Bridging the COVID education gap with Title 1 funding

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - Early County Elementary School is working on a plan to bridge the education gap caused by COVID-19.

The school is planning to use their Title 1 funds to purchase resources to alleviate the problem.

“The interruption that you have experienced over the last 18 months put us further behind than the proverbial eight ball i guess,” says Dr. Matthew Cullifer, principal, Early County Elementary School. “We had many students who were already experiencing academic deficit coming to school. As a five-year-old or a four-year old not on par with the other students in class.”

With this in mind, Early County Elementary School made it a goal to focus most of their Title 1 funding to bridge the gap and raise test scores.

“We’re trying to both close gaps and equip students with what they need to succeed as a student after they leave us and go to middle and high school,” says says Dr. Cullifer.

For this school year, the school has made it a goal to have at least 63% of students meeting the standard on english scores and at least 85% meeting the standard on math scores on the Georgia Milestone.

“Lexia is one of our programs for reading,” says Dr. Cullifer. “We have a program for math called iLearn, which both programs are tailored to the individual needs of the students, so they can work at their own pace….We do have funds that we also commit to an after school program that meets two days a week.”

Dr. Cullifer says it will take more than just funding, but the community as well.

“The best thing that the public can do for us is be supportive,” says Dr. Cullifer. “It’s especially challenging when you have negative voices in the community who are blaming teachers and saying that they don’t want to work and are endangering children. That’s not the case at all. We’re doing the best that we can.”

Dr. Cullifer says a declining population in the county makes programs like Title 1 essential for student success.  Funds will also be used for meeting technology needs and other school necessities as they arise.

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