Page 8 - Great Schools Partnership 20017-2018 Annual Report
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Additional 2017-2018 Initiatives
 Those doing the work often have the best ideas for solving problems. TeacherPreneur builds on this concept by providing grants to teachers, allowing them to test innovative strategies in the classroom. In the 2017-2018 school year, 16 grants were awarded totaling $111,605. Thirty different schools applied for funding with 54% of the applications coming from schools with the highest proportion of economically disadvantaged students. Three of the 16 grants (19% of dollars awarded) show promise of scalability. One strategy, Calm Corners, is already in the process of being scaled across the entire school.
     For one week each year, Great Schools Partnership takes time to celebrate our community’s unsung heroes: Teachers. We invite partners, businesses, parents and others to show appreciation for the vital role our teachers play in our children’s lives. In the 2017- 2018 school year, Great Schools made a specific contribution to support the Teacher Supply Depot, where teachers can acquire vital classroom supplies and educational materials, saving teachers hundreds of dollars from their own wallets.
Secondary Tutoring Centers
Through funding support from Great Schools Partnership, more than 1,100 students were tutored at Holston Middle and Central, Gibbs, Karns and West High Schools. The program achieved a combined pass rate of more than 90% at a cost of less than $45/student.
 Great Schools Partnership is the primary private-sector fundraising supporter of Project GRAD Knoxville, which is an independent 501c3 non-profit. Through our supporting organization agreement aimed at improving administrative efficiency for both entities, we share administrative functions. Over the 18-year collaborative relationship between Project GRAD and Knox County Schools, the high school graduation rates at Austin-East and Fulton High Schools have increased by 30 percent, moving from approximately 50 to 80 percent. Throughout this time, an $18 million investment from Knox County Schools has leveraged more than $32 million in private and other support for the Project GRAD partnership.
It's common for students to lose academic skills over summer break, but not those
who participated in Shakespeare in Shades (SiS). SiS was designed to improve reading proficiency in rising sixth graders through the use of theatre-specific arts integration, while also boosting confidence levels and easing the transition into sixth grade. Students in this summer program were tested on speed, accuracy, comprehension, expression, phrasing, smoothness and pace. Nationally, students average a 36 percent loss of school-year gains in reading. However, 83 percent of SiS students demonstrated growth in their oral reading scores. Additionally, 88 percent of students demonstrated improvement in at least one of the following: confidence (50%), creative expression (42%), teamwork (50%), behavior (25%) and participation (54%). In partnership with the Clarence Brown Theatre, Shakespeare in Shades is helping prepare rising sixth-graders academically, socially and emotionally for their new journey into middle school.
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