COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine last week announced $33.3 million was awarded to 747 districts and schools across the state to provide students with safer and healthier learning environments through the Ohio Department of Education’s Stronger Connections Grant. Among the area districts receiving funding are Brookville Local Schools, Eaton Community Schools, Northmont City Schools, Tri-County North Local Schools and Twin Valley Community Local Schools.
“The Stronger Connections grant strengthens our commitment to ensuring students are safe and have the resources they need while addressing the mental and physical health needs that are critical to ensuring students are ready to learn and be successful in the classroom and in life,” said Gov. DeWine.
This grant opportunity complements Future Forward Ohio, which prioritizes student wellness, including addressing barriers that prevent students from engaging in learning. Districts and schools can use Stronger Connections Grant funds to support their local health and safety needs, including student wellness and mental health.
All school districts and community schools that applied for the Stronger Connections Grant received a Tier 1 or Tier 2 award based on health and safety factors collected from data, including rates of poverty, chronic absenteeism, and exclusionary discipline. Eligible schools and districts that demonstrated the highest need and applied for additional funding received an additional Tier 3 amount. The Tier 3 grantees collaborated with local stakeholders and community partners to determine the health and safety needs of their communities and plan for use of funds to support students and educators. The tiered Stronger Connections Grant Awards have been released to school districts and community schools through the Department’s Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) e-grant system.
Acccording to information released by the state, BLS was awarded $5,000, ECS received $19,035.14, NCS received $40,832.15 in Tier 1 funding and $50,000 in Tier 2 funding for a total of $90,832.15; TCN received $5,000 and TVCLS received $5,000.
“It is critical for students to enter a positive, safe and supportive learning environment each day as they explore, discover, and achieve,” said Dr. Chris Woolard, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Stronger Connections grant helps schools to continue addressing challenges that impact a child’s learning so students can focus on reaching success.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.