Goshen Community Schools wins $9.4M federal grant

Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Diane Woodworth speaks Tuesday on behalf of the district, which was a recipient of a $9.4 million federal grant to help to sustain work to support teachers and improve students’ academics success. 

INDIANAPOLIS — Goshen Community Schools has been awarded a $9.4 million federal grant to help to sustain work to support teachers and improve students’ academics success, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching announced Tuesday. 

The money is a portion of the federal Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program split between Goshen Community Schools, Perry Township Schools and Brown County Schools. 

“Our partnerships across Indiana and nationally show that when teachers and principals lead schools with a focus on excellence, reflection and collaboration, students excel,” said Candice McQueen, CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. “This grant is a win for educators and students and will create a lasting impact in these school communities. We look forward to deepening the work in Perry, Goshen, and Brown and building on their progress to strengthen teaching and learning in every classroom every day.”

Specifically, the grant will support the implementation of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement across the districts’ combined 32 K-12 schools, serving more than 25,000 students, 1,500 teachers and 80 school leaders.

TAP helps build educators’ effectiveness and enables schools to develop teachers as instructional leaders, plan weekly professional learning tailored to individual needs of teachers and students, create a shared vision for improving teacher practice and student achievement, and implement strategic compensation systems, the organization said. The program has shown success in schools in Indiana and across the country with closing achievement gaps, increasing student achievement, improving teacher retention, and strengthening teachers’ abilities.

Additionally, the grant opportunity will support all students’ equitable access to excellent teachers and work to increase the percentage of teachers of color.

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching and the districts are committed to this opportunity as evidenced by the 61 letters of support provided from national, district, school and community groups who see this opportunity to transform educational opportunities for every student, the group said. 

In Goshen Community Schools, the grant will deepen and sustain the TAP System in its nine traditional schools serving 6,600 students.

Goshen leaders first sought a partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching to meet the needs of their distinct student population and strengthen their local economy. Goshen has established teacher leader roles in each school, and this grant will help to expand and increase those opportunities, so classroom teachers have the opportunity to grow in their career, organizers said. Teacher leaders work with administrators to set goals as well as mentor and support teachers through regular professional development, feedback loops and coaching in classrooms.

“Goshen leaders are excited about this grant to further the excellent teaching in every classroom in order for all Goshen students to be able to achieve their dreams,” Goshen Superintendent Diane Woodworth said. 

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