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HSSD Schools Receive Arkansas CLSD Grants

HSSD Schools Receive Arkansas CLSD Grants
Posted on 10/06/2020
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Last October, the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education was awarded a federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant from the US Department of Education. Statewide school districts were invited to apply for grant money from those funds to advance literacy skills and development including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing for all children from birth through grade 12, in respective schools populations. The following HSSD schools received CLSD grants: Hot Springs World Class High School, Langston Elementary Leadership Academy, Main Street Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School, Oaklawn STEM Magnet School, and Park Magnet an IB World School. 


HSSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Echols oversaw the grant-writing process, working in partnership with the administrative teams at each HSSD school to create grant narratives, budgets, and objectives specific to the literacy needs for each age group. “The provision of solid literacy skills is an essential part of our role in offering a world class education and in preparing our kids for success in the future. We are very appreciative to DESE for the opportunity to apply for these grants. We look forward to launching various efforts with these funds strategically planned to shape, build, and enhance the literacy capabilities of our students in grades K-12,” she said. 


The Hot Springs World Class High School will use grant money to:

-   Develop “Field Experiences” for students in Critical Reading courses; they will complete themed units to improve reading skills while also building experiential knowledge on topics of study including civil rights, government, art, and sports/outdoors.

-   Launch One School/One Book initiative; This program allows the school to provide the same book to all students and then students are challenged with discussion and reflection in shared settings about events from the story.

-   Build Classroom Libraries and Content Reading Resources to supplement topics and interests at a classroom-specific level.

-   Host Literacy Night events, which will teach parents about how to assist their children in building reading skills at home, leading to increased ACT scores and increased opportunities for secondary studies.

-   Develop Trojan Tutorials for reading resources; this serves as a digital space for teachers to reference ideas and strategies for literacy skills building.

-   Hire additional tutors to provide professional tutoring services (at no charge to students) in the four main educational content areas, during after-school tutoring at the HSWCHS campus.


HSSD Elementary Schools (including  Langston Elementary Leadership Academy, Main Street Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School, Oaklawn STEM Magnet School, and Park Magnet an IB World School) will use grant money to:

-   Provide Reading Intervention services to students who need reading skills development beyond those provided during the regular school day; an after school reading program will offer 1 hour of academic support and thirty minutes of an enrichment activity to promote health, wellness and extension/exploration.  The after-school program will address the following components of reading: Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension.

-   Launch the Little Trojans Bootcamp; a two-week program to take place before the beginning of the school year for kindergarten students that helps develops a routine for students, teachers and parents,  promotes an early love for reading through developmentally appropriate text and activities, and bridges language barriers for incoming families to understand the importance of kindergarten readiness.

-   Add Resources to Small Group Centers in classrooms; the goal of the Success in Small Groups is to provide classroom teachers with small-group center activities that are directly aligned to the phonics and word study programs K-6 at HSSD. Resources include classroom libraries that include a collection of decodable texts (Decodable text is a type of text used in beginning reading instruction. Decodable texts are carefully sequenced to progressively incorporate words that are consistent with the letter–sound relationships that have been taught to the new reader.), multi-Sensory center items to stretch learning and address multiple aptitudes of learning styles, and Summer Learning Bags for students in grades K-2 to help decrease summer reading skills loss. 

-    Create Trojan TV; a digital space for teachers to create reading skills content libraries, Trojan reading time videos with our school mascot for read alouds, a Parent series to assist in  understanding how to help their child in Literacy and Mathematics achievement, a Parent series to  assist in understanding the objectives of RISE (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) and to offer reading extension activities that can be done in the classroom and at home. 


Learn more about CLSD Grants from DESE, here. 

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