The St. James School District has received a $445,000 federal grant to be used to hire additional staff at the district’s Northside Elementary School. The district was awarded the grant after being ranked among the bottom 5% of Title 1 schools in the state. The funds will be used to help close the achievement gap between white and minority students by hiring an assistant principal, a full-time reading specialist, a half-time math interventionist, a full-time data instructional coach, and a full-time family liaison. Groups of St. James students with similar needs will be given curriculum specific to them, and Northside Elementary teachers will also be given time to work in professional learning communities to share ideas about what’s working. St. James has a minority population of over 50%. The federal grant is renewable up to 3 years.