G.A.P.S. grants available

The G.A.P.S. Foundation (Generating Assistance for Public Schools) is offering its sixth annual grant program this fall to public school staff working with special needs and at-risk populations for projects and supplies that are beyond normal operating budgets. Deadline to apply is Friday, Oct. 12 at A total $40,000 will be awarded for projects that directly impact young children and students in four specific areas. Grant amounts will be between $100 and $2,500.

Banks board OKs construction group

The Banks School Board formally approved Cornerstone Management Group Monday night as the owner's representative in matters related to upcoming construction projects, said Superintendent Bob Huston. Cornerstone will also advise the district on details of the bond construction budget as projects move forward. Voters approved a $10.5 million bond last May to renovate its high school, reconstruct most of its new middle school and eventually combine grades six through eight.

Buy makeup, support school

Supporters of Echo Shaw Elementary School can purchase Mary Kay Cosmetics to benefit school programs on Sunday, Oct. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Amazing Kidz World Drop-In Day Care, 2735 20th Place in Forest Grove. Orders taken before the event will count toward the fundraiser, and money raised for Echo Shaw will go toward educational programs, software and field trips.

Steinbach named merit semifinalist

Forest Grove High School alumnus Rosie Steinbach has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program, joining 16,000 students nationwide who scored in the top 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors on the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Steinbach, who graduated early from FGHS and is now attending Stanford University in California, will learn in February if she has been selected as a finalist and eligible for a National Merit Scholarship. Jessamy Taylor, a FGHS senior, was named commended student in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Cornelius Elementary a ‘model school’

Forest Grove’s Cornelius Elementary has been designated by the state Department of Education as a “model school” based on the academic growth of its students. Cornelius is one of only 27 Title I schools out of the 600 in Oregon to receive the designation. The state used three designations — model school, focus school and priority school — to rate schools. In Forest Grove, Joseph Gale and Fern Hill elementaries were named “focus schools,” which fall within the bottom 15 percent of high poverty schools and have faced challenges with closing the achievement gap, noted district Chief of Staff Connie Potter. “Priority schools” rank within the bottom 5 percent of Title I schools and have the lowest overall achievement or graduation rates. Both “priority” and “focus” schools will receive additional support from the state to help improve student achievement.

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