Clifty Creek Elementary School teachers will share more than $105,000 in state grant funding, distributed to educators who have been rated highly effective on their performance evaluations.

The money is part of nearly $2 million approved by the Indiana State Budget Committee this week under the Excellence in Performance Grant program. Clifty Creek was awarded $105,671.46 under the program, which is awarded to teachers who work at Title I schools.

School districts applying for the grant must be a Title I Focus or Priority school. Such schools serve a high percentage of children from low-income households and receive financial assistance to help ensure their students meet academic standards. Title I funding provides additional academic support for students who are failing or most at risk of failing state and federal standards.

Besides Clifty Creek, other BCSC Title I schools are Taylorsville, Schmitt and Smith elementaries.

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The Department of Education reports that 79.2 percent of Clifty Creek students were eligible for free- or reduced-price lunches during the most recent school year.

Clifty Creek has been awarded grant funds through the program in each of the past two years, said Chad Phillips, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s director of title services. The school was eligible for $82,848.13 in 2015 and $65,149 the following year.

In 2015, the grant allowed eligible teachers to receive between $1,650 and $3,375, depending on activities in which the teacher participated. That year, BCSC was allowed to reward activities such as serving as a mentor to new teachers, Phillips said.

In 2016, the grant allowed eligible teachers to receive $3,345, according to Phillips.

A Title I Focus school, such as Clifty Creek, is one that has received a D letter grade for one year or a school that has not met exit criteria for the previous year. A priority school is a school receiving an F letter grade for one year or a school that has not met exit criteria for the previous year, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

Clifty Creek received an accountability grade of D on the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s annual performance report for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. It received a B for the 2015-16 school year and could have its Title I Focus school designation removed if it receives a C or better as part of BCSC’s 2016-17 annual performance report, Phillips said.

In order to be eligible for a share of the Excellence in Performance Grant, teachers must be rated highly effective and from that group, a retention stipend will be awarded to those who come back to Clifty Creek. Funding could also be awarded based on an evaluation of leadership activities as well, Phillips said.

If all 27 of Clifty Creek’s certified teachers were rated highly effective and return to the school, that would result in all of them receiving a retention bonus, Phillips said.

However, the amount each teacher will receive varies, since educators who taught at the school would also be eligible for career pathway stipends based on leadership activities they are involved in, he added.

Teacher evaluations in the BCSC district are in the process of being wrapped up, said Jim Roberts, BCSC superintendent. The money is expected to be paid out in the fall.

Clifty Creek Elementary School

  • Clifty Creek Elementary earned a “B” accountability grade during the 2015-16 school year
  • 71.6 percent of students passed IREAD during the 2016-17 school year
  • 65.3 percent of students were white in 2016-2017, with Hispanics the biggest minority at 23.7 percent.
  • The school had a 96 percent attendance rate during the 2015-16 school year
  • It had a total student enrollment of 452 students in grades K-6 during the 2016-17 school year

Address: 4625 E. County Road 50N.

Phone: 812-376-4342

Sources: Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. annual performance report, Indiana Department of Education

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com