Louise ISD can receive more than $900,000 in state and federal funds for students who are struggling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The TEA Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports program provides funds and services to districts to accelerate student learning and support teachers in the process.
Schools are tasked to determine what needs they have and match them with a specific program to receive funding.
“We are utilizing strategic planning and using data to dig into what students have lost during the pandemic and what we need to fill in those gaps,”’ Louise Instructional Technology Specialist Ashley Ramsay said. “After deciding where we needed the most help, we applied for four of the support initiatives offered and got approved for four.”
Administrators tasked Ramsay at the beginning of the school year to find grants to help students struggling due to the pandemic.
The TEA has designated $1.4 billion for the program that provides 15 TEA initiatives for learning acceleration.
Louise ISD will receive $680,689 in direct TEA funding for stipends, salaries and additional materials that the school may need. LISD will also receive $236,000 paid directly to providers for support services like tutoring, training and classes for teachers.
“Anytime you get TEA involved, they will always have a structured way in how we must disperse our funds,” Superintendent Garth Oliver said. “This will help us get to the next level in teaching and provide valuable resources for our teachers.”
Ramsay applied for the program in August and received initial approval in September. Now, the school must decide if they will accept funding and confirm which learning initiatives they will use due to funding requirements.
“Currently, we are in the middle phase of this application process,” Ramsay said. “We are now attending onboarding webinars to better understand how to use these funds and have until Oct. 29 to submit the final application.”
One of the approved learning initiatives is to create a teacher task force team to help students catch up on learning losses.
Part of this initiative will require the school to hire a data analyst who will collaborate with the TEA to develop information regarding learning loss for the school.
LISD will also look to bolster its tutoring services.
The program will provide a full-service option to Louise for its Vetted Texas Tutor Corps as well as an online tutoring platform and trained tutors.
This service will include access to TEA-subsidized math and reading materials for Kindergarten to eight grade.
Starting in March 2022 the program will provide funding until 2024.
“Students have had a hard time adjusting to all the changes in learning over the last year, and many sadly now have gaps in learning they need filled,” Ramsay said. “These programs are designed to give students a chance they otherwise would not have had, and I am happy to have found this opportunity for them.”