Emory & Henry College’s Neff Center for Teacher Education and the Mathematics Department was approved for an NCLB Title II, Part B, Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Continuation competitive grant in the amount of $187,427. This is in addition to the original MSP Grant of $322,000. The intent of this grant is to encourage institutions of higher education, school divisions, elementary schools and secondary schools to participate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills of mathematics and science teachers.
The professional development centers and programs funded through this request are intended to ensure Virginia students are being taught by teachers who have strong mathematics skills across all grade levels. Strong teachers will help students gain the knowledge and skills required to pursue postsecondary and workplace options that include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Emory & Henry College’s Neff Center for Teacher Education and the Mathematics Department, in collaboration with the 19 school divisions in Virginia Superintendents’ Region 7, implemented a Regional Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Professional Development Center for grand bands 4-6 to improve outcomes for students on the state mathematics SOL assessments. The Center also assisted 4th - 6th grade teachers in better preparing students for content changes in the 2009 Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning.
The Regional Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Professional Development Center offered professional development to an original cohort of 38 classroom teachers from Region 7 in two intensive summer institutes and an academic year follow-up program. The Continuation Grant will offer an additional cohort of 25 teachers a similar professional development experience. The Center continues to provide a vehicle for classroom teachers, school administrators, and university professors to create a dialogue that leads to positive behavioral, pedagogical, and content knowledge changes among teachers and improved SOL mathematics outcomes for students.
Dr. Douglas Arnold of the Neff Center for Teacher Education is the MSP Grant Director. Other key personnel are Dr. John Iskra, Mathematics Department Chairperson, Mr. Mark Hainsworth, Director of the Quantitative Learning Center, and Ms. Crystal Hall, Math Educator.
Over the past 15 years, Emory & Henry College and the Neff Center for Teacher Education have emerged as a major resource for staff development experiences to help regional school divisions meet their goals for improving students’ educational outcomes.