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2012 News Releases

Longwood awarded planning grant to establish laboratory school

May 10, 2012

Longwood University

Longwood University is one of four public institutions of higher education to earn a Virginia College/University Partnership Laboratory School Application Planning Grant. Longwood University, George Mason University, James Madison University and Virginia State University were selected for the grants as part of Governor Bob McDonnell's "Opportunity to Learn" agenda to improve K-12 education by providing more flexibility, innovation and autonomy outside the traditional public school system.

Longwood's $86,000 grant will help establish a laboratory partnership school with Charlotte County Public Schools. In fall 2011, Longwood's College of Education and Human Services initiated a proposal for a summer lab school, which may be developed into the year-round model that will be made possible through the grant. Public institutions of higher education that operate teacher education programs approved by the Virginia Board of Education were eligible to apply for the grants.

Dr. Wayne White, interim dean of Longwood's College of Education and Human Services, said, "This planning grant will establish a team of faculty from Charlotte County schools and Longwood to work together toward developing a laboratory school for in-service and pre-service candidates to gain experience and work to improve instruction."

Governor McDonnell said the proposed college laboratory schools are examples for the Commonwealth of what is possible when institutions of higher learning and local school districts partner with people and organizations in the public, private and philanthropic sectors to initiate and develop innovative academic programs. "The planning grants aren't just about money," he said. "They are about collaboration among all stakeholders, building a shared agenda and challenging ourselves to improve the way our students learn."               

A distinguished panel of individuals from higher education, local school districts and the business community reviewed each of the applications. Decisions about award amounts took into consideration a number of factors including the amount of available funds, the number of applications recommended for funding and the amounts requested in the recommended applications.

Secretary of Education Laura Fornash remarked, "Each institution that applied for a planning grant represents a partnership among engaged stakeholders that is charting a path for education reform in Virginia. I salute all of the applicants for their hard work."