Bloomfield school district awarded $405,000 ROI Ready Schools implementation grant

Ready Schools aims to align school districts with the education and workforce needs of employers and industry in the Indiana Uplands

Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bloomfield School District has been awarded a Ready Schools Implementation Grant totaling $405,000. The funding will support a multi-year strategic plan with initiatives focused on project-based learning, curricula, career awareness activities, and skill development to prepare students for post-secondary education and employment.

“Bloomfield School District is excited about our continued partnership with Regional Opportunity Initiatives,” said Superintendent Jeff Gibboney. “The Ready Schools process and resources provided by ROI have allowed our stakeholders the opportunity to come together and develop an innovative plan for teaching and learning.”

“Our multi-year strategic plan includes initiatives focused on developing career awareness, project and problem-based learning, collaborative learning spaces, improved school-community awareness and partnerships with local and regional industry in the Indiana Uplands region,” added Gibboney. “We are excited about the opportunities this will provide for students in Bloomfield.”

A core component of the implementation plan includes adoption of a New Tech Network model. New Tech Network works with school systems, providing educator training, tools ,and resources, to redefine relevant learning experiences that empower students to become the self-directed problem-solvers, creators, and collaborators that the modern workplace demands. New Tech Network has worked with 200 schools in 26 states. High schools that utilize the New Tech Network model average a 94% graduation rate and persist in college at a rate of 83%.

Grant funding will also support career exploration curricula and activities at all grade levels; job shadow, field trips, and internship opportunities; and a Student Success Center where students can connect one on one with counselors to discuss options for post-secondary education and careers.

This ROI implementation grant award to Bloomfield School District follows a 10-month development grant for the Ready Schools design-thinking process. The Ready Schools Initiative is a framework to support school districts in aligning K-12 curricular and programmatic offerings to educational and workforce needs within the Indiana Uplands, an 11-county region that encompasses Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties.

“Bloomfield has created an implementation plan that uniquely aligns with the needs of their students, community, and employers,” said ROI President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Their teachers, principals, and school board members have come together to embrace the possibilities that the New Tech model can offer to students, preparing them for success in school and in life.  It’s a proven approach that will only become more effective through the inspired commitment of the Bloomfield community.”

The goal of the Ready Schools Initiative is to enable school districts to engage business leaders, community stakeholders, parents and students in meaningful dialogue about what school success means and to develop a plan to obtain that success. The result is a collaborative approach and a comprehensive plan designed to support students in achieving academic and career goals aligned with workforce, with a particular focus on the region’s key industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and national security and defense.

For a description of activities at each Ready Schools phase: go to https://regionalopportunityinc.org/details-of-the-ready-schools-initiative/

In 2017, ROI released its Occupational Needs Assessment to highlight the education and workforce needs of the advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and national security and defense sectors in the counties of Indiana Uplands. The Assessment emphasizes that employers struggle to find talent for all levels of jobs, ranging from entry-level positions requiring only a high-school diploma to highly technical jobs requiring advanced degrees and training. All of the employers interviewed noted the significant role that the region’s P-12 districts play in addressing these workforce challenges.

The six core principles that guide cohort work through the Ready Schools process build upon the results of the Occupational Needs Assessment and include:

  • Every student is engaged in a relevant path to success;
  • Students graduate high school ready for post-secondary and career success;
  • Meaningful and ongoing collaboration occurs among schools, industry, and community;
  • Teaching and learning are grounded in relevancy;
  • K-12 schools are aligned around a common vision of student success; and
  • Schools embrace the significant role they play in achieving regional prosperity

Schools that have completed a Ready Schools development grant are eligible to apply for implementation funding. Since 2017, ROI has awarded Ready Schools development grants to 14 school systems in the region. Including the Bloomfield School District, ROI has awarded implementation funding to 11 Indiana Uplands school districts.

ROI Ready Schools Development Grants:

2017 Brown County Schools
2017 Dubois County Collaboration:
Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools
Northeast Dubois County School Corporation
Southwest Dubois County School Corporation
Southeast Dubois County School Corporation
2017 Loogootee Community Schools
2018 Bloomfield School District
2018 Monroe County Community School Corporation
2018 Spencer-Owen Community Schools
2018 Mitchell/Orleans/Shoals Collaboration:
Mitchell Community Schools
Orleans Community Schools
Shoals Community Schools
2019 Linton-Stockton School Corporation
2019 White River Valley School District

Ready Schools Implementation Grants:

2018 Brown County Schools
2018 Dubois County Collaboration:
Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools
Northeast Dubois County School Corporation
Southwest Dubois County School Corporation
Southeast Dubois County School Corporation
2018 Loogootee Community Schools
2019 Spencer-Owen Community Schools
2019 Mitchell/Orleans/Shoals Collaboration:
Mitchell Community Schools
Orleans Community Schools
Shoals Community School Corporation
2019Bloomfield School District

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc.:

The mission of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. (ROI) is to support economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties). ROI is implementing education and workforce initiatives and regional engagement initiatives for quality of place development.

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