COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
August 29, 2014
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) competitive grant program. For this year’s cycle, the program will award approximately $2.1 million in grants for mathematics and science education. Title II, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), authorizes the MSP program.
The intent of Virginia’s MSP request for proposals (RFP) is to encourage public and private institutions of higher education (IHE) to provide high-quality, school-focused professional development on a sustained basis to teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools. The professional development programs to be funded through the attached RFP (Attachment A) must be designed to ensure that Virginia’s students, especially those in high-needs schools, are being taught by teachers who have solid academic backgrounds in mathematics and/or science.
Reflecting and expanding the Commonwealth’s ongoing emphasis on high-quality professional development and improving achievement across all groups of students while reducing the achievement gap among student groups, the 2014-2015 MSP application has been amended to provide the opportunity for longer-term services and support for schools. MSP awards will be made for up to three years, contingent upon availability of funding from the U. S. Department of Education and projects maintaining strong partnerships and satisfactory progress.
The partnerships must include a mathematics, science, and/or engineering department from at least one institution of higher education (IHE), including community colleges, and one or more high-needs schools. The program may include other partners such as additional IHEs, businesses, associations, or organizations. The MSP applicant and the fiscal agent must be either: 1) a school division with a participating school or schools; or 2) the primary IHE partner. Additional details about eligibility are outlined in the RFP.
Completed proposals must be received electronically by the VDOE no later than 4 p.m., December 1, 2014. The deadline for submission of the Intent-to-Submit Form is October 3, 2014. A pre-proposal conference will be conducted at the James Monroe Building in Richmond and via webinar on October 10, 2014. For additional information, please contact Eric M. Rhoades, director, Office of Science and Health Education, by e-mail at Eric.Rhoades@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at (804) 786-2481.