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CCS is One of 14 Schools that Received a Department of Education Fostering Diverse Schools Planning Grant

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) made $14 million in awards to help support local- and state-driven voluntary efforts to foster more diverse school communities through its first-ever Fostering Diverse Schools (FDS) Demonstration Grants Program. These grants, in alignment with the Department’s Raise the Bar: Lead the World call to action, support districts/school systems as they work to enrich educational experiences by providing every student with a well-rounded education and improved school conditions for student learning, inclusive of a broader perspective on the world. Our school district/system is one of 14 FDS grantees in this new demonstration grant program.

The grant funds are building the capacity of our school system to develop/implement a comprehensive school plan that improves school conditions for student learning by supporting socioeconomic diversity. Our district’s/school system’s plan includes: collecting and analyzing data to better understand communities we are targeting for service; establishing meaningful and sustained engagement with students, educators, families, and communities; promoting student academic achievement by fostering inclusive and welcoming learning environments that support the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students; and developing extracurricular activities in the district/districts/school system intended to increase access to safe, healthy, and/or well-rounded educational opportunities. The results of our grant project will be disseminated, so other school districts/systems and the public can learn from our work.

We are in a time when schools and classrooms have become increasingly more separated along the lines of socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity. Yet, we know that diverse schools and classrooms can benefit every student, regardless of their race or background. The new Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration program will support voluntary efforts by local school districts to increase school socioeconomic diversity, including by providing new or expanded access to schoolwide specialized academic programs, unique program options, or analyzing the location and capacity of facilities to promote socioeconomic school diversity.

Quote from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona about FDS: “President Biden always says that diversity is America’s greatest strength, and that is incredibly clear in the classroom, where research shows that students of all backgrounds benefit from learning in diverse environments. Our Fostering Diverse Schools Grant program will support innovative, locally-driven efforts to Raise the Bar for academic achievement and learning conditions in our schools by providing more students with more diverse, more equitable, and ultimately, more enriching learning opportunities.”