05/13/13 The Plymouth Schools once again received an Indiana Department of Learning- Imagining and Creating eLearning Grant. This is the sixth time that the corporation has received a grant from the DOE.
During a school board meeting on May 7, Assistant Superintendent Dan Funston informed the Board on the details of the grant. According to Funston, the grant includes the formation of a customized learning consortium with Plymouth Schools, Garrett Keyser Butler Schools and Danville Community Schools. The grant for $300,000 will be divided among the three members. Funston said, “The $300,000 is to collaborate on a framework for instruction that is student paced and focused on mastery of content and skill.”
Funston said,” In a customized learning model, time is the variable. We all learn at different rates. Learning is the constant. We ensure mastery of important concepts before moving on.”
According to Plymouth Superintendent Dan Tyree, the focus of the grant is to help staff members develop personalized learning.
Among other measures, the overall plan will include the following: Customized learning plan for accelerated math in grades 3-4; self organized learning environments at Lincoln Junior High and Riverside Intermediate School; research and study of customized learning environments in place in Wisconsin and New England.
He said, “We will explore the idea of expanding customized learning opportunities at the elementary level beyond 3rd-4th grade math for the 2014-2015 school year.”
According to Funston, the $100,000 Plymouth Schools’ portion will be split into $70,000 for professional development and action research and the remaining $30,000 for software hardware, and other needs related to the consortium.
There were 50 schools who applied for the grant. Only 17 schools were awarded grants.
In addition to the online application for the grant, the committee choosing the awards held face-to-face meetings. The Leadership Team serving Plymouth Schools included Funston; Michele Riise, director of quality programs; Reid Gault, Lincoln Junior High principal; Carrie McGuire, Webster Elementary principal; Janice Curtis, eLearning 9-12; Allison Holland, elearning 5-8; and Brooke Busse, eLearning K-4.
Carol Anders Correspondent