Leading students ‘on the right path’

Perry Township Schools received a $22 million share of a $47 million grant for teacher development


Sophia McKinney

Assistant Superintendent Robert Bohannon explains the grant to The Journal. Perry Township Schools attained a $22 million share of a $47 million grant for the development of teachers.

Perry Township Schools will be attaining a $22 million share of a $47 million grant for the development of teachers. Perry Township and other districts worked together with NIET (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching) to apply for this federal grant, with the money coming from federal sources.

“They provide professional development for us and we help provide that for the teachers,” Principal Brian Knight said. 

This money will go into further development for teachers at each individual school in the township. The amount each district attained was due to their size of school and its population. NIET, working with the different districts, filed for federal grants to obtain the money. The grant is supposed to be used for helping teachers be at their best to provide students with the highest level of education possible. 

Teacher development at SHS focuses on improving the structures that are being used  in the classroom. This includes weekly Wednesday developmental meetings where teachers discuss different topics, such as handling student emotions and the wellbeing of teachers. The grant will allow bonus rewards to be given to teachers, starting next year. Bonuses will be paid out after a year of collecting data. 

NIET and their program has been heavily involved with SHS. They regulate the standards for teacher and classroom evaluations. Also, they provide training for leadership teams, the master teachers at SHS. In the district, the elementary schools have one or two master teachers, the middle schools have two and the high schools have three or four. Master teachers focus on students’ individual needs. The purpose of the grant is to award and support teachers, who are providing the highest quality education to students. 

Teachers, principals and assistant principals are eligible for pay bonuses. The funds will also allow for attendance to the National NIET conference and the Summer Institute Conference. On-site support days from NIET at the school is included in the bonus as well..  

“This grant has given our district the support needed to push the teachers to strive for greatness, allowing SHS to lead students on the right path.” said Assistant Superintendent Robert Bohannon. 

According to Bohannon, not only do students benefit, so do teachers, allowing them to open up their doors to different styles of teaching. This will broaden the way different students can take in lessons and make learning more impactful. 

“The purpose of that grant really being able to provide a high quality education and to support our teachers and our leaders in providing a higher education for our students,” Bohannon said.