Superintendent’s Memo #277-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

September 30, 2011

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Mathematics and Science Partnership Competitive Grant Program for 2011-2012

Title II, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) authorizes a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) competitive grant program. The intent of this program is to encourage institutions of higher education, school divisions, elementary schools, and secondary schools to participate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills of mathematics and science teachers. Professional development activities must be sustained, intensive, classroom focused, and aligned with state and local standards and curricula. These activities must result in a demonstrable and measurable improvement in student academic achievement in mathematics and science.

Lead institutions (core partners) in these grants must include mathematics, science, and/or engineering departments from higher education institutions, including community colleges.  Lead institutions may submit no more than two proposals per priority area.  Within a priority area, a partnering institution or organization may participate in only one partnership per grade band. These partnerships will draw upon the strong disciplinary expertise of the mathematicians, scientists, and engineering faculty from higher education institutions to develop professional development activities that will effect improvements in student outcomes by providing K-12 teachers with strong mathematics and/or science content knowledge. Additional partnerships with businesses and/or nonprofit organizations will help to provide an emphasis on the practical application of the mathematics and science content.

The Virginia Department of Education is responsible for the administration of the MSP grant program.  For the 2011-2012 competition, approximately $2.5 million is available for new MSP awards in Virginia.  Proposals must address one of the following priority areas:

  1. Virginia’s 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning;
  2. Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning; or
  3.  Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

 Additional details about each priority area are outlined in the Request for Proposals.

The professional development programs funded through this grant are intended to ensure Virginia students are being taught by teachers who have strong mathematics and science skills across all grade levels. Strong teachers will help students gain the knowledge and skills required to pursue postsecondary and workplace options that include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Request for Proposals is attached to this memorandum. Completed proposals must be received by the Virginia Department of Education no later than 4 p.m. on December 15, 2011. The deadline for submission of the Intent to Submit Form is October 31, 2011. A pre-proposal conference will be conducted at the James Monroe Building in Richmond and via webinar on November 4, 2011. For additional information, please contact Eric M. Rhoades, science coordinator, Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction, by e-mail at Eric.Rhoades@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at (804) 225-2898.

PIW/ER/rt

Attachment:

  1. Mathematics & Science Partnership Competitive Grant Program Request for Proposals for 2011-2012 (Word)