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BCSD receives $1.25M academic improvement grant

BULLHEAD CITY – The Bullhead City School District (BCSD) has started an intensive program to improve classroom results and instructional leadership.  The partnership with educational services company Instructional Empowerment (IE) is covered by a $1.25 million bipartisan Congressionally-approved federal grant administered through the office of Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs.

Many schools across Arizona and the rest of the country have reported students struggling after they returned from pandemic-related online instruction and other non-traditional classrooms.  IE states that its mandate is to build a cooperative, serious learning culture in all classrooms to close achievement gaps for all students.  That includes targeted training and analysis of classroom faculty, instructional coaches and school administrators.

IE, based in Pennsylvania, is a national organization with its own research center.  Its partnership with BCSD will focus on strengthening classroom instruction and school advancement.

Citing the importance of academic improvement, BCSD’s governing board approved the IE partnership even before the grant was awarded, planning the program as a necessary operational expense.  The grant now allows for a more comprehensive mentoring program than originally projected.  BCSD Superintendent Carolyn Stewart described the grant application process as “highly competitive.”

IE’s first introductory training with district and school administrators included requiring them to work as a team and develop a district-wide instructional vision statement.

“At BCSD, we guide all students towards rigorous learning through collaboration to achieve self-advocacy and ownership of their learning outcomes,” reads the assignment’s effort.

The intense training throughout the current school year is designed to “enhance student outcomes through the development of advanced career and life skills including collaboration, decision making, problem solving, creative thinking and critical reasoning,” according to an IE prepared statement.  “Together, we can create classroom environments where every student engages in deeper learning, feels motivated to set academic goals and achieve them, and then becomes a leader in their teams.  Through our partnership, we will work toward the vision of every student reaching grade level proficiency or higher and transcending barriers to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

In the just-concluded 2022-23 school year, IE worked with more than 200 school districts in the U.S., providing more than 5,700 leadership coaching and professional development sessions.  It claims to have a 100 per cent success rate for accelerating school achievement.

Updates to the public will be provided periodically during BCSD governing board meetings, and after the program ends.  Additional information about IE is available online at https://instructionalempowerment.com/ and on social media @IE_empower .

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