Two Henry County schools awarded employability skills grant

Tri and New Castle schools have received a combined $280,000 to help prepare their students to become effective workers after graduation.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) awarded $10 million in Indiana Employability Skills Innovation Implementation Grants to 58 Indiana schools and learning centers.

South Henry School Corporation was awarded $132,610.

New Castle Community School Corporation was awarded $150,500.

These funds will go towards helping students learn skills that can be used in any career path they want to pursue: communication, collaboration and work ethic.

South Henry School Corporation Superintendent Jeremy Duncan said, “The purpose of this grant is to align our practices with the new GPS dashboard.”

In this case, “GPS” stands for “Graduates Prepared to Succeed.”

According to IDOE, the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (GPS) dashboard “is being built by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, with a focus not on punitive action, but on continuous improvement for our students.”

“And while this is a paradigm shift in terms of school accountability for Indiana, the foundational components of the Indiana GPS characteristics are not new for Indiana students or educators,” IDOE stated. “The school performance dashboard will prioritize access, elevate excellence, and empower all who support our students’ learning.”

The state department said the dashboard will define clear expectations for student knowledge in the Indiana GPS characteristics; support families and community stakeholders by providing them meaningful, relevant, and transparent information about school progress and performance; elevate the highest-performing schools as models of excellence; and identify other schools for additional support.

Duncan explained that Tri schools will move away from a single failure model to a model that measures post-secondary skills.

Duncan said that they have not completely decided how they will spend the grant money, but they are looking at opportunities that will increase students’ employability, expose students to different careers, and give students opportunities to participate in internships.

The corporation is also considering hiring a career coach, implementing a K-12 career based platform and performing graduation audits.

“We will have students look at their gifts and how they can use those gifts in a career field,” Duncan said. “We will look at what we call a ‘portrait of a graduate’ to help these students be ready for their lives after high school. We are digging deep into why we are doing this.”

Duncan was unsure of when funds will be available and these new programs will be implemented.

– Story by Haley Segarra Torres (HTorres@TheCourierTimes.comof The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at