ROCK ISLAND -- Students ranked in the lower third of their class after their junior year at Rock Island High School now could earn a scholarship to Black Hawk College by having the most-improved grade-point average.
School board members Tuesday accepted the scholarship offer, co-sponsored by the Rock Island Rotary and Black Hawk College.
College vice president Susan McBride explained features of the Rotary Strive Scholarship project -- started earlier in White Bear Lake, Minn. -- to motivate students to improve their attendance and grades.
More than 75 percent of the Minnesota students improved their grade average and had a 91 percent attendance rate as a result of the program, Ms. McBride said.
Black Hawk College agreed to provide one scholarship to each Rotary Club in the district wanting to participate in the program. East Moline and Moline Rotary Clubs are participating, she said.
The one-year scholarship will pay tuition for 38 credit hours and be worth about $2,000, Ms. McBride said. All scholarship candidates will receive special recognition. Additional awards and possible summer jobs are being considered, Ms. McBride said. Rotary members also plan to meet monthly with students in the program to provide additional motivation and inspiration.
Materials sent to students will omit mention of the scholarship being geared toward students in the bottom third of their class -- because they probably wouldn't find it motivational, she said.
Instead, materials will invite students to participate based on their grade-point average after their junior year and their willingness to improve, Ms. McBride said.
``We do many things to honor the participation of students at the top of their class, but have rarely done much for students in the lower quartile to give them the support they need to become wonderful students,'' she said.
In other action, the board:
-- Approved its 1998-99 budget showing total expenditures of $60,577,563 and revenues of $47,949,274. Expenditures reflect the amount being spent for building projects, with funds raised by an earlier bond sale. Last year's budget contained revenues of $70,032,070 and expenditures of $50,258,940 because of the $20.8 million bond sale. Excluding money spent on capital and life-safety projects, this year's budget anticipates a $226,827 surplus.
-- Expelled an unidentified male high school student for the remainder of the year for possessing a knife.