RACE TO THE TOP GRANT
WARREN TOWNSHIP AWARDED $28.5 MILLION RACE TO THE TOP GRANT
Based on prior accomplishments and their comprehensive plans to personalize students’ learning, a national review panel reviewed, rated and ranked district applicants from across the nation to determine the recipients of this grant award. Warren Township is the only Indiana district and one of only 16 districts in the United States to win the highly-competitive federally-funded Race to the Top grant awards.
More than $28.5 million will support a tremendous infusion of high-tech and technology rich learning environs in Warren Township. Through this grant, our expectations for teaching and for learning will be transformed to align with college and career-ready standards. Alternative and engaging pathways, including virtual and experiential learning, will support secondary students’ attainment of course credits in non-traditional ways. And, beyond purely academic initiatives, this grant also will strengthen behavioral interventions and supports across the district.
- Seizing the Moment: Realizing the Promise
- A Successful Personalized Learning Initiative: Lessons Learned (Dr. Dena Cushenberry-Huffington Post)
- Rapid Cycle Evaluation for Educators: Improving Student Outcomes through Rapid Cycle Evaluation
- Rapid Cycle Evaluation for Educators: A Primer on RCEs in the Race to the Top-District Program
- Elements of Personalized Learning: Partnerships
- Elements of Personalized Learning: Technology
- Personalized Learning in Progress: Case Studies of Four Race to the Top-District Grantees’ Early Implementation;
- Getting Ahead of the Curve – Using Leading Indicators for Personalized Learning
- Blended Learning Readiness and Progress Rubric.
FrontRunner Media Productions is open for business!
FrontRunner Media Productions is an innovative program that represents a unique collaboration between business and education. With state of the art media production facilities and resources made possible through the Race To The Top grant, FrontRunner provides our students with opportunities to work with professionals on actual, real world projects. In addition to studio production services, FrontRunner Media offers the local professional production industry a 24' mobile production trailer, editing suites and equipment rental packages. Check out their website at gowithfrontrunner.com to see all they have to offer.
Follow the Progress
In December 2012, Warren Township was one of only 16 districts in the nation to receive the highly-competitive federal Race to the Top grant award for $28.5 million. Over the past year, tremendous progress has been made to fully-implement its three key initiatives to personalize learning, increase student achievement and to prepare students for post-secondary college and career opportunities.
Personalized Learning Opportunities
Through ongoing professional development efforts led by McREL, PK-12 teacher representatives, administrators, department chairs and coaches, Warren developed English/Language Arts and Math curriculum maps and unit guides aligned to the Indiana Common Core Standards. District-wide diagnostics/summative assessments aligned to those standards are now being used by English/Language Arts and mathematics teachers. School-based tranings support teachers' and principals' effective use of this new curriculum and assessments. Using PIVOT, staff can assess classroom and student data in one web-based site to track and disaggregate student performance across time.
An infusion of new instructional technologies and high-tech learning environments engage and motivate students. All kindergarten and first grade students have classroom access to iPads and students in grades 2-12 have individual Chromebooks. Warren Central High School and Walker Career Center labs; 75 high-school classrooms; and all three middle school libraries (now called Mediaplexes) have been renovated to provide high-tech learning environments and to accommodate highly-collaborative work among students and teachers. Extended-learning time opportunities also are provided to students through extended Mediaplex hours of operation and through opportunities to receive academic support during fall and spring Intersession breaks.
Alternative Pathways to Graduation
Recognizing that high school students need alternative options for earning required graduation credits, three key projects are now in place. Curriculum has been selected and online content teachers are trained to support the district's new online Virtual Learning opportunities, with pilot efforts beginning second semester of the 2013-2014 school year. Also, nearly 40 students are already participating in diverse and exciting Extended-Learning Opportunities, whereby proficiencies of core coursework standards are demonstrated through off-campus, real-world opportunities provided to students by business and community partnerships. A new state-of-the-art media production studio and mobile unit, FrontRunner, are set to go second semester, offering tremendous opportunities for students to work alongside business industry television professionls and to access and cover major sporting and community events within and outside our district.
Culturally-Relevant PBIS and Parental Involvement Strategies
Supported by Virtuoso consultants, every school's Culturally-Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team (CR-PBIS) is working to develop school-wide behavioral expectations, aligned to the district's CORE values. All schools are tracking discipline incidents to measure the impact of our new strategies and to support staffs' effective use of behavioral interventions and support systems. All K-6 buildings are holding Parents Are the Core evening workshops, across the school year, to help unite the school community in the positive social, academic and emotional growth and well-being of our students.
Part of Warren's Race to the Top grant includes personalized learning. Read the Education Week article, Personalized Learning Varies for Race to Top Districts.