Sunday, June 23, 2024

Coronado Schools Awarded $1.5 Million STEM Grant From Department of Defense, Eighth DoDEA Grant

Coronado Unified School District has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The Project SAIL: Stem Anchors Inspired Learning grant will focus on STEM-related learning opportunities (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), ensuring that all CUSD students develop a strong STEM foundation by the time they graduate.

The Innovation Lab (iLab) at Coronado Middle School helps students explore the world and build skills by engaging in learning and problem-solving through innovation and collaboration. Learning in iLabs stimulates creativity and curiosity versus passive learning. CUSD’s Project SAIL grant, recently awarded to the district from the Department of Defense Activity, will provide an additional $1.5 million to STEM-related instruction and opportunities in grades K-12 across the district.

“We are thrilled to receive our eighth grant from DoDEA. The need for extended STEM opportunities in grades K-12 is a national focus, as STEM skills and jobs are in high demand. We believe that exposure to STEM should be an integral part of every student’s education, which aligns with CUSD’s mission to graduate students prepared to determine their futures,” said Senior Director of Learning Dr. Megan Battle.

“The grant will run from October 2023 through May 2028 and involve all four of our schools, including administrators, teachers, and, most importantly, our students,” shared Battle.

DoDEA grants are awarded by the Department of Defense Activity to public schools that educate military-connected students. CUSD has approximately 41 percent military-connected students.

Goals for the Project SAIL grant include: raising the percentage of military-connected students who meet or exceed standards on state tests, increased enrollment in CTE and STEM elective courses, enrichment opportunities, clubs and activities; full implementation of the Engineering Technology pathway, vertical alignment of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum and STEM experiences, and one hundred percent of STEM teachers participating in professional learning opportunities.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the grant is the goal to connect STEM classroom learning with STEM professionals and STEM careers by developing and leveraging community partnerships,” said CUSD’s Teacher on Special Assignment (ToSA) for Mathematics and Science, Stacy Morrissey. Morrissey will serve as the project director for the grant.

“Funds from Project SAIL will enable us to continue targeted services for the military-connected students and expand the work of the seven previously awarded DoDEA grants,” said Morrissey.

CUSD has received over $11 million in DoDEA grants since 2009. Five of the eight grants have been completed and three are active. In addition to Project SAIL, current grants include Project World Language Plus, and Project E3, which is focused on improving mathematics achievement.

“I am incredibly proud of our Learning Department for their work in securing this grant. Dr. Battle and her team of Stacy Morrissey and Julia Braga have been successful in securing multiple DoDEA grants. They are skilled grant writers and they have a track record of administering the grants with fidelity and successful outcomes. The focus of this grant is very timely and all CUSD students, not just our military-connected, will benefit greatly from the expansion and increased resources in STEM pathways,” said CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller.


Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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