East St. Louis School District 189 has received a $10.5 million School Improvement Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to help students at Lincoln and Mason Clark middle schools.
The district was among nine in the state to receive the award, which state education leaders said will help the district make significant changes to improve student performance and college readiness. District 189's award was the second-highest granted by the state.
Chicago School District 299 received the highest award at more than $16 million.
"We are extremely pleased to be named as one of nine districts that were selected to receive the (state) grant," said Arthur Culver, superintendent of East St. Louis School District 189. "Our SIG committee dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and talent preparing the grant proposal. Our teachers, administrators, parents and community members were instrumental in the planning of the grant. Teachers Lesaundra Blakely, Natasha Mosley, James Groves, Leah Crowell and Sharon Crockett represented the District in an exemplary manner at the Illinois State Board of Education interview for finalists.
"The SIG will allow us to extend the school schedule at both Lincoln and Mason Clark in order to provide increased learning time and increased time for staff professional development," Culver said. "Our academic intervention plan will include resources for college and career readiness and tutorial support, an academic Saturday Academy, peer mentoring and support for family engagement. We will also address improving our school culture and climate through Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports training and other support systems."
Grants are awarded for three years, pending reapplication and state approval each year.