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District pursues $3M grant

Funds would help boost technology, arts, language offerings.

April 29, 2010|By Max Zimbert

GLENDALE — Edison, Keppel and Franklin elementary schools could be converted to magnet campuses this fall if Glendale Unified School District is awarded a $3-million federal grant.

Under the proposed change for next school year, Edison would have an advanced technology component throughout the curriculum, Keppel would elevate arts instruction, and Franklin would feature additional foreign-language classes and an arts academy.

District officials are preparing an application for a three-year, $3-million federal grant to pay for the program, said Joanna Junge, Glendale Unified’s director of special projects and professional development.

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“The expectation is that it would be a permanent part of our district, like Clark [Magnet High School],” she said. “You would develop all those resources, and develop the capacity at the school sites, and it would continue afterward.”

District and school officials are putting the finishing touches on their application, which is due Monday. Last week, the Board of Education unanimously approved the application’s submission.

“Any time we can create more avenues for our children to advance their knowledge and gain revenue from it at the same time, it’s more than getting two birds with one stone,” school board President Greg Krikorian said. “You’re building a stronger foundation, particularly for those students at those schools, to take our district to the next level.”

Like Clark, the schools would be open to any students in Glendale Unified, although priority would be given to families living within a half-mile of the campuses.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Education plan to notify winning schools in August, said Edison Principal Kelly King, one of the grant’s lead authors.

“This grant is highly competitive,” she said. “They’re offering very few nationwide, so we’re doing our best to put in a strong proposal, and?.?.?.?we’ll see.”

If approved, Edison, for instance, would produce sixth-grade graduates who are savvy with about 400 technological skills and abilities, King said.

“It’s everything from e-mail, Internet, presentation skills, using technology for efficiency, you name it, these kids are going to have their names on it,” she said. “Right off the bat, the kids would start having dramatically increased access to technology.”

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