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no child left behind


Improving Teacher Quality State Grants

For the 2011-2012 school year, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia awarded thirteen competitive awards. The professional development grants will be used to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping Virginia schools and school districts improve teacher and principal quality and to ensure that all teachers are highly qualified in the core subjects they teach.


College of William and Mary - SURN Visible Teaching, Assessment, Learning, and Leading (SURN VTALL)

Project Director: Dr. Jan Rozzelle
Amount: $ 199,763.00
Abstract: SURN Visible Teaching, Assessment, Learning, and Leading (SURN VTALL)

SURN Visible Teaching, Assessing, Learning, and Leading (SURN VTALL) will build distributed leadership capacity in high-needs schools by offering professional development to teacher leaders in SURN’s 26 school division partnership. Proposed project goals aim to increase the use of high-yield teaching and learning strategies, increase the frequency and quality of feedback to teachers through peer observations and coaching, and to promote student engagement and performance by integrating College and Career Readiness Initiative skills across content areas through “capstone” projects. Activities will impact an estimated 832 educators and will provide professional development characterized by explicit teaching, demonstrations, and exemplars; facilitated classroom observations with on-site coaching; and a project Teacher-in-Residence providing technical support.

Hampton University - Coastal Systems: Stewardship through 21st Century Literacy

Project Director: Dr. Dianne Robinson
Amount: $ 128,961.00

Abstract: Hampton University (HU) will collaborate with Portsmouth Public Schools, Alliance Christian School, and the Elizabeth River Project, to provide 32 teachers and principals with a year-long professional development (PD) course executed in three phases. Phase I: a 2-day/night launch workshop, where the teachers will participate in scientific investigations pertaining to coastal systems at Kiptopeake State Park, on VA’s eastern shore. Phase II : 10 (3hr) after school sessions emphasizing: science content tied to classroom investigations; use of 21st century technologies and communication tools for developing project-based portfolios; and use of assessment for learning strategies to support literacy instruction in science lessons. Phase III will culminate with a 1-day symposium at HU where the teachers will interact with scientists and present their completed project-based portfolios for peer review.

Hollins University - Hollins Inquiry, Integration and Differentiation Professional Development Project

Project Director: Dr. Michael Bentley
Amount: $ 65,513.00

Abstract: Our program is an intensive two-week summer professional development institute with two academic year symposia for 30 grades 3-5 teachers in Region VI addressing both content specified in the Virginia Curriculum Framework and teaching methods. Topics addressed include the nature of science and integrating science, mathematics, and literacy in the curriculum through using research-based strategies: inquiry, active learning, and differentiated instruction. The program is “community-connected” to regional agencies that can supplement and enrich the school curriculum and includes scientist led field studies in local natural areas and behind-the-scenes visits to a planetarium and science center, a zoo, and a natural history museum.

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James Madison University - Virginia Initiative for Robotics in STEM Education

Project Director: Mr. Dominic Swayne
Amount: $ 199,991.00

Abstract: The Virginia Initiative for Robotics in STEM Education (VIRSE3) is both a continuation and an expansion of a partnership including three high need LEAs: Martinsville, Hopewell and Richmond City Schools; three highly diverse LEAs: Harrisonburg, Waynesboro and Staunton City Schools; two rural LEAs: Page and Augusta County Schools, and two of James Madison University’s Colleges. The VIRSE3 program is intended to improve the quality of pedagogical skills and teacher content knowledge in science, technology and math through innovative, sustainable, and engaging research-based teaching methods. It will also provide administrators with the resources and support they need to remain actively engaged with teachers and students as approaches to STEM education evolve and continue to improve. James Madison University’s College of Education and College of Science and Mathematics will collaborate with each other to provide VIRSE3 teachers, administrators, parents, and community members with valuable content, instruction, mentoring resources, and yearlong support. VIRSE3 will also expand upon a VIRSE2 pilot initiative, a mentoring program meant to increase literacy across the curriculum and improve teacher quality, by including three more LEAs.

