We received formal notification on Tuesday, October 2, that Arco Iris has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education! Arco Iris was one of only 18 schools in the nation to receive this grant funding. It was a highly competitive process!
This grant package had over 100 pages of instructions alone. Our submittal, drafted by our Grant Team, included over 60 pages of detailed plans for our need and implementation of grant funding. We received letters of recommendation from both U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici. It was a huge effort on what seemed like a long shot.
But… not only did we receive the grant, but we received full requested amount of:
As stated on the press release on the US Dept of Education website, “‘High-quality charter schools across the country are making amazing differences in our children’s lives,’ U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. ‘These grantees serve a range of students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and prepare them for college and careers.'”
“We live in a global economy, and preparing our students to be competitive is not an option – it is something that we must do,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. “The children at Arco Iris receive a boost through Spanish language immersion and their innovative approach to math instruction. I was pleased to support their grant request and congratulate the school on today’s announcement.”
So what does this mean for our school, our teachers, and our students?
Principal Jan Smith says the funds will enable our school to purchase computers and other student technologies, enhance teacher professional development, and provide additional student manipulatives and materials. The funds will also allow for support services and implementation of these new technologies and materials. The restricted funds may not be used for operating expenses or staff salaries and benefits. It will certainly help us as we grow over the next year, particularly as we move into our new home. We have 12 months to use the funds, and we receive reimbursements as monies are spent, not a lump sum in our bank account.
We are extremely proud and grateful for this fantastic opportunity that will provide much needed equipment and resources for our students and teachers! Thank you to our wonderful grant team: Mary Jane and Will Redmond, Stan Saunders, Danielle Siver, Melinda Mathes-Wolfer, Tom Pinit, Todd Watkins, and Mary Taylor!