From the press release:

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Champaign Unit 4 Schools has been awarded a $9.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP). 

The five-year grant will support the implementation of magnet themes at three schools: Franklin Middle School (STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts and math), Garden Hills Elementary (math and science) and Stratton Elementary (fine arts). These programs are designed to provide students with innovative instructional opportunities that will propel them to succeed in their educational careers and in the workplace.

“This is a pivotal moment for our District and for public education in our community,” Superintendent Dr. Susan Zola said. “With this funding, we will have the opportunity to build capacity within the magnet schools and across the District to offer rigorous programs that promote choice and student success.”

Champaign Unit 4 Schools is one of 32 school districts in the nation to receive this award. The MSAP program is designed to support districts that are committed to educational methods and practices that promote diversity and innovation.

“We received this funding because we value and leverage the strength of our diverse community,” Zola said. “I am proud of what our teachers and students accomplish every day, and we are excited to create even more programs that will move us forward in innovation and technology.”

Champaign Unit 4 Schools administrators, principals and teachers collaborated for an intensive four-month period to identify themes and shape program designs when applying for the grant earlier this year. Funding will support staff and student learning experiences and the purchase of resources to support magnet themes.

Dr. Zola will be available to comment Friday, September 29, 1-1:30 p.m. To schedule an interview, contact Emily Schmit, Director of Communications and Community Relations, at (217) 351-3800