PAST / Fairfield County ESC Partnership Make Big Impact

Fairfield County ESC and PAST Innovation Lab Partnership Awarded 3 Straight A Grants

Fairfield County ESC was recently awarded three grants from the Ohio Department of Education Straight A Fund, and is collaborating with PAST Innovation Lab to develop and implement programming for all three projects. These grants will bring over $17 million to Fairfield County ESC to improve educational services in their communities by bringing innovative, cost-effective student learning approaches to the classroom. With just 37 of 340 grant requests approved, the Fairfield County ESC and PAST team is a leader in the number of grants awarded in this round of funding.

The grants will provide funding for 3 specific projects:

Growing SOIL
The PAST Foundation’s Growing SOIL grant responds to the need to increase students’ applied learning and critical thinking skills. STEM Outdoor Innovation Labs (SOIL) capitalize on school property to expand learning without expanding the physical school building.

Growing SOIL builds on the program SOIL, a partnership between PAST and Kelleys Island first implemented in Spring 2014 in nine Ohio schools and funded by a first round Straight A grant. Based on SOIL’s success and measured by meaningful educational outcomes, experience and engagement of students, Growing SOIL will expand the reach of the first nine labs to 30 additional Ohio schools.

Project FAST Forward: Fairfield Advancing Students and Teaching
Project FAST Forward will transform the educational systems in Fairfield County by providing multiple college and career pathways to students while significantly reducing district costs. Among other initiatives, the project will convert a closing school building to become the Fairfield County Student Success Center, which will provide rigorous STEM education to 300 at-risk youth to prepare them to enter high-demand careers such as IT and construction.

PAST will provide professional development in STEM education for teachers in eight school districts, teaching transdisciplinary problem-based learning concepts for classroom instruction. The PAST Knowledge Capture team will conduct initial and on-going evaluation, ensuring reporting on training and measuring program results.

Math Matters: Transforming Math Education for 21st Century Success
Math Matters will involve a consortium of nine school districts in two counties to transform math education. The project will use a tool that personalizes math instruction through online and in-person instruction. Students receive immediate feedback that deepens problem-solving and reasoning skills. Through professional development, ongoing partner collaboration and digital tools, teachers will build skills to help students gain a greater understanding of math concepts. The program to be used is proven to engage students, particularly those with low reading proficiency or for whom English is a second language.

The PAST Knowledge Capture team is charged with initial and on-going evaluation, ensuring reporting on training, and measuring other critical program outcomes.

Learn more about our work with Fairfield County ESC right here!