COMMERCE CITY — Adams 14 School District recently was awarded the highly competitive Tiered Intervention Grant , Colorado’s 26th largest school district, is a recipient of the highly competitive Tiered Intervention Grant (TIG).
The grant provides $498,181 each year for three years. The federally funded TIGs are intended to “support districts with chronically low performing schools in the lowest 5 percent of achievement (Title I Priority Schools) as indicated by State assessments,” according to a news release from Adams 14 district spokeswoman Maria Vanderkolk.
Specifically, the TIG funds will be used to help transform Lester Arnold High School into a model alternative education campus through partnership with the Colorado Department of Education to address student achievement issues and put school turnaround plans into action.
As the district’s alternative education campus, Lester Arnold High School serves students above age for their normal grade level and are not on course for graduation.
"The TIG will allow Adams 14 to implement at LAHS significant professional development to support data-driven instruction, an extended learning day with a flexible schedule, an integrated blending learning model, and new systems to support family and student engagement,” said the release from Vanderkolk.
In applying for the TIG, Adams 14 was required to demonstrate readiness and commitment to make significant changes. The district was Accredited with a turnaround plan by the CDE in July 2011, with a five-year clock to make improvements.
At LAHS, new principal Gionni Thompson is now leading preparations for transformation. Thompson began working with teachers and other LAHS staff prior to the grant application to analyze school data.
From there, a weekly community meeting series, “Talking with Thompson,” was launched for parents and guardians to drop in and discuss issues with the principal.
Those meetings culminated in April with a dinner and discussion at LAHS for parents, students and staff to talk about the steps the district was taking to transform Lester Arnold with respect to the possible grant.
All told, the TIG provides about $1.5 million over three years to Lester Arnold High School, which will allow for additional staffing with an emphasis on instruction and bolstering the English Language Development.