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STEM dollars for military students

Clover Park School District wins DoD grant

Clover Park School District’s Harrison Prep is one of several schools to benefit from a new DoD grant. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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The Clover Park School District was recently notified that it will receive a five-year Department of Defense (DoD) grant to encourage the development of teaching curriculum and assessment tools for use in the district's schools that have high levels of military-connected students.

The district is the 26th largest in Washington state and the fourth largest in Pierce County. It encompasses 68 square miles in the western side of the county, to include Lakewood and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The district competed nationwide for the grant, which is officially called Integrating the Next Generation Science Standards through Coaching to Improve Practices, or NGSS for short.

NGSS will focus on the introduction and improvement of new STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- classes.

"We have been successful with the DoD Educational Activity grants since 2010," wrote Brian Laubach, the assistant superintendent for the district's secondary schools. "We serve a high population of military students with this grant, which includes any elementary school with military-connected students,"

Beachwood, Carter Lake, Evergreen, Hillside, Lake Louise, Meriwether, Rainier, Harrison Preparatory, Mann and Woodbrook are the grant recipients.

Over the next half decade, the district will establish base lines to track data collection, begin a K-8 teacher professional development program, introduce project-based learning in the classrooms, and target professional development based on student and staff needs.

"The grant is well written and has a clear evaluation methodology," continued Laubach. "This only furthers our ability to best serve our students."

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