Montgomery schools receive $50,000 innovation grant

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The Montgomery County School System is among the 13 school divisions announced as receiving grants from the state through the innovative schools program.

The local school system will receive a $50,000 first-year innovation planning grant. The money will be used to develop a scalable model for implementing the Profile of a Virginia Graduate using innovative high school information technology course pathways. The project will be open to all students in the division’s four high schools. Teacher externships and student internships will allow both educators and students to earn IT micro-credentials.

According to Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane, five school divisions received planning grants and eight divisions received funding to support implementation this fall of previously planned innovative programs.

“These grants will help ensure that the vital work of innovation in our public schools continues despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” Lane said. “These innovations are aligned with the Virginia Department of Education’s vision of maximizing the potential of all students and equipping young people with the skills needed to succeed and graduate college, career and life ready.”

The 2020 General Assembly authorized up to $500,000 in competitive grants for the 2020-2021 school year for divisions to plan innovations approved by the Virginia Department of Education, or to implement previously approved plans. The legislature defined the essential elements of program innovation as student-centered learning with progress based on proficiency; real-world connections aligned with local workforce needs and emphasizing transitions to college or career or both; and innovative models for educator support and staffing.