Weslaco ISD has secured over $5 million in additional funding to expand and facilitate programs dealing with student well-being, school safety and curriculum.
“These are outside grants that we have received thus far,” Superintendent Dr. Dino Coronado said. “It’s a credit to a great team because it takes all of them to put this together.”
Numerous departments worked to secure this additional funding.
The Texas COVID Learning Accelerated Supports or TCLAS grant program awarded the district with $1.2 million and $882,500 to target reading and mathematics.
“Our goal is to improve reading skills across the district,” Assessment and Accountability Director Elias Treviño said.
The TCLAS funding will be used to equip new principals with the tools to identify areas of improvement in reading with training, coaching and additional resources.
Over $880,000 will be used to address student tutoring in accordance with House Bill 4545. This after-school tutoring program provides middle school students with additional STAAR test remediation in math. The grant will fund staff and resources needed to provide ‘high-impact’ tutoring for 6th - 8th grade students across the district.
The WISD Career and Technical Education Department also received two Jobs & Education for Texans (JET) grants totaling over $1 million for two CTE programs. An Automotive Technology grant award of $481,136 and a Welding grant award of $699,053 will be utilized to purchase equipment that will be used to train and certify students in the respective industries. Automotive Technology students will learn diagnostic and repair skills in the rapidly-growing hybrid electric vehicles automotive industry. In addition, Automotive students will learn to operate the latest industry equipment in order to employ corrective strategies for vehicle repair.
Using new Virtual Reality Software to supplement and enhance traditional welding training, our Welding students will receive simulated training in order to practice welding techniques that includes learning how to operate a pipe manipulator, a precise and fast plasma cutter, a welding arm and a pipe manipulator saw.
“We are so excited and thankful for these Texas Workforce Commission JET grants,” CTE Director Sandra Avila said. “These monies will be used to purchase the latest automotive technology and welding equipment upgrading student training and skills in order to prepare them for their future careers as automotive technicians or welders.”
The district was also awarded $300,296.00 from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS) School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). The funding is earmarked to improve overall security at schools and on school grounds which includes law enforcement training, technology for expedited local law enforcement notification during an emergency and other measures to provide security improvements.
The district will continue to secure funding from different agencies.
“There are additional resources available, this opens the door,” Treviño said.
Other grant monies awarded to WISD for the 2022-23 school year are: Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Classroom Resource Grant, $6,160; ARP Homeless II Federal Grant, $221,000; Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) $300,296; Knapp Foundation, $34,000; Nurse’s Grant, $102,700; Raising Blended Learners, $300,000; Strong Foundations Literacy Instructional Framework, $125,000; TEA School Safety Grant, $721,172; and Thespian Relief Grant, 1,000.