Eisenhower High School Awarded Grant to Boost Student Achievement
The Decatur Public School District is getting nearly $3.5 million over the next three years to beef up student achievement at one of its high schools.
Eisenhower High School is one of 13 low-performing high schools in the state to receive money through the Student Improvement Grant (SIG), which was awarded by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Bobbi Williams is the director of special programs with the Decatur Public Schools. She said the requirements to keep the grant are similar to the federally-funded "Race to the Top" program. She said Eisenhower needs to show a decline in disciplinary referrals, an increase in attendance, and improved test scores.
"So, it's just a closely knit, lots of layers to this grant where when they're all working together, there should be proof in the pudding with our data," she said.
With the grant, Williams said the school district will purchase software for online courses, update classroom technology, and hire professional development coordinators to work with students and teachers.
"What we know about improving student achievement is it starts with the teacher, and it begins with the leadership," Williams said. "Those are really the two key focuses of this grant because that's based on research, and that's also based on the experiences of successful turnaround schools."
High Schools in Chicago, Springfield, and Peoria also received the grant.