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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Schools in Louisiana will soon receive a helping hand after the LDE announced Thursday they’re awarding $40 million in grant funds from the Reimagine School Systems program.

So far, 36 applications from 31 school systems in Louisiana have been approved, including Bossier, Claiborne, and DeSoto schools. In addition to the funds, schools will receive technical assistance and support.

“When we launched the Reimagine School Systems program in 2021, we did so to encourage school systems to create new high-quality educational opportunities, to be innovative, to challenge themselves and their students,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, State Superintendent of Education. “We are extremely pleased with the quality of the applications we have received from school systems throughout the state, and I look forward to seeing how these programs expand possibilities for students.”

The application process required school systems to make bold considerations about ways to best improve all schools in their district by taking Reimagine School Action intended to create better outcomes for students.

These actions include but are not limited to

Replication – identify a high-performing school and replicate that at other sites.

Expansion – identify a high-performing school and expand access to that school, often by increasing the number of grade levels that the school serves.

Rural Collaboration – two or more rural parishes apply with a plan for sharing significant educational resources.

School Model Innovation – identify a school system need and a model that meets that need; by creating a new school to address that need.

Restart/Turnaround – work with an existing educational organization with a developed model and experience transforming schools that struggle academically.

Innovation Cluster – three or more schools in a school system with shared interests develop a formal collaborative relationship.

Student Reassignment/School Reconfiguration – school systems would reassign students from lower-performing schools to high-performing ones.

Wraparound Model – school systems completely redesign schools to provide and coordinate wraparound services to students and families, such as physical or mental health services or a food pantry.

Year-round Calendar – one or more schools in a system move to a year-round calendar to extend student learning.

Local Innovation – school systems may plan and implement a locally-developed, bold plan to transform how students at one or more schools are served.

The program is designed to improve student access to high-quality schools. Approved schools receive a share of the $10,8000,000 available for planning and $28,170,000 for implementing new educational opportunities. Experts matched with each school will offer support and answer questions. Each school will develop its skills and ability to lead innovative school systems.

School systems will receive two phases of funding – up to $350,000 in Phase I, up to $1.5M or more per grant in Phase II. It is unclear if districts that receive funding will get the same amount or if the grant amount is determined by district size or need.

Approved schools include:

· Bossier· Calcasieu
· Central Community School District
· Claiborne
· DeSoto
· East Baton Rouge
· East Baton Rouge/KIPP Charter
· East Baton Rouge/Recovery School District/Redesign Schools Louisiana
· East Feliciana· Evangeline
· Jackson

· Jefferson
· Lafayette
· Orleans/Community Academies
· Orleans/Morris Jeff Community Schools
· Orleans/Einstein Charter Schools
· Orleans – NOLA Public Schools
· Orleans/Collegiate Academies
· Orleans/FirstLine Schools
· Orleans/KIPP New Orleans
· Orleans/Algiers Charter School Association
· Orleans/Hynes Charter
· Orleans/Educators for Quality Alternatives· Orleans/Type 2 Charter – New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy
· Orleans/Type 2 Charter – International High School of New Orleans· Rapides· St. Bernard
· Tangipahoa
· Vermilion
· West Baton Rouge
· West Feliciana