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FISD gets two grants

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CHANTEL JAMES
The Ellis County Press
FERRIS - A new opportunity has risen in Ferris.

The Texas Education Agency has recognized Ferris High School and Hazel Ingram Elementary to receive money from a new grant in Texas this year, known as the Governor's Excellence Grant.

TEA reviewed schools throughout Texas, elementary through high school.

They looked at the percentage of the disadvantaged kids, such as free and reduced lunches, they also looked at the rating of the school, such as exemplary or recognized, and then made final decisions based on the TAKS scores.

Ferris High School and Hazel Ingram Elementary has been given a certain criteria by TEA, which both schools must meet.

The schools must help promote collaboration among staff to better the teaching techniques and they must encourage campuses and staff members to develop a more successful student body.

This plan could address dropout rates, tutoring and even mentoring.

'We've qualified for the money. Now we have to put together a plan that deals with both of these issues,' said Superintendent Mike Bodine.

There is $95.5 million available to all nominated schools, with the money being distributed according to the size of the individual campus.

Both the high school and the elementary school chosen would receive $75,000 each.

Ferris has submitted their plans of improvement, but no word has come from TEA with any results.

'None of this money will be paid out until May, probably not until June,' said Bodine.

If the Ferris is awarded with the money, it will be given to the teachers or staff members that have contributed the most to the program, the ones that have come up with successful educational tactics.

When the high schools submitted their plan to TEA, it included working with students to increase TAKS scores, teachers working with other professionals to better their skills, and group meetings to address dropout reduction.

This is the first year this program has ever been offered, and was initiated by Governor Perry.

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Nelson Propane

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