Federal funds to boost education programs at Edmondson Heights Elementary School

The faculty and staff at Edmondson Heights Elementary School have big plans to create a better learning environment for students this year.

Students coming to the school on Langford Road should see benefits soon after school opens Aug. 27 as Title I funds will be used to boost parental involvement and add to staff.

Title I is a grant program authorized through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 that provides extra funding to economically disadvantaged schools to support student achievement, according to the Baltimore County Public Schools website.

Edmondson Heights, which had 453 students for the 2011-2012 school year, is one of two schools in the Catonsville area that will receive additional funding through Title I.

Johnnycake Elementary School is the only other school in the 21228 ZIP code designated as Title I.

Representatives from the school could not be reached for comment for this story.

Yasmin Stokes, in her second year as principal at Edmondson Heights, said the school will receive less federal funding compared to last year.

But the difference is small and shouldn't significantly impact the school's program, Stokes said.

Official totals were not yet available, Stokes said on Aug. 16.

As it did last year, the school will hold workshops to teach parents how to develop homework strategies for their students and utilize technology in learning, for example.

Last year, a social worker presented a series of workshops about behavior, Stokes said.

The school will likely have a similar series this year, Stokes said.

"A large portion of our funds go into that pot to provide learning opportunities for our parents," Stokes said. "Parents are a vital part. They are the first teachers of our children."

The funds will also allow the school to hire two additional resource teachers and an additional kindergarten aide, Stokes said.

The resource teachers will be divided among the student body with one working at the higher grades and one with the lower.

Resource teachers provide additional support in reading and math to struggling students, Stokes said.

The kindergarten aide will assist teachers as they work with their students in small groups or individually, Stokes said.

"We utilize our Title I funds only if it's something constructionally related to our curriculum," she said.

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