Longwood University- Partnerships Required for Each Student’s Success (PRESS II)

Project Director: Dr. Manorama Talaiver
Amount: $ 195,310.00

Abstract: PRESS II will enable participants to improve student achievement in literacy and mathematics for students in grades K-12. This will be accomplished by the improvement of instructional leadership and collaborative resource management skills of school leaders through 21st century learning and leadership e-learning courses and face-to-face workshops. This project will focus primarily on the traditionally underserved Southside Virginia and will include 24 participants comprised of leaders in elementary, middle, and high schools. Indirectly, this research proposal will benefit all teachers in the participating schools containing approximately 1,000 classroom teachers, and approximately 10,000 students. The participants will be engaged in face-to-face workshops in summer 2011, fall 2011, and spring 2012 (two days each) and six online graduate courses, which will result in a certificate on 21st century learning and leadership and an improvement in instructional practices. In addition, high school English teachers of the participating divisions will receive professional development focused on the performance expectations for the English capstone course, along with literacy instruction for the high school leadership participants that will also focus on these expectations.

Old Dominion University- Partnerships for Teaching and Leading Quality Mathematics Education

Project Director: Dr. Steve Myran
Amount: $ 174,746.00

Abstract: Teaching and Leading Quality Mathematics Education is collaboration among Norfolk Public Schools, Northampton Public Schools, and Colleges of Education and Sciences at Old Dominion University and will impact over 100 teachers and school leaders. Field-based professional development experiences are designed to improve teacher and leadership quality in the area of middle school mathematics focused on cognitively rigorous instruction, formative assessment and targeted areas of mathematics content knowledge. A central component of the design is to build on previous success and capacity of the groups’ collaborations and further support lasting improvements in the instructional capacity of our partners.

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Radford University - Supporting Mathematics, Science, and Literacy in Southside Virginia

Project Director: Dr. Franklin Jones
Amount: $138,243.00

Abstract: The central purpose of this proposed project is to improve elementary and middle school students’ science literacy and SOL achievement by improving teachers’ elementary and middle science instruction, including teachers’ understanding of how to teach literacy across the disciplines. Inquiry-based science, mathematics, and reading curriculum materials, strategies, and assessments will be incorporated that align with Virginia’s Science, Mathematics, and English Standards of Learning. Project coursework will consist of a three-credit hour graduate elementary and middle science course in Danville, a three hour graduate elementary/middle school science course in Henry County, and a three-credit hour graduate science course in Pittsylvania County. The program is designed for 46 participants in Southside Virginia. Leadership development will be emphasized for teachers and principals through mentoring workshops and dissemination sessions.

Randolph College- Science and Math Links: Research –Based Teaching Institute

Project Director: Dr. Peggy Schimmoeller
Amount: $ 138,243.00

Abstract:Science and Math Links: Research-Based Teaching project is a continuation of an Institute for K-8 teachers. The focus is to enhance content knowledge, and promote use of inquiry-based pedagogy aligned to Virginia SOL. The Institute, facilitated by college faculty, will serve four school divisions and two community-based organizations. Sixty teachers receive five days of workshops in effective science instruction including interactive lessons, teaching experiences, and classroom observations. Six teachers apply training during a science camp. A website will be used for dissemination of resources. The partnership is expected to enhance teacher quality and improve science achievement, narrowing the achievement gap. Effectiveness is assessed through multiple research methods.

University of Virginia- Teaching Scientific Inquiry and the Nature of Science

Project Director: Dr. Jennifer Chiu
Amount: $ 71,411.00

Abstract:Our professional development opportunity is designed to enhance middle school science teachers' understandings of, and ability to teach, scientific inquiry and the nature of science. The professional development includes a one-week summer institute plus ongoing support (including video reflections/coaching and a follow-up meeting at the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers) for 26 middle school science teachers. Participants will assess their curricular materials and develop a year long scope-and-sequence for teaching both scientific inquiry and the nature of science. Additionally, they will receive 3 graduate course credits, travel expenses, and all necessary materials to implement what they learn.

Virginia Tech University-Leading in Reading: Capacity-Building for Literacy Achievement

Project Director: Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer
Amount: $ 169,763.00

Abstract:Leading in Reading (LnR) will provide professional development to school leaders in Region 7 school districts. The goals of LnR are to increase knowledge around research-based reading and school leadership, as well as, to support schools in implementing new reading initiatives based on their specific needs. LnR activities will include a pre-planning phase, five professional development sessions through the school year, guided school-based implementation, and a one-day conference at the end of the school year. The LnR program will reach 140 participants from 30 schools across the region.

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