By Tim Ashley
SYRACUSE — Wawasee Community School Corporation is applying for grant money to be awarded through Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Emergency Education Relief.
Holcomb announced Monday, June 22, Indiana PK-12 schools and higher education institutions can apply for a needs-based, competitive $61.6 million grant program providing funding to improve remote learning.
Funding Indiana received through the CARES Act will be focused on device availability, connectivity and educator capacity, or increasing professional development and curriculum opportunities.
Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent of WCSC, said Wawasee is planning to request funding to provide dependable Wi-Fi hot spots to homes of students lacking internet access. He noted portions of the east side of the school district have very spotty cellphone and internet service.
“In addition, we are requesting Wi-Fi units for our school buses, or some of them, to give out a signal when traveling down the road or when parked at a location without internet provisions,” he said. “It is our hope that every student possible will be able to complete their homework using their home signal or our signal provided through this grant.”
Also, the school corporation will be asking for training funds and computer programs for teachers this summer. Edington said during the extended eLearning when schools were shut down due to COVID-19, teachers found programs, lessons and activities available “to move their online instruction to the next level.”
He added, “we are researching programs and teacher training for this summer and the school year that can be superior if we are called upon for more computer teaching.” Several weeks of remote learning revealed more can be done and “Wawasee schools wants to cover the future educational needs of every child,” Edington said.
A specific amount of funding Wawasee will be requesting hasn’t been determined as of Tuesday evening, June 23, “although over $100,000 is not out of the realm of possibilities for this grant,” he said.
Friday, July 17, is the deadline to apply for the grant funding.