Spring Branch ISD receives grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
A recently awarded $2.1 million grant will boost the Spring Branch Independent School District's partnership with two major charter schools in the Houston area.
According to the district's website, The School Zone, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant will support the work of the SKY Partnership, a collaboration among SBISD, the Knowledge is Power Program and YES Prep Public Schools that is geared toward preparing Spring Branch students for college. Specifically, the money will go toward start-up costs for two programs that were launched this summer at Landrum and Northbrook middle schools, as well as leadership development, tracking of student involvement and further support of current partnerships.
The district website noted there are currently 245 fifth- and sixth-graders enrolled in the two programs, with more expected.
"We appreciate the affirmation and support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and know this is just the beginning," said SBISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Duncan Klussman. "The foundation's $2.1 million investment in SKY is an investment in our children's futures. It is a validation of our efforts to build a solid foundation for the SKY Partnership, and of the continual drive we see across all three organizations each day to create high quality educational opportunities for our students. We believe this partnership will change the trajectory for all students not just in SBISD, but across our city, state and nation."
Sehba Ali, public schools superintendent for KIPP Houston, added, "Across the nation, leaders of traditional public schools and charter schools are watching what is happening in Spring Branch. They realize that the sky is truly the limit when three high-performing education organizations like KIPP, YES Prep and Spring Branch commit to a single goal—ensuring that all children have access to their dreams of higher education."
Jason Bernal, president of YES Prep, offered similar sentiments in the story by stating, "The support from the Gates Foundation allows us to form a partnership to serve all students and puts us in a position to become a nationally recognized example of how districts and charter schools can work together to advance student achievement."
For more about the work of the SKY Partnership, visit www.cms.springbranchisd.com/plan2012/thefutureplan201217/tabid/16688/default.aspx.