Waxahachie ISD was awarded more than $108,000 through the Grow Your Own grant to provide more opportunities for current employees to advance their careers within the district.

The 2020-22 Grown Your Own Grant Program — sponsored by the Texas Education Agency — will help the district take a targeted approach in growing our own paraprofessionals into certified teachers. This grant is also aimed at addressing shortages in traditionally hard-to-staff areas and closing the demographic gap between students and teachers.

The grant program is separated into two pathways.

Pathway 1: $47,500

Recruitment efforts will be addressed at the high school level through Career and Technical Education courses aligned with the education and training career cluster.

WISD partners with Navarro College to provide dual credit courses in education and training at both high schools. For the first time ever, education and training courses will be offered to Waxahachie Global High School students, which will go into effect in the 2020-21 school year.

The grant also awards a stipend for one educator teaching education and training courses (non-dual credit) while two dual-credit teachers will also be awarded a stipend.

Pathway 2: $61,000

This pathway addresses efforts to transition paraprofessionals, instructional aides, and long-term substitute teachers to full-time, certified teacher roles.

For current employees who have already obtained bachelor’s degrees and have the desire to earn their teacher certifications, they have the opportunity to earn an alternative teaching certification through the cohort program at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

For current employees who have 75 percent of their undergraduate degree programs completed, grant monies will pay for the remaining hours associated with the bachelor’s degree and will cover the alternative teacher certification.

Participants in the Grow Your Own grant program under Pathway 2 is guaranteed a job in WISD upon successful completion of a degree program and certification testing.

For more information on this opportunity or to apply, contact the Director of Grants Management Mark Bosher at mbosher@wisd.org.