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Federal Programs Administration

The Hancock County School District manages several federal grants funded by the federal government that are provided to local educational agencies for the purpose of addressing students with high priority learning needs. Some of the needs include high poverty rates, homelessness, language barriers, limited opportunities for educational services as well as other educational inequities. The Hancock County School District’s Office of federal programs manages and administers the following federal programs:

Title I, Part A – As outlined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), the purpose of Title I is to support supplemental services for students in high-poverty schools.  Through Title I, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools with high percentages of children from low-income families receive financial assistance to ensure all children have significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards.

Title II, Part A – Title II as outlined by ESEA of 1965 and as amended by ESSA of 2015 supports training and recruiting high quality teachers and principals.  Through Title II, LEAs improve teacher and principal quality to ensure educator effectiveness to support increased student achievement.

Title IV, Part A – The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program is intended to help meet educational standards in high need schools by increasing the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs). Title IV as outlined by ESEA of 1965 and as amended by ESSA of 2015 helps schools and local communities:  1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, 2) improve school conditions for student learning, and 3) support the effective use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.   

Title V, Part B –    The Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) grant program provides rural districts with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving student achievement.  It is designed to address the unique needs of small, rural local education agencies (LEAs) that frequently lack the personnel and resources needed to compete effectively for Federal competitive grants. Funds may be used to supplement any other Federal, State or local educational funds.

Ms. Jessica Baker
Federal Programs Director

Jessica Baker assumed the role of Federal Programs Director for Hancock County School District in July 2022. Ms. Baker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi followed by a Master in the Art of Teaching from William Carey University. Ms. Baker began her career as an alternate-route teacher in the Hattiesburg Public School District teaching all subjects to elementary-aged students. She co-founded the only local chapter of People-to-People International.

As a native of Bay St. Louis and a graduate of South Hancock and Hancock High School, Ms. Baker was thrilled to return to the coast and her home district in 2009 as Lead Teacher at Hancock High. Here, she was able to expand upon her experience, collaborate with a dedicated team of educators and supportive community leaders to significantly impact the culture and eventual success of our oldest Hawk students.

Ms. Baker returned to her elementary roots as Lead Teacher at East Hancock Elementary and then served as Assistant-Principal at E.H.E. She is proud to be a part of the team that helped earn E.H.E. the prestigious designation of National Blue Ribbon School.

Jessica and her daughter Brooke, a student at Hancock High School, enjoy spending time with their family and friends, seeking new adventures, traveling, and spending time with their sweet dog, Vivi. Ms. Baker prides herself on fostering creative solutions, building relationships and looks forward to maximizing Federal Programs resources to benefit the students and families of Hancock County School District.