AmeriCorps Turning-around Schools
The ACTS (AmeriCorps Turning-around Schools) program in 4 Turnaround Schools, taken over by the State of Indiana and awarded to 2 Chartering agencies, is located in the dropout factory of the nation--Indianapolis. (Schott, America's Promise Alliance, Balfour, et al.) The LEA, EdPower (dba Charler for Accelerated Learning) and the Proposal Development Team determined, based on need, that it will utilize 38 full time AmeriCorps members to conduct a 4-day/wk afterschool program (including vacations and 1 month in the summer) to fully engage students in culturally-relevant , hands-on, exciting projects, activities, clubs, technology, and academics as well as a college-going (instead of "burger joint" preparation) climate where character ed and conflict resolution are promoted also. This cohort of diverse, trained ACM, who will leverage an additional 190 volunteers (5 per ACM or equivalent to1 per quarter & the summer) will fill slots as 23 Instructional Assistants, 6 Student Support Liaisons, 4 Community Support Liaisons, 4 Team Leaders, and 1 Operational Assistant divided among the 4 middle and high schools. At the end of the grant period, it is projected that (1) the extended learning time program will increase graduation rates, decreasing dropouts by 200/yr, and increase academic achievement by 75%. Concurrent with this Objective Outcome is that the safety and security of students and staff is paramount--an environment where teaching/learning is expected and can take place is critical. At the 4 (previously) failing Indianapolis Public Schools, (2) the school culture will be changed to offer a safe and non-violent climate where students are welcomed as scholars of character, preparing for college-going or careers. This project will focus on the CNCS focus area of Education. The CNCS investment of $697,755 (74%) of the total cost will be matched with $247,800 (26%) raised by the LEA, a National Blue Ribbon and State of Indiana 4-Star award winning chartering school. The AmeriCorps Member cost to CNCS is $12,100 plus $500 towards Workers Comp and $400 towards FICA (totaling $13,024/Member) with an allotment towards Health Insurance and the other parts of the benefits covered in the match. At a cost only slightly above $8/per Member--to serve 1600 students--who are on a track to drop out and/or be incarcerated or have other societal problems--CNCS and Indianapolis will hugely benefit by turning these schools and their students around into successful citizens who give back to their communities.