RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded more than $2.4 million in second-year grants to support 13 programs established last year to increase the content knowledge and sharpen the classroom skills of the commonwealth’s mathematics and science teachers.
The grants are from the federal Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) program, which supports efforts by colleges and universities to provide high-quality, professional development programs for teachers with the goal of improving instruction and closing achievement gaps in mathematics and science. Funded partnerships must include a mathematics, science and/or engineering department from at least one institute of higher education and at least one high-needs school division.
“The professional development opportunities provided through this program over the last fifteen years have been critical to the commonwealth’s efforts to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to prepare their students to meet Virginia’s high expectations for learning and achievement in mathematics and science,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples.
More than $1.4 million was awarded to provide second-year funding for the following seven mathematics projects:
- Innovative Mathematics Partnership for Rural Elementary Schools – $113,179 for Longwood University and Virginia State University (VSU) to serve 24 teachers in Sussex County and Brunswick County.
- Interactive Mathematics Institute for Middle School Teachers – $98,303 for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the MathScience Innovation Center to serve 25 teachers in Richmond.
- Project EMT (Elementary Math Teaching) – $72,025 for Emory & Henry to serve 32 teachers in Bristol, Smyth County and Washington County.
- Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center – $242,866 for Radford University, NASA Langley Research Center, Longwood University, 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).
- Southern Virginia Elementary Mathematics Coalition to Enhance Student Achievement through Teacher Professional Development – $419,382 for the College of William & Mary, Longwood University and the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition to serve 134 teachers in five school divisions (Charles City County, Franklin, King and Queen County, Mecklenburg County, and Prince Edward County).
- Transitions: Transforming Mathematics Instruction Through Mathematical Modeling, Algebraic Thinking; and Proportional Reasoning: Teaching and Assessing Virginia's 2009 Mathematics SOL (Grades 5-9) – $252,000 for George Mason University and the Virginia Council for Private Education to serve 120 teachers in eight school divisions (Arlington County, Frederick County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William County and Roanoke).
- Virginia Tech/Buchanan County Mathematics Partnership – $252,512 for Virginia Tech to serve 85 teachers in Buchanan County schools.
More than $958,000 was awarded to support the following six science projects:
- Building Bridges – $91,303 for Old Dominion University (ODU) to serve 48 teachers in Hampton.
- Knowledge through Experience for Youth in Science – $159,610 for ODU to serve 40 teachers in Norfolk and Portsmouth.
- Standards within Real-World Learning – $183,372 for Regent University, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers to serve 85 teachers in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement Elementary Literacy Integrated with Science at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) – $119,666 for U.Va. and VCU to serve 60 teachers in Albemarle County and Waynesboro.
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement Elementary Literacy Integrated with Science at VCU – $238,034 for VCU and the University of Virginia to serve 85 teachers in Caroline County, Chesterfield County, Henrico County and Richmond.
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement Middle/Junior High-Elementary Literacy Integrated with Science at VCU – $166,369 for VCU and VSU to serve 65 teachers in Dinwiddie County and Petersburg.
Mathematics and Science Partnership grants were authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the grant program was not included in the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, funding will be available in 2017 for a third and final year of awards.
In addition to professional development opportunities, the grants have also supported the development of curriculum and lesson plans, professional development materials and other resources for mathematics and science teachers.
More information about Mathematics and Science Partnership projects and resources is available on the VDOE website.