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no child left behind

OverviewGuidelines2013-14 AwardsFormsStaff

Improving Teacher Quality State Grants

For the 2013-2014 school year, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia awarded twelve 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 Leaders

Project Director: Dr. Jan Rozzelle
Amount: $249,910.00

Abstract: SURN Visible Leaders aims to enhance instructional leadership, increase use of high yield strategies, and promote student learning. The project will build the capacity of principals (43) and teacher leaders (168) in grades 3-10 to improve teaching and learning by embedding collaborative classroom observations, non-fiction literacy in core content areas, and college and career readiness (CCR) skills. The 13 SCHEV-targeted SURN divisions will recruit two teacher leaders from selected schools to provide school-based in-services using project-developed curricula. Participating administrators in the SURN Principal Academy will engage a subset of teacher leaders in conducting observations to provide feedback in formative dialogue with peers.


George Mason University - ESTEEM Mathematics- 21st Century Skills for Problem-based Learning.

Project Director: Dr. Jennifer Suh
Amount: $179,944.85

Abstract: George Mason University's ESTEEMath: Expeditions in Science, Technology and Engineering Education through Mathematics program will enhance middle school student and teacher content knowledge in key math and science content areas by engaging them in 21st century skills for STEM Problem-based Learning and Assessments.  It will provide a great opportunity to directly reach and impact several students and teachers in the Northern Virginia schools through GMU’s existing collaborations and partnerships to (a) Engage students and teachers in inquiry-based 21st Century Literacy Skills focused on STEM instruction with mathematics, scientific investigation, engineering design, mathematical analysis and problem solving, and appropriate technology; (b) Enhance group dynamic capabilities of middle grades students and teachers working together thinking critically to solve real-world problems that focus on 21st Century Skills including the 4 Cs: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity; (c) Impact students and teachers through high quality professional development (through summer institutes and follow up seminars and content-focused coaching through Lesson Study) and GMU e-learning Network (content-focused webinars, video clips and research lessons in math and science as exemplars that align with the SOL standards) that enhances teaching practices;(d) Provide targeted opportunities for meaningful STEM learning to underrepresented populations through ESTEEM clubs to increase the academic achievement, family advocacy and opportunities through mentoring with teachers, Undergraduate Mentors and career readiness in STEM Initiatives.


Hampton University - Coastal Dynamics: Stewardship through Problem and Place-Based Learning

Project Director: Dr. Dianne Q. Robinson

Abstract: Hampton University will collaborate with Portsmouth Public Schools and the Elizabeth River Project to provide thirty-two teachers with a year-long professional development course, Coastal Dynamics: Stewardship through Problem and Place-Based Learning. The three phase project will consist of:  Phase-I, a 2-day field study at First Landing State Park, where the teachers will learn about the complexities and stewardship of coastal areas. Phase-II, 12 (3hr) after school sessions emphasizing: science content; place-based field investigations at Paradise Creek Nature Park; use of technologies for the development of project-based learning portfolios; and strategies to support literacy instruction in science lessons. Phase-III will consist of a 3-day capstone workshop at James River Park where the teachers will conduct field investigations and present their PBL portfolios for peer review.


Hollins University - Hollins Inquiry, Integration and Differentiation Professional Development

Project Director: Dr. Michael Bentley
Amount: $70,621.00

Abstract: Our Elementary Science Institute program provides an intensive two-week summer professional development program followed by two academic year symposia for 30 primary teachers of nine Southwestern Virginia Region VI school divisions. The program addresses both teaching methods and content specified in the Virginia Curriculum Framework (SOLs). Topics addressed include the nature of science and integrating science, mathematics, and literacy in the curriculum through using research-based methods, particularly active learning strategies, differentiated instruction, and inquiry (using both PBL and learning cycle models). The program is “community-connected” to regional agencies of informal education that supplement and enrich the classroom science curriculum. Teachers participate in scientist-led field studies in local natural areas and behind-the-scenes visits to the State’s natural history museum, Roanoke’s newly renovated science museum, and its AZA-accredited zoo.

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Longwood University - Creativity and Innovation in STEM Classrooms

Project Director: Dr. Manorama Talaiver
Amount: $152,491.00

Abstract: As active members of a professional learning community, twenty four mathematics, science, and career and technical education (CTE) teachers will collaborate with each other in a week-long professional development workshop in summer 2013 and explore research based instructional strategies and resources that facilitate the development of creativity and innovation in STEM classrooms. In fall 2013, teachers will participate in a three-credit graduate course about mentoring students to nurture creativity and explore emerging technology tools.  A professional learning community of math, science, and CTE teachers across the school divisions will use Moodle and Wikispace to interact with each other and develop interdisciplinary STEM resources and activities throughout the year.  Teachers will also receive online and classroom support and participate in a face-to-face session in late spring 2014 to showcase their implementation of their lessons, reflection, video cases, and student projects.  Teachers will also interact with twelve high school students in discussing and designing STEM learning resources.


