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CHCCS Receives $4.3M Grant from Oak Foundation

The Trustees of Oak Foundation have approved the request of $4.3 million over three years to CHCCS and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation (PSF) for the Students First: Equity through Opportunity grant. The school district will receive $3.5M, while PSF will receive $800,000 during the three-year grant period. PSF will have fiscal monitoring responsibilities for funds received from Oak Foundation to serve Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
"The project’s ultimate goals are to provide equitable opportunities to every child in the district that will impact student growth, reduce achievement gaps and promote social emotional wellness. While some might point to state rankings as a measure of overall district accomplishment, we know that not every child in our care is receiving the education needed for lifetime success," said Superintendent Pam Baldwin. "The change we would like to see from this project is a decreased achievement gap between student groups, specifically students of color, English learners and students with disabilities."
The key levers included in the grant include early exposure to school experiences, sustaining literacy development and mastery, support for transition to middle school, opportunities to access advanced courses, and foundational training for all staff in racial equity to establish a common language, practice and purpose.
"Closing the achievement gap, and ensuring a successful school experience for every child, remain our primary goals," said Senior Executive Director of Leadership and Strategy, Misti Williams. "This grant will significantly impact our work with children and families."
The grant funding will help to address systemic equity issues. By year three of funding, foundational Racial Equity Training will be provided to 650 staff members, including principals, assistant principals, new teachers, social workers, counselors and office professionals and teacher assistants. This professional learning opportunity includes the historical context for systemic racism, development of leadership for racial equity, application of a racial equity lens and culturally relevant coaching. 
Through this grant the PSF will continue to fund their Achievers Grants to provide academic and enrichment opportunities to students who will benefit from the additional support. "We are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Oak Foundation so we can even the playing field and serve all students with this grant," said PSF Executive Director, Lynn Lehmann. "This is a major means of support to ensure all children receive equitable opportunities in our district and we are grateful to Oak Foundation for supporting our work."