Urbana schools making progress on federal program
URBANA — As the Urbana school district reaches the halfway point of the federal three-year Race to the Top school-improvement program, district officials report they have achieved six of 17 goals.
On Tuesday night, Natalee Bretz, director of district and school improvement, reported on the six accomplishments to the school board.
She said Urbana is one of a group of 33 school districts around the state taking part in Race to the Top.
Race to the Top is a federal program that provides competitive grants to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation.
In exchange for the district’s participation in Race for the Top, Urbana schools get about $100,000 in federal grants over the three-year period.
Bretz told the school board that Urbana has already successfully implemented Race to the Top goals in six areas:
— Rising Star Tool for school improvement.
— Rising Star Tool for district improvement.
— Common core standards.
— Use of funding for professional development.
— Recruitment and support for high-poverty and high-minority schools.
— Response to the intervention process (helping students needing help in academic and behavioral issues).
“And we are making strides in the other 11 areas,” she said.
In other business, the school board asked staff to provide more information to the board this fall before it considers a decision on whether to start allowing tuition-based students to enroll at the Urbana Early Childhood School.