Lynchburg College - Enhancing Instructional Leadership for School and Division Administrators

Project Director: Ms. Paula Lichiello
Amount: $131,922.00

Abstract: Lynchburg College, in conjunction with our partner school divisions from Amherst County, Bedford County, Campbell County, Halifax County and Lynchburg City, will implement a multi-faceted, fourteen-month project to enhance the instructional leadership of school and division administrators. Forty administrators will participate in graduate coursework over ten sessions to increase awareness of effective classroom instruction, particularly in math and science, to collaborate on classroom observations and related conferencing, and to establish a professional learning community. Additionally, an annual leadership symposium will be established to offer 150 principals ongoing training opportunities aligned with state requirements.


Old Dominion University Research Foundation - Building Literacy in Social Studies (BLiSS)

Project Director:Dr. Brandon Butler
Amount: $54,626.00

Abstract: Building Literacy in Social Studies (BLiSS) is a collaborative project between Old Dominion University and Hampton City Public Schools. This project aims to strengthen 18 elementary teachers’ (grades 3-5) social studies content knowledge in history, economics, and geography and provide them with literacy-based teaching strategies to improve students’ nonfiction reading, writing, and oral language skills.  These teachers participate in a series of summer and school-year workshops facilitated by disciplinary and literacy experts, and includes sustained contact throughout the school year to improve instruction and ultimately help project participants lead and sustain professional development in nonfiction text instruction in their local schools.

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Radford University - K-5 STEM Education Across the Blue Ridge

Project Director: Dr. Franklin Jones
Amount: $158,081.00

Abstract: The purpose of the proposed project is to strengthen STEM education in grades K-5 in the collaborating school systems, and to develop models of STEM instruction for these grades, which can then be used throughout the state.  Project coursework will consist of a total of 288 student credit hours of graduate instruction provided through two courses: a three–credit course in Fall 2013 and a related, but independent, three-credit course in Spring-2014.  There will be 48 participants in the fall and 48 in the spring.  The courses will combine traditional face-to-face instruction and instruction by electronic means.


Radford University - Integration Station: Bridging Best Literacy and Science Practices

Project Director: Dr. Jennifer Jones & Dr. Katie Hilden
Amount: $92,020.00

Abstract: Project Integration Station is designed to creatively integrate science and literacy instruction with the use of non-fiction texts to enhance students' learning in science, reading and writing. It is likewise crafted to offer opportunities for teachers to plan vertically by developing a common language used throughout the school both in terms of instruction and science/literacy content. Integration Station is innovative and worth sharing; teacher participants will disseminate knowledge in various local and state venues. Non-fiction texts contain information-dense, vocabulary-rich content, including unique text features, and graphic elements such charts, diagrams, and tables (Duke, 2000). While expectations of learning in the elementary grades require students to interact with and construct learning from nonfiction texts, the reality is that most students have had little experience or transition into such texts (Howe, Grierson & Richmond, 1997). Project Integration Station will increase student interaction with non-fiction and embrace research-based and instruction in science and literacy.


Randolph College - Science and Math links: Research-Based Teaching Institute

Project Director: Dr. Peggy Schimmoeller
Amount: $144,030.00

Abstract: This project is a continuation of our Science and Mathematics Institute with integrated literacy for K-8 teachers. It is designed to increase content knowledge and promote the use of inquiry-based pedagogy aligned to the Virginia SOL and the Next Generation Science Standards. The Institute, facilitated by faculty from Randolph College and Lynchburg College, will serve four urban and rural public school divisions and two community-based non-profit educational organizations. The Institute will include interactive content-based workshops, teaching experiences, and classroom observations. A website will be used for dissemination of resources developed. Follow-up classroom visits and coaching is provided for each teacher. The partnership is expected to enhance teacher quality and improve science and mathematics achievement, narrowing the achievement gap of K-8 students. Effectiveness will be assessed through multiple research methods. At least 65 teachers and 5 administrators will participate.

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University of Virginia - Blue Ridge Collaborative for Earth Science

Project Director: Dr. Edward Murphy
Amount: $211,210.00

Abstract: The University of Virginia, James Madison University, the Virginia School University Partnership, and 44 school divisions are forming a collaborative to offer four courses in Earth Science (astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, and Virginia geology) to 100 high school and middle school teachers in Virginia (25 teachers per class). The courses will include laboratory and field experiences, research based pedagogical strategies, and integrated lessons on the nature of science and scientific inquiry. One course (oceanography) will be offered during the summer of 2013 as a residential course at the University of Virginia with follow-up sessions during the fall of 2013. The meteorology class will be offered online during the 2013-2014 with 3 face-to-face meetings. During the summer of 2014, two week long (10 day) courses in astronomy and Virginia Geology will be offered at the University of Virginia and James Madison University.


Virginia Commonwealth University - Engaging Teachers to Accelerate English Language Learners’ Progress

Project Director: Dr. Valerie Robnolt
Amount: $183,792.00

Abstract: The Engaging Teachers to Accelerate English Language Learners’ Progress (ETAELLP) proposal is designed to help 50 in-service teachers and administrators of grades 3-12 use strategies specifically intended to improve learning for English language learners by taking a graduate course that will include the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). In addition, the teachers will have multiple opportunities to receive support and feedback from coaches, enhancing their knowledge and skills to strengthen their own ability to critically reflect on their teaching and initiate improvement.  Student progress will also be monitored through analysis of grades and ACCESS assessment scores.

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