07/17/13 Michele Riise, Plymouth Schools director of quality programs, finds her work days filled with projects that need to be completed before the start of school in mid-August. She is in charge of educational grants that must be applied for each year.
According to Riise, grants monies are a large part of meeting the overall school financial needs, but are not included in the corporation’s budget since grants are not a certainty.
Riise said she has estimated the money that the corporation will receive from some federal grants at 5 percent less than last year. She said, “Federal grants that we receive are based on the number of students that fall within the free and reduced guidelines.” “The federal government has determined that those students who fall within the guidelines are likely to have reading difficulties.” she said. However, the funds from the grants can be used for any students needing interventions, according to Riise.
Riise has the ongoing responsibility of making sure the grant guidelines for implementation are met to the letter. She said, “The federal grants come with strict guidelines that must be followed exactly.”
Grants are also extended for students who are eligible for special education services. The Plymouth Schools pulled out of the JESSE cooperative and are now extending services through the Plymouth School Corporation. Riise said, “The transition has gone smoothly.” The Plymouth Schools continue to purchase some services from JESSE, especially in the areas of Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT).
Following are the comparisons of grant amounts for 2013 and the estimated amounts for 2014.
Special Education 611: 2013, $781,443; 2014, $770,699 (-$10,744)
Special Education 619: 2013, $28,106; 2014, $27,049 (-$1,057)
Title I: 2013, $631,965; 2014 $525,018 (-$106,947)
Title I Part C: 2013, $189,145; 2014$179,688 (-$9,457 estimated)
Title I Part D: 2013, $47,801; 2014, $42,160 (-$5,641)
Title III: 2013, $60,262; 2014, $57,249 (-$3,013 estimated)
Non-English Speaking: 2013, $39,686; 2014, $37,702 (-$1,984 estimated)
Full Day Kindergarten: 2013, $686,400; 2014, $700,128 ($13,728 estimated)
Title II Part A: 2013, $116,172; 2014, $110,000 (-$6,172 estimated)
Adult Education: 2013, $156,663; 2014, $195,407 ($38,744 estimated)
High Ability: 2013, $37,670; 2014, $35,787 (-$1,884 estimated)
The Plymouth Corporation has also been awarded $100,000 from an Innovation Grant. The grant is a part of the three-way split of a $300,000 grant that is shared among three school corporations.
The Plymouth School Board gave approval on July 9 for administrators to apply for the grants above along with other grants that may become available. Plymouth Superintendent Daniel Tyree said, “We will not apply for a grant that doesn’t fit into our Mission Statement or Core Values.” “At any time we feel confected about a grant, we will ask the Board’s permission before we apply for it.” Assistant Superintendent Dan Funston said.
In addition to monitoring of educational grants, Riise oversees the elementary level curriculum as well as serving as the office manger at the Administration Building.
Carol Anders Correspondent