Wednesday, December 23, 2015

TOP STORY >> Charter school given $250,000

The Jacksonville Lighthouse Flightline Academy, a middle school on Little Rock Air Force Base, and the Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy high school in Jacksonville have received a $250,000 grant from the Department of Defense’s Education Activity Partnership.

The grant will help the charter schools expand computer-based learning opportunities, social- and emotional-skills building and develop a curriculum with science, technology, engineering and math — known as STEM.

Flightline Principal Evan McGrew said, “Approximately 50 percent of our student population at Flightline is military-connected. That, combined with our school being located on LRAFB, gives us an inside look at the daily lives of the military community. These families and students face various challenges that many outside the military never experience.”

“Some of the biggest things in a middle school-aged child’s life are their friends, relationships, social status, fitting into the crowd and an overall sense of belonging in their social environment. A military child loses and must start these over every few years. We plan to embrace these challenges and utilize the grant money to make our schools more equipped to provide support to our students while going through these transitions,” McGrew said.

Flightline serves fifth through eighth graders.

The grant program, called Project First Class, will increase K-12 military- and federal-affiliated student achievement in reading and math, STEM and career-readiness of military- and federal-affiliated students through research-based, professional development for teachers, implementation of Project Lead the Way, one-to-one technology putting computers in every classroom and adoption of Restorative Justice practices, which encourage students to care for one another.

College Preparatory Academy Principal Will Felton said, “These monies will support our schools and especially help those military scholars who have specific struggles based on high mobility and parent deployment.

“While the grant targets increasing military scholar achievement and improving social and emotional health, all students in the Jacksonville Lighthouse District will benefit. We are very honored to have been chosen for this grant opportunity. The biggest honor, however, is helping the scholars of our military families, who sacrifice so much during their service,” Felton continued.

Lighthouse regional vice president Lenisha Broadway said, “This grant will boost our efforts to improve student learning through the use of research-based practices and programs designed to help our scholars to be college and career ready. Our goal is that every scholar is accepted to a four-year institution upon graduation. This is a great opportunity for our scholars to receive more support to help with that effort.”