March 17, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: 2017-2018 Application for the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the Virginia Middle School Teacher Corps (MSTC) application for the 2017-2018 school year. The MSTC program continues to focus on reinforcing the quality of mathematics instruction by providing recruitment and/or retention incentives ($5,000) for effective mathematics teachers in schools with middle grades (grades six, seven, and/or eight) where mathematics is an area identified for improvement.
For the 2017-2018 MSTC program, all middle-grades schools that: (1) are “Warned in Mathematics”; (2) are identified as “Priority Schools,” where mathematics is an area identified for improvement; or (3) have mathematics pass rates at or below 71 percent, as indicated on the 2016-2017 School Accreditation Ratings, are eligible to participate.
School divisions can access and use MSTC funds to help recruit and/or retain up to two mathematics teachers for each of these eligible schools through the streamlined MSTC application, due to VDOE by 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 2, 2017. A list of eligible schools is found on page eight of the MSTC application packet attached to this memorandum.
School divisions with eligible middle-grades schools may use the MSTC program to help: (1) fill mathematics teacher vacancies with qualified mathematics teachers; or (2) retain effective teachers in their current, eligible schools. School divisions may apply for funding to provide annual salary differentials of $5,000 for each of three years for qualified teachers. Teachers receiving the MSTC incentives must occupy full-time teaching positions that reach students at risk of failure in mathematics. Qualified MSTC teachers must:
- hold an active, five-year Virginia teaching license;
- hold an appropriate teaching endorsement to teach middle school mathematics;
- have at least three years of experience in full-time teaching of middle or high school mathematics;
- have a major or minor in mathematics (a minimum of 18 semester hours of mathematics coursework); and
- have demonstrated success in improving students’ academic achievement in mathematics.
Please note that the second and third years of the three-year school award are contingent upon continued funding each year from the Virginia General Assembly. Each MSTC teacher’s eligibility is based on his/her receiving a performance evaluation of “proficient” or above each year of the three years of teacher eligibility. The local school division has the authority to replace a MSTC teacher at its discretion with another mathematics teacher who meets the MSTC qualifications.
- The VDOE will notify each school division as to the status of its MSTC application before the end of May 2017, pending final approval of the FY 2018 state budget. At that point, those school divisions with MSTC awards will be able to begin using the MSTC salary differential as an incentive to recruit new or retain existing qualified mathematics teachers for the 2017-2018 school year in eligible schools.
- After the VDOE receives the Teacher Background and Assurances form that is due on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, which specifies the names of the selected, qualified, mathematics teachers for each of the awarded schools, the VDOE will make official, hardcopy Grant Award Notifications in October 2017.
School divisions may require additional duties of MSTC teachers to assist their eligible schools’ mathematics programs. Additional information about the MSTC program and how to apply may be found in the 2017-2018 Middle School Teacher Corps Application, Attachment A of this memorandum.
If you need additional information or have questions about the MSTC program, please contact Kim Powell, Grants and Reports Manager, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by email at Kim.Powell@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-3609; or Tina Mazzacane, Mathematics Coordinator, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by email at Tina.Mazzacane@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-4849.