Students in 85 schools across the state will benefit from $2.6 million in grants awarded today by the Delaware Department of Education. This is the fourth year the department has awarded Reimagining Professional Learning grants to support the work of schools committed to improving the quality and efficacy of professional learning for teachers in Delaware and thus increase learning opportunities and outcomes for students.
The schools represent 16 districts, four charter schools, and two Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families schools. “These grants have the potential to enhance learning outcomes for more than 54,000 students,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.
To date, the Reimagining Professional Learning Grants have provided more than $1.1 million to fund initiatives in 74 schools. In the 2018-19 school year, the $541,500 in grants to 32 schools impacted more than 750 teachers and more than 22,000 students. This year, the number of schools receiving grants more than doubled, as did the number of students who will be impacted by that funding.
This year’s grantees plan a variety of programs, many dealing with implementing high quality instructional materials in both mathematics and English language arts, closing achievement gaps among subgroups of students, starting after-school programs, hiring full-time learning coaches, creating multi-tiered systems of support, providing instruction in academic and trauma-informed teaching strategies, and cultivating professional learning communities that use data to inform practice and participate in a continuous cycle of improvement.
Milford High School Principal Jesse Parsley explains, “We are excited to be part of a cohort of schools that received grant money this year. These funds will be instrumental in helping to grow our staff as educators by expanding their skillset.” MHS English teachers will be participating in professional development geared towards implementing the new curriculum materials. The intent with the grant is that coupled with updated instructional materials and ongoing professional development, the staff will help ensure that students will meet the challenges of this generation.
Milford Central Academy received the Setting Sail for Greatness Grant as part of the grant program. “MCA is very excited for the opportunity to welcome outside experts to work alongside our teachers in implementing social emotional learning strategies,” said Principal Gary Zohl. “This, along with starting an after school tutoring program for students and updating our Language Arts curriculum will assist MCA in helping to move our students forward and make them better prepared for high school.”
Lulu Ross Elementary received the ELA Instructional Strategy Mind-Shift grant to support English learners. “The reimaging grant supports Ross in providing additional funds to contract for additional professional learning through the University of Delaware. This work is intended to support the professional learning of all Ross staff as they work to implement a new reading program across our school,” said Principal Mrs. Cindy McKenzie. “The grant will allow for an additional focus on providing critical support related to the special education and English Learner population attending Ross.”
More information on the grants, including a full list of awardees, amounts and how the grants will be used locally can be found.
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