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Education notebook: Education agency to get $2.1M grant

by Cynthia Howell | August 28, 2022 at 3:01 a.m.

Education agency to get $2.1M grant

The Arkansas Department of Education is one of 10 state agencies selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive a multimillion-dollar award through the federal Competitive Grants for State Assessment program.

Arkansas is scheduled to receive $2,145,418, according to the grant announcement Friday.

Matt Sewell, director of special programs for the Arkansas agency, said the federal money will go to the support of the MIDAS project for which Arkansas is the lead state in a three-state consortium.

MIDAS is short for "Making Improved Decisions for Students On the Cusp of Alternate Assessment Participation Using Multiple Measures of Academic Achievement from Multiple Sources."

The MIDAS project will aid teachers in developing the knowledge and skills they need to successfully instruct students with disabilities -- including English language learners with disabilities -- who participate in the state's alternate assessment or who previously participated in the assessment, Sewell said.

An alternate assessment is for students with disabilities for whom the general state assessment is inappropriate even when they are provided with appropriate accommodations. It is meant to be a more accurate measure of what students with disabilities know and can do.

Arkansas, along with North Carolina and West Virginia, will collaborate with the National Center on Educational Outcomes that will direct the alternate assessment project, Sewell said.

LR board approves Dodd school's sale

The vacant David O. Dodd Elementary School is on the verge of being sold by the Little Rock School District to Pinnacle Classical Academy, a private school.

The district School Board last week voted 5-2 to authorize the sale of the property at 6423 Stagecoach Road for $965,000. The asking price had been $985,000.

Kelsey Bailey, the district's chief deputy for finance and operations, said the sale is pending the completion of different inspections.

The district initially, by law, had to make the unused Dodd property available for public charter school use. The district received a waiver from the state to be able to sell the property to another entity when there was no immediate interest from charter school operators, Bailey said.

The district closed the Dodd school to students after the 2020-21 school year and Dodd pupils were reassigned to the new J.A. Fair Kindergarten through Eighth Grade School.

Dodd school opened in 1924 as part of the neighboring Pulaski County Special School District, according to the school's history on the Little Rock School District website.

The current structure was built in 1959 with an addition in 1974. The Little Rock School District acquired the school in 1987 as part of a federal court order.

The campus is named for Civil War figure David Owen Dodd. Dodd Elementary is built on land that once was part of Washington Dodd's (David's uncle's) farm, according to the school district history.

Print Headline: Education agency to get $2.1M grant

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