July 31, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
The Virginia Department of Education has recently awarded nine Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grants for implementation during the 2007-2008 school year. The grants total approximately $2.5 million and will support professional-development activities for mathematics and science teachers to increase their content knowledge and improve their teaching skills. Projects supported by these grants must be classroom focused, aligned with the Standards of Learning (SOL) and result in measurable growth in student achievement in mathematics and/or science. The grants range from $65,000 to $755,459 and will fund the following projects:
SciC²=IDEAS (Science Content and Collaboration = Instruction Designed to Educate All Students) — Fourth- and fifth-grade teachers from Virginia Beach will participate in a Science Content Academy, work together in collaborative learning communities and work with scientists to design engaging lessons. Norfolk State University and Tidewater Community College are partners in this grant.
Partnership for Excellence in Elementary School Science — The Christopher Newport University departments of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering and the university’s Office of Teacher Preparation are partnering with Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton and the National Institute of Aerospace to provide summer workshops and courses in Physical Science, Earth & Space Science and Life Science for elementary science teachers.
Science Explorers: Elementary Science Staff Development — This program is a partnership between George Mason University and Alexandria that will provide sustained and intensive staff development to increase the science-content knowledge and improve the instructional skills of science teachers at Jefferson-Houston Elementary School.
Science for All Partnership (SAP) — The Southwest Virginia Public Education Foundation, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and its Center for Teaching Excellence and the Appalachian Math Science Partnership are partnering with Scott, Dickenson, Wise and Tazewell counties. This partnership will provide a professional development program for K-6 science teachers consisting of summer institutes with college coursework that includes content knowledge with an emphasis on inquiry-based instructional strategies, along with school year activities.
Tidewater Team to Improve Middle School Mathematics II
— The College of William and Mary is partnering with 23 school
divisions and two private schools to provide eight summer institutes, one
academic year course and two content-enrichment conferences in an effort
to ensure that all sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics teachers are
competent in SOL mathematics content and pedagogy and are knowledgeable of
key SOL program documents and their effective
Southside Math Improvement Initiative (SMI2) — This initiative will target sixth- and seventh-grade teachers from Danville and Pittsylvania, Halifax, Henry and Patrick counties to provide content-specific mathematics courses and workshops, centered on an inquiry-based lesson approach. In addition to the five school divisions, the partnership includes the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the Danville Science Center, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Longwood University and New College Institute.
Richmond City Public Schools’ Mathematics Content Integrated Teaching (MCIT) Project — Richmond is collaborating with Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University to deliver five content-specific, inquiry-based, graduate-level mathematics courses to teachers in grades six and seven. The coursework will be enhanced through modules on ways to use technology to increase learning and achievement.
Virginia's Middle Mathematics Project (VaM²P) — The University of Virginia is partnering with James Madison University and Virginia Tech to offer mathematics courses to sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics teachers in 28 school divisions to deepen their content knowledge, develop problem-solving skills and improve classroom instruction. This program also will promote the role of lead teachers and mathematics specialists in creating school-based learning communities.
Coaching and Content for Grades 6-7 Math Teachers — Charlottesville and Piedmont Virginia Community College are partnering to provide sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics teachers professional development through embedded coaching and content coursework tied to effective mathematics instruction.
The MSP grant-funded programs described above have the potential of providing professional development for more than 1,100 science and mathematics teachers in the commonwealth.In addition to the new awards, two grants were also awarded to continue MSP mathematics projects from previous years. These include the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, "Coalfield County Math Science Partnership" and Westmoreland County’s "Algebra I Success for ‘All’ Students" program. Over the past four years, the MSP program has provided approximately $8.5 million in support of mathematics and science professional development in Virginia.