Lake County Information,California – Konocti Unified awarded $1.6 million grant for elementary songs software

At suitable, Konocti Unified Faculty District new music trainer and band director Katherine Wiley with some of her students all through a new follow. Wiley is now assisting construct a new and improved elementary school songs system many thanks to a $1.6 million federal grant the district has received. Courtesy photo.

Decrease LAKE, Calif. — A key new federal grant is supplying the Konocti Unified School District the methods it requires to make a new songs software for elementary learners.

On Dec. 8, at the final regular faculty board meeting of the year, Katherine Wiley, who teaches and serves as band director at Reduce Lake Superior and the Konocti Training Center, gave the trustees the excellent news.

Wiley reported the district has been given a $1.6 million Aid for Arts Education and learning Method grant from the U.S. Division of Training to carry songs back to the elementary schools.

Konocti Unified obtained a single of 27 grants — eight of them offered to websites in California — awarded as a result of the software this 12 months.

“I’m definitely fired up,” explained Wiley, now in her seventh 12 months with the district.

She claimed she hopes the work will establish up a method that’s serving the district extensive right after she retires. “I continue to have 35 several years,” she quipped, including, “I’m tremendous stoked.”

In an job interview with Lake County News, Wiley explained she’s unaware of the district at any time receiving these a massive arts-related grant ahead of.

“It’s a rather major deal,” Wiley stated.

She reported Konocti Unified’s “On-Ramp” grant is to be dispersed to the district above four many years. The program is to have the new songs application completely ready for the commence of the 2022-23 university year.

“There are 4 most important plans of our grant,” Wiley mentioned.

She said those ambitions are to seek the services of a total-time elementary songs instructor, offer you coaching and continued assist for up to 32 arts integration experts, create an on the web arts education and learning curriculum that elementary university lecturers can use through the 12 months and convey in local community artists to assistance nutritional supplement these arts integration lessons.

She claimed the district has about 2,000 students in grades kindergarten by means of seventh grade, with 4 elementary educational facilities and 1 arts education magnet faculty, Konocti Instruction Center, or KEC.

An opportunity occurs

Wiley reported the grant was brought to the district’s attention in the spring by Robert Bullwinkel and Kim Morin of Large Concept Consulting, a firm that can help schools and communities get the job done jointly to convey high quality arts schooling to their pupils, in accordance to the company’s web page.

Huge Strategy Consulting has been doing work with Konocti Unified for two many years, and Wiley mentioned Bullwinkel imagined the grant would be a excellent fit for the district.

The grant aims to support rural districts, which provide at-threat youth, that want to generate a arduous arts application, “Which is every little thing we were about,” Wiley mentioned.

Wiley explained the software was thanks in April, which gave the district a really small turnaround time. However, Bullwinkel did most of the do the job in writing the grant, with district workers providing the necessary facts.

They needed to get letters of guidance and provide information and facts about the university student body, this sort of as the simple fact that 36% of the district’s students drop underneath the federal poverty line, with 84% qualifying for free of charge and decreased lunch, Wiley said.

Wiley mentioned the relaxation of the grant preparing method provided laying out what the program would appear like and what the district’s qualifications for a profitable system would be.

They tied the grant to the English language reading normal, as a lot of of the district’s pupils go through beneath grade level. Wiley explained they feel arduous arts training increases looking through scores.

Wiley said they observed out in mid-October that they had received the grant. They’re now in the preparing approach, which Wiley known as “very remarkable.”

The upcoming ways in creating the program contain obtaining enter from teachers, mom and dad and the neighborhood at large, she explained.

The district will host its very first informational conference on the program from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, in the Carol McClung Meeting Center at the Konocti Unified Faculty District Business, 9430-B Lake St. in Decreased Lake.

Wiley, who is the plan manager and will be liable for creating most govt conclusions, mentioned that as they begin to solidify what the On-Ramp application will glance like, the district options to host an extra informational meeting and celebration of the arts someday in late spring.

