14 Schools To Share $9 Million in ‘Next Century’ Competition

By Meg Sommerfeld — April 22, 1992 4 min read

The RJR Nabisco Foundation announced last week that it will award a total of $9 million to 14 schools selected as winners in the final round of its “Next Century Schools’’ grant competition.

The foundation launched the $30-million initiative, believed to be the largest corporate program of cash grants to individual public schools, three years ago to foster experimentation with “revolutionary’’ changes in school structure and curricula.

The schools named last week, which were selected from some 1,100 applicants, will receive between $321,000 and $750,000 over a three-year period.

Fewer schools applied for the grants this year than last, when 1,600 schools submitted applications, foundation officials said. In 1990, the first year of the competition, about 1,000 schools applied.

A 16-member advisory board of education, business, and government leaders selected the winners. Among the board’s members are Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas; Keith B. Geiger, the president of the National Education Association; Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers; and Theodore Sizer, the chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Longer School Days, Years

  • Winners in this year’s competition include:
    The Beeber Middle School in Philadelphia, which will receive $724,059 to replace its curriculum with a series of team-taught, 12-week thematic courses. Students will attend school for 39 to 41 weeks annually, and the school day will be extended by two hours.
  • The De Anza Junior High School, in Calexico, Calif., which was awarded $594,945 to develop several “schools within a school.’' Interdisciplinary teams of six teachers will teach three 60-student “learning families.’'
  • The Greenburgh Eleven Elementary School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., a residential treatment center for at-risk boys from New York City. The school will receive $735,778 to create “Project Dream Street,’' a program in which students establish and govern their own “micro-communities.’' The students will also be matched with mentors.
  • The Highland Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C., which won a grant of $698,100 to apply the principles of Total Quality Management to the administration of the school. The inner-city school will have an ungraded, year-round, extended-day program.
  • Juanita Elementary School in Kirkland, Wash., which will receive $592,951 to develop a self-paced curriculum. Students from local high schools and community volunteers will serve as classroom assistants and help carry a “significant part of the teaching load.’'
  • The Marshall Early Learning Center, a new school set to open next fall in Marshall, Wis., which will use its $654,330 grant to hire staff members. Each student will have an “individualized family-service plan,’' and students will remain with their 1st-grade teachers for three years.
  • The Molholm Elementary School in Lakewood, Colo., which won a $704,115 award to allow students to remain with the same teacher from kindergarten through 2nd grade, and from 3rd through 5th grade. The school will also develop programs for parent and community involvement.
    • Using Technology

      The other 1992 winners are:

    • Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, which will receive $551,551. The money will be used to institute a year-round program for students who have fallen behind in completing graduation requirements and to create extended-day classes.
    • The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, N.C. The statewide boarding school will use its $670,650 award to develop a cable-television distance-learning program, enabling 240 students in Durham County public high schools to receive advanced instruction in science and math.
    • The Carl Sandburg Intermediate School in Alexandria, Va., which will direct its $531,100 grant toward reducing the percentage of students each year who fail a grade, currently 12.5 percent. The school will lengthen the school day by two hours, three days a week; add a summer-enrichment program; adopt alternative-teaching methods; and create a student-run television studio for program participants.
    • Rappahannock Elementary School in Sperryville, Va., which will use its $609,508 grant to make computer technology an integral part of its math, science, and social-studies curricula.
    • The Rummel Creek Elementary School in Houston, which will receive $750,000--the largest grant--to restructure its curriculum. The school will adopt a university-style framework with core classes in the mornings and electives in the afternoons. The curriculum will also allow students to study advanced subject matter at their own pace.
    • Tuba City High School in Tuba City, Ariz., which will receive $745,623 to reorganize its primarily Navajo student body into five “houses,’' focusing on career exploration, science, math, business, and the arts.
    • Vaughn Street Elementary School in San Fernando, Calif., whose $321,120 grant will be used to develop preventive, home-based programs for at-risk children from infancy to age 5 to ensure that they enter school ready to learn.
    • A version of this article appeared in the April 22, 1992 edition of Education Week as 14 Schools To Share $9 Million in ‘Next Century’ Competition