The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded four additional partnership grants totaling more than $811,000 to increase content knowledge and sharpen classroom skills of teachers in science and mathematics. Nine partnership grants totaling more than $1.6 were awarded by VDOE in March to support similar professional development efforts.
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 mathematics 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 provided to teachers through the funded partnerships will not only enhance their subject matter knowledge but also expand their capacity to present it in ways that engage students and inspire critical thinking,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.
More than $511,000 was awarded to fund the following two mathematics projects:
- Southern Virginia Elementary Mathematics Coalition to Enhance Student Achievement through Teacher Professional Development – $376,983 for the College of William and Mary, Longwood University and the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition to serve 134 teachers in five school divisions (Charles City County, Franklin, King and Queen County, Mecklenburg County and Prince Edward County).
- Innovative Mathematics Partnership for Rural Elementary Schools (IMPRES) – $134,502 for Longwood University and Virginia State University to serve 24 teachers in two school divisions (Sussex County and Brunswick County).
Nearly $300,000 was awarded to fund the following two science projects:
- Knowledge through Experience for Youth in Science (KEYS) – $169,224 for Old Dominion University to serve 40 teachers in two school divisions (Norfolk and Portsmouth).
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) Middle/Junior High-Elementary Literacy Integrated with Science (MELIS) at VCU – $130,593 for Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University to serve 50 teachers in Petersburg schools.
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). The grant program is designed to improve instruction by encouraging partnerships between institutions of higher education and school divisions to provide opportunities for mathematics and science teachers to increase subject-matter knowledge and improve classroom skills.
More information about Mathematics and Science Partnership projects and resources is available on the VDOE website.