A big announcement today from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of a five-year $51 million grant to Battle Creek Public Schools to provide improvements and opportunities for every grade and every building in the district.

The grant includes support for changes to curriculum. It also aims to increase student success in math and reading, graduation rates, and teacher retention. Other goals include decreasing student absenteeism, suspensions and dropout rates.

More specifically, the grant will support:

  • Recruitment and retention incentives for teachers, as well as professional development.
  • A full day pre-kindergarten summer transition program.
  • Extended pre-kindergarten school year.
  • Implementation of an Intermediate STEM academy.
  • High school college pathways program, including an early middle college program, an International Baccalaureate program and academies.
  • Behavior education plan focused on alternatives to school suspension.
  • Investments in arts and athletics.
  • Early literacy support personnel.
  • Innovative curriculum at all grade levels.

The grant offers support across the board and sweeping changes. It sends a strong message that the community is behind the schools, teachers and students. A great first step with a lot of work left ahead.