State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi on Tuesday will welcome ten school districts from across the state to the State Capitol to recognize the projects they’ve completed as 2011 Math and Science Partnership Grant recipients. Districts were selected for professional development projects that focused on inquiry-based learning.
The recognition ceremony starts at 9 a.m. on the fourth floor of the Capitol. Each district will be recognized with a certificate from the State Department of Education, and a representative from each district will have the opportunity to speak about the scope of their projects. School representatives will be at the Capitol until 2 p.m. with project materials available for public view
“We are so impressed with the quality of work from each of each of these school districts,” Barresi said. “This day provides a wonderful opportunity for the districts to communicate with our legislators and others visiting the Capitol about the work they are doing to transform the landscape of education in Oklahoma.”
Districts receiving the 2011 Math and Science Partnership Grant, the amounts received, and the winning projects are:
• Byng, $170,4523, Pontotoc County – Forensic Applications of Content and Evidence in Science
• Clinton, $287,571, Prairies and Ponds 2
• Lawton, $276,610, Environment’s Factors of Oklahoma for Elementary Teachers
• Meeker, $140,440, Digging Up the Past
• Putnam City, $309,757, Creating Critical Connections in Math and Science
• Tulsa, $134,840, Math Exploration Academy
• Valliant, $256,192, TEAM Partnership
• Vanoss, $243,838, Area Schools Unite for Math
• Wagoner, $113,384, Science Alliance
• Wynona, $242,375, Project STEM
The goal of the grant is to improve student engagement and achievement, said Gloria Bayouth, Executive Director of federal programs at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Each district was recognized for using inquiry-based methods of instruction in the two core content areas of mathematics and science.
Grantees hold two to four weeks of intensive professional development institutes during the summer with additional follow-up days during the school year to which they invite teachers from other districts to participate. Participating teachers then must produce professional development presentations for other educators in their home districts. Grant winners are required to partner with a university.
Jeff Downs, executive director of STEM for the State Department of Education, said, “Having a forum that displays top quality models of professional development is a crucial step in the right direction for math and science education in Oklahoma. Having the opportunity to share this with other educators, lawmakers and school districts creates a high potent formula for success that will be carried all the way to the classroom.”
The grants were awarded in February 2011 and culminate with Mathematics and Science Partnership Day at the State Capitol.
The amount of the grant is based on the district’s submitted proposal detailing the cost of performing the professional development and the number of teachers participating. All districts in the state are invited to submit grant proposals, which are then scored by three grant readers. Funds come from the U.S. Department of Education.
Nine districts have been chosen to receive 2012 grants totaling more than $2.2 million. Those districts are Byng, Clinton, Lawton, Meeker, Osage Hills, Putnam City, Tulsa, Valliant and Vanoss.