Bossier Schools has been chosen by the Louisiana Department of Education to receive $350,000 from Believe and Include, a $4 million competitive grant program to help students in the classroom with disabilities. Bossier is one of only 16 districts in the state to be awarded this grant.
Each of Bossier Parish’s seven middle schools will receive $50,000. Funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the grant money will enable the innovation and implementation of programs to help students in special education programs achieve proficiency of the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and perform at higher levels.
“We are very proud and honored to have our Project AIRS – Assess, Instruct and Remediate Successfully – selected as one of the finalists to receive funding through the Believe and Include grant initiative,” said D.C. Machen, Jr., Superintendent of Bossier Schools. “All of our middle schools will reap the benefits of these resources to enhance instructional activities designed to improve student achievement in both literacy and math skills.”
Project AIRS is a collaborative effort developed by several Bossier educators who spent months writing the grant proposal. From teaching sixth grade IDEA students study skills and implementing counselor mentoring to moving toward a collaborative team teaching approach, with regular and special education educators planning and co-teaching in the classroom, the goal is to address the needs of the whole student.
“Education has opened many, many doors,” said Gisele Bryant, Special Educator Director for Bossier Schools. “However, there are still innumerable doors shut tight – unopened yet. These are the doors of the future. I believe the children of Bossier will open these doors. We are committed to giving each child the keys. The Believe and Include grant will allow Bossier Parish Schools to continue to open doors.”
John White, Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education, will be at Benton Middle School on Monday, December 17, at 12:30 p.m. to formally award the Believe and Include grant money. In addition, Superintendent White will recognize Bossier Parish’s 12 Top Gains Schools, which will each receive $8,500.
“We are also very proud of the improvements made in student achievement throughout our schools and are honored to have 12 of our schools recognized as Top Gains Schools,” Machen said. “These gains in student achievement clearly demonstrate that our teachers, students and parents understand the quest for excellence in our schools requires a collaborative effort of all community stakeholders.”