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News of Interest to Educators and Grant Writers

Except in rare cases, the news contained on this page was reported in the SchoolGrants Biweekly Newsletter (SBN) several months ago. I strongly encourage you to consider subscribing to SchoolGrants Biweekly Newsletter. Its price has been kept exceptionally low at only $45/year per subscriber so that cash-strapped schools/districts can still afford to keep up with the latest news and grant opportunities. (See a sample. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the sample.)

Dropout Prevention and Recovery

The final "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (November 16, 2004; 8:00-9:00 ET) of 2004 will focus on dropout prevention and recovery. Research shows that African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, low-income students, and students with disabilities are at greatest risk of not completing high school. However, a variety of factors may influence students to dropout -- among them academic problems; a death, divorce, or other significant transition in the family; and language barriers and cultural assimilation difficulties. In fact, studies show that even academically gifted students can be at risk.

The good news is that there are prevention and recovery measures being used across the U.S. that are helping to catch these students before it is too late. Research shows that early identification, strong family involvement, clear instructional objectives, and the monitoring of student progress can be effective in dropout prevention. Additionally, recovery efforts can help reconnect dropouts to a high school program that will better ensure completion.

‘Education News Parents Can Use’ is a free resource offered by the U.S. Department of Education. On the third Tuesday of each month during the school year, Education News airs live via satellite, offering parents and anyone else with an interest in education vital information about getting involved in children's learning.

US DoE Announces New LEP Policies

Two new policies which take effect immediately and are designed to help students who are new to America and its confusing English language, while at the same time giving more flexibility under NCLB to states and local school districts, have been announced.

The new flexibility will allow LEP students, during their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools, to have the option of taking the reading/language arts content assessment in addition to taking the English language proficiency assessment. They would take the mathematics assessment, with accommodations as appropriate. States may, but are not required to, include results from the mathematics and, if given, the reading/language arts content assessments in adequate yearly progress (AYP) calculations.

The second new policy will, for AYP calculations, allow states up to two years to include students who have attained English proficiency in the LEP subgroup. This option is designed to give states the flexibility to allow schools and local education agencies (LEAs) to get credit for improving English language proficiency from year to year.

For more information, visit http://www.ed.gov/nclb/accountability/schools/factsheet-english.html.

New Federal Web Site for High Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has created a new Web site that consolidates all pertinent materials related to its high school initiative. You’ll learn more about the initiative, “Preparing America’s Future,” and find a variety of papers and presentations related to key issues in high school reform on the site. If you write grants for high school students, some of the information found on this site should be valuable to you.

Grants.gov Launched

As of November 7th, all federal agencies are required to post grant announcements online, at www.grants.gov. The requirement also applies to cooperative agreements. The site allows you to search by the type of activity, agency or date. You can also sign up for email notification of grant announcements using the same categories.

The agency postings provide a synopsis of the full grant announcement and 27 standard items of information, including a description of the program, due dates for applications, contact information and a link to the full grant announcement.

The Grants.gov site is launching an online application process that allows you to download the application form, fill it in and submit it later. The process should be fully functional by mid-November.

In order to get started using the Grants.gov site, there are five steps that you must take. Now is the time to take care of this! Do not wait until right before a federal proposal is due to be submitted or you are likely to miss the filing deadline.

Do You Have a D-U-N-S Number?

All schools applying for a Federal grant or cooperative agreement must have a D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) number beginning October 1, 2003. This is a unique nine-character identification number that is supplied by Dun & Bradstreet. There is no charge to obtain a number.

You may register for the number online at https://eupdate.dnb.com/requestoptions.html (a secure Web site) or you may follow the steps below:
  1. Call 1-800-333-0505.
  2. Press “3” to register your business and obtain a DUNS number.
  3. Press “2” for assistance.
  4. Press “1” for Federal Registration. (A Service representative will answer and may try to sell the company’s Credit Builder Service. You do not have to buy this service to obtain the DUNS number.)
  5. You will be asked to supply the following information:

              a. Name of the business
              b. Business address
              c. Local phone number
              d. Name of the CEO/business owner/superintendent
              e. Legal structure of the business (corporation, partnership, proprietorship, school)
              f. The year the business started
              g. Primary line of business
              h. Total number of employees (full- and part-time).

Your comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome! Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback!

Copyright (c) 1999-2010. Donna Fernandez
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