On the last day of Snowpocalypse, we received confirmation that The Chinese School and The International School were both awarded the Charter School Program (CSP) grant by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The CSP grant is designed to support new charter schools in their initial phases of development, from planning phases through the first three years of operations. Awarded funds will support the purchase of new equipment and materials, professional development for the school staff, and curriculum development. We are looking forward to implementing these two grants this spring and transforming our instructional practice and student learning as a result.
In 2008, The French School was awarded a 3-year CSP grant from the US Department of Education of $781,000 to support our planning and implementation phases. Since that time, the grant transitioned from a federally-administered grant to a state-administered grant and our schools were no longer eligible to apply for funding. This fall, MCPSA worked very closely with the US Department of Education and the MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to clarify that although SLLIS is the Local Education Agency, our individual schools should still be eligible to receive this grant.
Since The Spanish School is already in its fifth year, it no longer meets the “initial phase” eligibility criteria.
The Chinese School will apply their CSP grant funds to three critical need areas: technology, library/media, and Chinese literacy instruction. The technology component will allow them to purchase multi-modal learning centers for all six of their current classrooms. The library/media component will fund TCS to acquire at least 400 new books for their library. The grant will also fund library infrastructure to enable TCS students to check books out of the library for at-home use. The literacy component will fund classroom libraries and a resident literacy specialist who will coach TCS teachers throughout the spring semester in reading process. The CSP grant will also allow TCS to hire their new Assistant Head of School this spring. Across all three critical need areas, teachers will participate in local and national professional development and curriculum development writing.
The International School will apply their CSP grant funds to three critical need areas as well: technology, library/media and school culture development. The technology component will allow them to purchase multi-modal learning centers for their 6th grade classrooms. The library/media component will fund establishment of TIS volumes for student and teacher use. These two components will also include local and national professional development for the founding team to embed research skills, and design technology in all of their units of instruction. The school culture will provide time for the Head of School and all founding teachers to spend the summer months developing specific academic outcomes and school culture routines for the fall.