Grants Fund STEM-Related In-Service Training for 740 Teachers
By CALVIN PYNN
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded grants totaling more than $2.1 million to 10 partnerships between school divisions and colleges and universities.
According to a news release from the VDOE, the grants are meant to increase content knowledge and sharpen classroom skills of teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Those subject areas are known collectively as STEM.
Pulaski County Public Schools will be one of many school systems in the state that will benefit from those grants. Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University were awarded $230,000 for the Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center, which will serve 76 teachers in 29 school divisions across Virginia.
In addition to PCHS, the Secondary Mathematics Professional Development grant will also help out the neighboring Radford City Schools, as well as Roanoke City and Roanoke County Schools.
Other local school divisions that will benefit from those grants include Floyd County Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Schools.
The awards were made through VDOE’s Mathematics and Science Partnership grant competition, which was announced last August. School divisions and institutions of higher education were encouraged to submit proposals to create partnerships that would provide professional development to teachers.
According to the release, the professional development proposals focus on supporting the implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) and the 2010 Science SOL.
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.
The program provides opportunities for mathematics and science teachers to increase subject-matter knowledge and improve classroom skills.
In addition to professional development opportunities, the grants also 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.
More information about Mathematics and Science Partnership projects and resources is available on the VDOE website.