SIDNEY — The Midwest Regional Educational Service Center recently announced it was awarded a 21st Century Learning Center Grant in the amount of $600,000 over a period of three years for the support of programs including Opportunity School, a alternative learning environment for those who don’t fit the traditional day school model; SEED (Science Engineering, Enrichment, and Discovery), a STEM course for traditional and Opportunity School students; and Spark, a physical education credit recovery program.
The grant, written by Midwest Regional ESC’s Sybil Truster, is titled JOBS – Join Opportunity School, Believe in Success. JOBS is the only program of its kind, providing activity-based instruction, support groups, and curriculum addressing careers and opportunities for high school students. While the program will support Opportunity School students, it encompasses more through career readiness…
Some of the 21st Century Learning Center Grant is replacing grant monies previously obtained through the Workplace Investment Act through Ohio Means Jobs. While the program would have continued without the 2st Century Learning Center Grant, the loss of the previous grant would have meant a more streamlined program. This will allow the Opportunity School program to operate with the same quality and quantity of services it has offered for the past 16 years.
“The Opportunity School program is ever evolving to meet the needs of students,” said Tom Roll, Opportunity School adviser. “However, the overall mission is to get students to meet their academic requirements and graduate.”
The primary focus of the grant is to increase student achievement and narrow the achievement gap by providing more individualized learning time through tutoring and PLATO interventions, available for most classes, but with focus on math, reading, and science.