Monday, March 11, 2013

I Have $16,000 to Spend!!

I am the Principal at a Title I school, and I found out about a month ago that the district was giving me $57,000 to spend on our Title I students.  WOOHOO!!!  The catch ---- I had three days to figure out how to best use the money and to write detailed action plans.  Well, I immediately touched base with my BLT (Building Leadership Team --- not the sandwich), and we very efficiently spent the money.  It is amazing how quickly a group of six women can spend, spend, spend!!  :-)  We have purchased the following:

  1. About $37,000 of informational text to support our curriculum
  2. About $1,600 for professional development of staff in reading, writing, and diversity
  3. About $500 for a staff member to track test scores, grades, etc. --- data collection
  4. About $2,000 for small group tutoring for the last 11 weeks of school

So, you might be thinking....why is she blogging about this now?  Is she just trying to rub this in??

Well, the answer to that is a resounding NO!!!  I need your help!  I received a call today from the district office saying that $16,000 we put towards "Blessings in a Backpack" (http://www.blessingsinabackpack.org/) for our Title I community was not considered appropriate from ISBE because it doesn't directly affect academics.  

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  How is "not having enough food to eat" NOT directly impacting academics?!?!  CRAZY!!

We were so bummed because we were going to be able to provide food for 187 children for every weekend over the next year.  :-(  

Anyway, there is nothing I can do to change their minds....so that leaves me with $16,000 to spend by Friday for Community Outreach.  This is where you can help!  Do you have any ideas of what we, as a school, can do to reach out to our students/families that will directly affect academics?  Is there something that your school does that we can implement for our Title I students?  How would you spend this money to directly impact some of your most struggling students?

4 comments:

  1. I am not sure of all the stipulations, but can you buy supplies for them to use at home? For example, we give out whiteboards, markers, magnetic letters, flash cards, etc. at the beginning of the year to all of our students. Each grade gets to give away different things- specific to the needs that year. Just an idea...

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  2. YAY for the $$, boo for all the catches!

    How about classroom library books? online subscription? take home book baggies? Keepbooks (little books the kids keep?) poetry resources? you read to me/Ill read to you books for at home practice? Fundations phonics materials? family reading night materials?

    Good luck!

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  3. I can't remember how much it costs, I know, helpful right...but there are some great computer subscriptions out there that you can purchase and kids can log on at home. We have Raz-kids accounts for every elementary school student in our building (K-3). They are able to listen to books read at their level, read them on their own and then take quizzes related to the book. It is something to offer to families and I know several of my parents take advantage of it on those busy nights they might not be able to read to their child. I'd rather they were snuggled up with a book, but if it means they still got read to and enjoyed themselves then it feels worth doing. Hope it all goes well, your original idea for the backpacks was great, too bad.

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  4. Wow! Congratulations. What a great problem to have. What about purchasing take-home bags for at-home reading, or Playaways (audiobooks that come with an iPod-looking device and headphones, and a hard copy of the book), or eReaders? That's such a bummer that you can't use the funds to go toward providing meals. Food (or lack of) is so stressful for so many of our kids. It breaks my heart when students dread winter/spring/summer breaks because they don't know if they will have food to eat. Full tummies DO help academic progress!

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