At that celebration, Wiley said community members will be invited to participate in arts pursuits when understanding about the opportunities their pupils have in the coming university many years.

She explained there is just not a day or spot established for that occasion nonetheless, but it will be held someday in the night to permit much more neighborhood members to show up at.

“After that, we’ll be on the lookout for volunteers to provide on the steering committee,” Wiley reported. “We want that to be a collection of teachers, aid team, directors and local community customers.”

Wiley claimed that the steering committee will consist of about 10 folks who will provide in the course of the size of the grant, be the comments group, brainstorm suggestions, be proactive problem solvers and “really make certain this matter normally takes off.”

She included, “They’re the basis.”

Wiley mentioned district Superintendent Becky Salato will have a part in creating certain anything is managing efficiently.

Music trainer and band director Katherine Wiley speaks to the Konocti Unified College Board on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, at the board’s last typical assembly of the calendar year in Decrease Lake, California. Image by Elizabeth Larson/Lake County Information.

Developing a new system

The tunes application the district is constructing will emphasis on the elementary grades simply because, amongst KEC and the higher school, “We have a quite lively arts education method,” stated Wiley.

KEC is excellent for middle university degree students and the high school has a extensive wide variety of lessons, she explained.

Part of the drive for the grant is that Wiley claimed lecturers observed inventive pupils coming into higher university who ended up missing foundational expertise.

As an illustration, she reported they were viewing new music college students who haven’t seen a quarter notice and never know what it’s identified as.

Like lots of school districts, Konocti Unified was impacted by the financial impacts of the Wonderful Recession, Wiley said.

“We experienced a fairly reliable elementary tunes plan in advance of the recession,” she said. Then, when cuts to staffing happened, the elementary new music trainer posture sooner or later went away.

A pair of many years ago the district tried to have an elementary university new music place yet again but it didn’t proceed immediately after the very first two decades, Wiley mentioned.

Wiley said a great deal of that experienced to do with how the exertion was rolled out, with that teacher envisioned to provide all 4 elementary universities at the exact same time and only receiving the possibility to see students after every other week. “It was a quite challenging endeavor that the individual was questioned to do.”

The new new music instructor position the district needs to make will divide their time amongst Burns Valley and Decreased Lake Elementary, and also will concentration on forming interactions, Wiley mentioned.

She reported that placement is to be funded in component by the grant for the initial couple yrs, with a commitment from the district to pay the base wage when the grant is accomplished.

There also will be an arts integration ingredient. Wiley stated they can train new music, visual and drama standards when nonetheless carrying out what is thought of a far more normal curriculum. “How to do that though is a minor challenging,” and not a large amount of academics have that arts integration qualifications.

So the improvement of 32 arts integration specialists will choose area about the summertime. Individuals in the application — which Wiley claimed will be for current lecturers and volunteers — will learn how to combine the arts with other subjects in a significant way. There also will be a man or woman on internet site to assist instructors in art integration.

In envisioning a thriving software, Wiley stated they want each individual university student to get pleasure from it, and for students getting into middle school to know what they are passionate about and what they want to go after for electives each at the center and large college amounts.

She reported they want to motivate literacy, and see college students reading through and comprehending at increased ranges. They think that arts integration will assistance pupils that feel divided from content to truly feel linked once again.

They want to see standardized testing scores increase along with a major raise in learners studying at or above quality level, she said.

Wiley mentioned they also want the local community to come to feel more welcome at faculty web sites by putting on performances and exhibits of college student artwork do the job on a typical basis.

She explained most of the parts of the method need to be alongside one another by August, in time for the college year to get started. By that point she expects the elementary songs teacher need to be hired.

Group users are invited to the Jan. 13 conference to learn far more about the program and how to get included.

Email Elizabeth Larson at This e-mail deal with is becoming protected from spambots. You will need JavaScript enabled to see it.. Observe her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.