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WPS Receives USDOE $4M Innovation & Research Grant

Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce it has received a $3,999,852 Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program is funded 90% with federal funding and 10% with matching funds of $400,820 from Winchester Public Schools and The Handley Trust Fund. This grant will support two K-4, Title I schools serving 914 high-need students. Winchester Public Schools is one of 41 grantees across the country, of which only 10 are public school divisions.

During the five-year grant, Metrics: Maximizing Engagement Through Regular Immersion in Computer Science, will implement a whole school immersion approach to computer science (CS) integrated across the curriculum into daily classroom and real-world experiences to boost traditionally underrepresented, high-need student aspirations, attainment, and achievement. The Metrics model includes three integrated activities: (1) Creating rigorous CS curriculum units and assessments to support STEM coursework connected across all subjects through problem-based learning; (2) Providing a high-quality teacher development and support process to sustain innovative CS instructional practices; and (3) Strengthening students’ tethers to CS and STEM coursework by engaging students in real-world linkages beyond the classroom.

Superintendent of Schools, Jason Van Heukelum stated, "We are thrilled to be a recipient of the coveted Education Innovation & Research grant from the US Department of Education. Through the Metrics program, students at John Kerr Elementary School and Garland Quarles Elementary School will have an immersive experience with computer science and computational thinking which are driving the 21st century economy. The grant award speaks to the innovative spirit of the Winchester Public Schools. We are proud to be recognized for that innovative spirit and can't wait to get going on these ideas for our kids."

Through this grant, Winchester Public Schools, in partnership with program partners, will improve academic achievement in math and reading for high-need K-4 students; prepare students for success in CS focused curriculum and activities in middle and high school; and expand access to and participation in rigorous CS coursework for traditionally underrepresented students.

Without the support of many program partners, Metrics, would not be possible: Bright Futures, CodeVA, Handley Trust Fund, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah University, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, STARBASE, and local industry partners, including Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems; Frederick Block, Brick, and Stone; Perry Engineering; Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury Company; Winchester F&R, and Winchester Metals.

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For additional information, contact:
Dr. Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent
Winchester Public Schools
540-667-4253