Innovation grant awarded

Published 1:06 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

Cumberland County Public Schools (CuCPS) has received a $42,850 innovation grant which will help implement a career exploration program and promote Virginia’s 5 C’s.

Cumberland was one of 11 schools in the state to be awarded an innovation grant by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in a press release issued Thursday, Sept. 16. The grants, according to the release, are aimed at aiding Virginia school divisions in developing or implementing innovative programs which prepare students for careers and postsecondary education and support the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate and Virginia’s 5 C’s (critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship).

According to CuCPS Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones, Cumberland will use its grant funds to create “Dukes Connect,” a career exploration program where students will participate in work-based learning opportunities provided through Learning Resource Centers located in the libraries of each of the schools.

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In the Learning Resource Centers, students will have the opportunity to explore different career pathways and to participate in individualized learning activities to assist them in better understanding what opportunities await them after high school. As students progress, they will be encouraged to engage in career exploration both on and off campus as outlined in the Profile of the Virginia graduate.

Jones noted the program will not only help students understand the development of their own personal Academic Career Plan (ACP), but it will also help them to gain a stronger understanding of what is expected at the secondary school level in order to pursue a particular career path.

“We are excited to be awarded the grant so that we can continue to provide resources and opportunities for all of our students,” Jones said. “Our goal is to better ensure that each student that attends Cumberland County Public Schools has a plan for the next steps after graduation.”

“These grants will help ensure that the vital work of innovation in our public schools continues despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane was quoted in the release. “These innovations are aligned with the Virginia Department of Education’s vision of maximizing the potential of all students and equipping young people with the skills needed to succeed and graduate college, career and life ready.”