Local Education Partnership Earns Planning Grant

Tacoma Public Schools and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation have received a $400,000 planning grant from the Wallace Foundation.

The foundation awarded the grant as part of its national partnerships for social and emotional learning initiative. The initiative is a multi-year effort by the organization to better understand how schools and during- or after-school programs can help students gain valuable social and emotional skills.

Mason Middle School. Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Schools

Mason Middle School. Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Schools

These skills include self-control, getting along with others, teamwork, goal-setting, and persistence. Sometimes this type of learning can be referred to as non-cognitive skills, character skills, or life skills.

The already strong education partnership between Tacoma Schools and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation will continue to blossom under the 10-month planning grant period.

“For years, several Tacoma community partners have worked together informally and formally to create positive student experiences inside the classroom and after school,” said Carla Santorno, Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools. “This planning period, funded by the Wallace Foundation, offers the opportunity to better align and integrate these systems.”

Following the grant planning phase, up to six of the nine district-intermediary pairs will be selected to receive three-year implementation grants in beginning in summer 2017. This phase will also include comprehensive research by The RAND Corporation to provide useful new evidence to the field.

Nationally, the Tacoma partnership is one of nine community partner pairs to receive such a planning grant. They were among 24 districts with high proportions of disadvantaged students invited to apply for the grant last spring.


is a staff writer at South Sound magazine.
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