee made up of education leaders and school committee members selected projects directly related to each school district’s improvement plan and prepared the applications.

Priorities for the MVPS will include efforts to improve student achievement through a Professional Growth System for teacher and principal evaluation, and to align curriculum standards with the Common Core State standards, Ms. Halt said.