BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM CITED FOR “BEST PRACTICES” BY FEDERAL AGENCY
Ball High’s 21st Century Community Learning Center has been picked by the Texas Education Agency and U.S. Department of Education as a “best practices” program and will be included in a case study of exemplary programs in the nation.
The before- and after-school program provides students with homework help and academic enrichment in many areas, from fine arts and community leadership to cooking classes and credit recovery. The Ball program is open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. before school, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. after classes, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
The Ball High 21st Century Community Learning Center is funded by an $875,000 federal grant that GISD obtained in August 2008. The grant money, funneled through the Texas Education Agency, also finances 21st Century Community Learning Center programs at the district’s elementary and middle school campuses. The Ball High site coordinator is Ms. Sharon Corbin.
“The grant ends in July (2009) but we are in the reapplication process,” said Marcia Proctor, GISD director of special initiatives. “We should get the grant for the next four years.”
GISD received word from federal officials this week that a case-study team will visit Ball High soon to study how the school’s successful programs work and to interview participants.
The “best practices” assessment for the Ball High 21st Century Learning Center program resulted from analysis of a survey GISD submitted to consultants for the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Louise Powell, GISD 21st Century Community Learning Center coordinator, submitted the survey.
Analysts were “very impressed” with reports on academic improvement by students who participate in the program, David Kornhaber, senior manager of the Manhattan Strategy Group, told GISD officials in a message this week.
“Recognition of this program is yet another indication that Ball High and GISD are making progress in one of the most trying years in the district’s history,” said Lynne Cleveland, GISD superintendent.
As part of the 21st Century Program, Ball High will offer a free Summer Academic Enrichment Camp from June 8-29. The camp will operate weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Incoming 9th-12th grade students are welcome.