News Releases » U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Awards Monterey Peninsula Unified School District $1 Million to Strengthen Academic and Support Programs

U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Awards Monterey Peninsula Unified School District $1 Million to Strengthen Academic and Support Programs

November 8, 2021

Marci McFadden | Chief of Communications

U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Awards Monterey Peninsula Unified School District $1 Million to Strengthen Academic and Support Programs

Monterey, CA – The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is excited to announce its recent awarding of a $1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to strengthen academic and support programs for military-dependent students. This grant will support the strengthening of programs that improve family, school, and community relationships as well as enhance student achievement for military dependent students through a Computer Science for All project.

“We are pleased to be a proud recipient of another DoDEA grant,” said PK Diffenbaugh, Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. “Award of this grant acknowledges the importance of learning computational and math skills, and their close link in preparing students for college and careers in STEM fields,” said PK Diffenbaugh, Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. 

“Students in our district underperform peers across California in math and science achievement, with our Latinx, African American, and economically disadvantaged students dramatically underperforming their white, Asian, and non-economically disadvantaged classmates. This Computer Science for All project will address the limited access to computer science education for students, especially at a time when computing skills are increasingly needed for college readiness and career success,” said Cresa McIntosh, Associate Superintendent, Educational Services, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.

The funding investment will allow MPUSD to develop a sequential, standards-based transitional kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum that will integrate into classroom instruction at the target elementary schools, middle school math (and possibly science) classes, and high school math and data science courses. Students will also have the opportunity to access extracurricular activities to explore computer science and advance their computer science and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills, including Saturday Academy, after-school tutoring, coding clubs and hackathons, a summer bridge program, and family computer science/STEAM learning events.

The grant and project will specifically target five MPUSD schools with the highest percentage of military-connected students. These schools include:


Grade Level

# of Military-Connected Students

% of Military-Connected Students

La Mesa Elementary

Transitional Kindergarten - 6th



Marshall Elementary

Transitional Kindergarten - 6th



Monte Vista Elementary

Transitional Kindergarten - 6th



Walter Colton Middle

7th - 8th



Monterey High

9th - 12th



The purpose of the program is to increase military-connected students’ exposure to computer science instructions and to improve overall mathematics skills and achievement. Measurable outcomes will focus on gains in students’ results in local and state math testing, math course grades, and enrollment in advanced placement math and computer science classes. Teachers will also increase their capacity to deliver effective computer science instruction, and parents will have the opportunity to increase their digital literacy and knowledge of digital citizenship.    

The first year of the grant (2021-2022) will encompass developing and planning, and years two through five will include implementation. Specific details may be found in the grant application found here.

The DoDEA awarded $29 million across 36 grants as part of its 2018 Cohort. These grants will serve more than 166,000 students across 20 states, 66,000 of whom are military-connected. The DoDEA's Educational Partnership Branch champions quality education opportunities for military children in pursuit of promoting continuity in academic and social support programs in military-connected public school districts and Non-DoD Schools. The branch provides information and support to increase understanding of the unique needs of military children as well as academic support to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for military children. Learn more about the branch here.]

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About Monterey Peninsula Unified School District

The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is home to approximately 9,600 students in grades transitional kindergarten through 12th grade. The district also houses preschool and adult education. The district is built on a solid foundation of effective instruction, positive school culture, systems of support, and collaborative leadership. The district is nestled along the Monterey Bay, and stretches from the city of Marina to the north to the city of Monterey to the south, and encompasses the communities of Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Sand City and Seaside.

About DoDEA

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is a field activity of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. DoDEA's mission is to plan, direct, coordinate, and manage the education programs for eligible dependents of U.S. military personnel and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD provides resources to non-DoDEA schools to help them deal with the challenges faced by military dependents.

About the DoDEA Educational Partnership Program

DoDEA supports research-based programs that aim to increase student achievement in military-connected local education agencies (LEAs) and ease the challenges and transitions that students face due to their parents' military service. Since 2009, DoDEA has awarded 439 grants, totaling over $493 million. These grants serve more than 2.1 million students, including over 647,000 military-connected students in more than 2,900 schools.