The Holmes District School Board is working on a grant with USDA for distance learning and telemedicine.

Medea Callahan, who coordinates federal grants for the District, spoke about the matter during a April 16 Holmes County Board of County Commissioners meeting.

“This would bring the needed equipment to all of our area schools so that we could offer dual enrollment classes that maybe can’t reach another school but they would be able to access schools out in the county, maybe due to distance or students can’t get to a school in a timely manner,” Callahan said.

In a further statement sent after the meeting, Callahan said the grant program since 1994 “has helped to establish hundreds of distance learning and telemedicine systems improving quality of life for thousands of residents in rural communities across the United States.”  

“The application process included providing descriptions of the project sites, documenting that Holmes County School Board met the scoring criteria,” Callahan said. “Other components of the application included providing for the scope of work planned, the telecommunications system plan, and documentation that the Holmes District School Board has the experience to implement the program with fidelity and will be able to sustain the program.”

The plan will be used to equip seven hub sites/end-user sites throughout Holmes County with interactive video conferencing solutions. 

The equipment will allow instructors across Holmes County to scale our distance education programs and enhanced educational services to better serve our seven Hub/End-Users sites, enabling interactive video connection between students, teachers, and community members, Callahan said.

“Holmes County School Board is optimistic that our district will be awarded this grant funding and we look forward to the enhanced educational opportunities this will provide our students, teachers, and community,” Callahan said.

The grant program could offer professional development for teachers. Firefighters could also use the equipment for their training.

“We’re asking for the Board’s support in submitting this proposal to USDA for the distance learning grant,” Callahan.

The BOCC approved supporting the proposal. 

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