Information about the IMPACT (RTT-D) grant for I-SS

Iredell-Statesville Schools was recently named one of only 16 recipients nationwide of a federal Race to the Top-District grant, worth nearly $20 million. The federal government issued approximately $400 million in grants to fund innovative school reform initiatives.

How much did we get?

Almost $20 million! The total amount will be $19,999,703 over a 4 year period.

What is the I-SS Race to the Top grant proposal about?

The grant was written to get the resources necessary to implement a personalized, blended learning environment for middle and high school students. The plan, also known as Innovative Methods for Personalizing Academics, Complemented by Technology (IMPACT), calls for a unique blend of face-to-face instruction, digital instruction and online instruction. The program will be enhanced with a technology component.

Will there be a one-to-one component?

YES! Each middle and high school student will receive some sort of technology device, though the district has not yet decided whether it will be a tablet or laptop. Your schools will be asked to provide feedback and information regarding the technology component.

Is it true that not all middle and high schools will be included?

Yes. Sort of. It is true that Lake Norman High School cannot be funded from the Rtt-D (Race To The Top-District) grant funds. The grant stipulations required a ver specific free/reduced lunch percentage, and including Lake Norman High School would have pushed I-SS below the limit needed to qualify for the grant. However, the district is currently working on a plan to identify funding that would enable Lake Norman to also participate in the IMPACT plan. There is absolutely NO PLAN TO EXCLUDE Lake Norman High School from this program, but rather, only to exclude them from this particular funding stream.

Does implementing the plan mean a new curriculum must be learned?

Absolutely not. The IMPACT plan simply changes the way the current curriculum is delivered. We will still implement the Common Core and Essential Standards just like every other school system in NC, and like the majority of school systems across the nation. However, this grant will enable us to deliver the content in a more innovative, engaging way for students. IMPACT also dovetails beautifully with what the district is already doing with COMPASS (the $6 million federal i3 grant the district received in 2010) and the Responsiveness to Instruction (RtI) program.

What goals does the district hope to accomplish with the grant funds?

  • Close achievement gaps that exist between various subgroups of students
  • Continue improving the graduation rate
  • Increase number of students who enroll in college following high school