East High School in Kansas City, Missouri recently received news they have been awarded a $4 million School Improvement Grant.
Wanting to make changes to the way the curriculum was delivered, East High teachers and staff spent several weeks putting the school improvement grant application together.
“We worked on it late in the evening and early in the morning but we're excited,” Science teacher, Dr. Larry Weible said.
Weible says the grant will help improve test scores.
“We have great students, but our scores need to improve,” Weible said. “But if you know the scores aren't where they need to be, that's where this grant is going to make the biggest impact.”
New teaching methods will also be brought to the classrooms.
“The big piece of this grant is project-based learning, using new tech,” East High School Principal, Jeff Spaletta said. “There's a new tech school format that we'll be following. We'll have some coaching and we'll be following their method of project-based learning in the classrooms.”
Spaletta says it'll also allow the school to have learning communities or academies.
With a focus on project based learning, teachers and administrators say it provides students a more hands-on approach to learning.
“When we look at the real world, people work in groups and are dependent on each other and they're problem-solving instead of just saying what's the answer to something,” Weible said. “It's like 'okay, how do we get to that problem?' and that's what the project-based learning does.”
Hoping to change the academic culture within the classroom walls, administrators say it’s an exciting time for the East High community.
The federal grant was issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
It’ll be used over the next five years.