County schools receive $12K grant

Published 11:40 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

A state support organization has once again selected the Carter County school system as a “mini grant” recipient.

Last year, Utrust gave county schools a grant for nearly $7,000, which the system used to train K-8 teachers on using information gained from proficiency tests to identify students’ areas of academic need and develop individualized instructional plans to meet those needs.

This year, the organization awarded the school system with a grant for $12,290 to be used for upgrades to student computers.

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Director of Schools Kevin Ward applied for the grant from Utrust to help the school system upgrade the Microsoft software on student computers throughout the system.

“Since higher education and workforce demands students to be knowledgeable with the latest technology, our students will benefit greatly from this new software,” Ward said. “Our goal is to give every student the tools they need to be successful in life, whether it be in college or the workforce after high school.”

Upgrading the computer labs will also help the school system when it comes to student testing. Much of the state’s mandated student testing and assessments are now done over the internet.

“We are pleased that Utrust is able to provide funds through our mini-grant program to fund small projects that will make a big difference,” said Utrust Administrator Dan Tollett. “We believe this computer software will make a big difference to students in the Carter County School System. We appreciate Dr. Ward submitting this request and we are glad to be a part of such a worthy project.”

Carter County’s school system is one of 52 systems across the state that have received Utrust mini-grants this year. In total, Utrust has awarded $750,000 in grand funding to improve educational opportunities for students in the state, according to the organization.

Utrust is an organization that was founded in 1980 as the Tennessee School Boards Insurance Trust. According to information from the organization, its mission is “to assist local school boards with employee recognition, appreciation and development.”

The mini-grant program was recently approved by the Utrust board of trustees as a way to offer opportunities for member systems to apply for grants for small projects that might not otherwise be funded.