The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded nine partnership grants totaling more than $1.6 million to increase the content knowledge and sharpen the classroom skills of teachers in science and mathematics.
The Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grants will allow public and private colleges and universities to provide high-quality, professional development to teachers in an effort to reduce achievement gaps in math and science among student groups while raising achievement of all students.
The 2015-2016 MSP grant program is designed to provide up to three years of support and services to schools and teachers. The competitive grants were given for professional development proposals supporting the implementation of Virginia’s rigorous mathematics and science Standards of Learning (SOL).
Grant recipient partnerships were required to include a mathematics, science and/or engineering department from at least one institute of higher education and one or more high-needs schools.
“The professional development teachers will receive through the funded partnerships will equip them with the confidence that comes from knowing their subject matter and knowing how to present it in ways that engage students and inspire critical thinking,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.
More than $742,000 was awarded to fund the following five mathematics projects:
- Interactive Mathematics Institute for Middle School Teachers – $60,792 for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the MathScience Innovation Center to serve 25 teachers in Richmond schools.
- Project Elementary Math Teaching (EMT) – $82,188 for Emory & Henry to serve 40 teachers in three school divisions (Bristol, Smyth County and Washington County).
- Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center – $242,866 for Radford University, Longwood University, NASA Langley Research Center, VCU and Virginia Tech to serve 156 teachers in 27 school divisions (Arlington County, Bedford County, Buchanan County, Chesterfield County, Essex County, Franklin County, Frederick County, Giles County, Gloucester County, Grayson County, Henrico County, King George County, Martinsville, Mecklenburg County, Montgomery County, New Kent County, Patrick County, Prince Edward County, Pulaski County, Rappahannock County, Roanoke, Roanoke County, Russell County, Smyth County, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Wise County).
- Transitions: Transforming Mathematics Instruction Through Mathematical Modeling, Algebraic Thinking and Proportional Reasoning Teaching and Assessing Virginia's 2009 Grades 5-9 Mathematics SOL – $219,212 for George Mason University and the Virginia Council for Private Education to serve 120 teachers in eight school divisions (Arlington County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William County and Roanoke).
- Virginia Tech/Buchanan County Mathematics Partnership – $137,500 for Virginia Tech to serve 55 teachers in Buchanan County schools.
More than $888,000 was awarded to fund the following four science projects:
- Building Bridges – $175,202 for Old Dominion University to serve 48 teachers in Hampton schools.
- Standards Within Real-World Learning (SWIRL) – $293,287 for Regent University, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers to serve 85 teachers in two school divisions (Norfolk and Virginia Beach).
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) Elementary Literacy Integrated with Science (ELIS) at the University of Virginia (UVA) – $208,555 for UVA and VCU to serve 60 teachers in Albemarle County.
- VISTA ELIS at VCU – $211,626 for VCU and UVA to serve 60 teachers in Henrico County.
Mathematics and Science Partnership grants are authorized by Title II, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). In addition to professional development opportunities, the grants support the development and availability of curriculum and lesson plans, professional development materials and other resources developed by project leaders and teachers for school division use.
The VDOE will award approximately $1 million more in May to support similar professional development efforts. Additional Mathematics and Science Partnership information and resources are available on the VDOE website.