Deal announces professional learning grants for mathematics and computer science

December 18, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the four winners of the Innovation in K-8 Mathematics and/or K-12 Computer Science/Coding Professional Learning Grants. This competitive grant program supports Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) and individual schools in improving instruction in those subject areas through the development of innovative professional learning models.

“Effective teachers and engaging curriculum are essential to providing every Georgia student with a world-class education,” said Deal. “Skills in mathematics and computer science are increasingly valuable in the workforce, so we must capitalize on innovative methods to properly prepare our students for future opportunities. As we improve teaching practices and achieve student success in the classroom, we strengthen our communities and invest in our future.”

Each grant winner will receive $150,000 to support professional learning programs that promote student achievement in mathematics or expand student access to computer science/coding programs. Grant recipients will evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives and submit their findings to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The state will use these results for advisement in determining the best practices in professional learning for mathematics and computer science/coding.

The grant winners, along with a description of the funded projects, are listed below.

Mathematics

Northwest Georgia RESA

Northwest Georgia RESA will partner with all 16 member LEAs to create and scale an effective professional learning model to support high-quality elementary mathematics teaching. This initiative will impact student learning by increasing the number of teachers earning the K-5 Mathematics Endorsement Credential, improving course content and increasing principals’ skills to support high-quality mathematics instruction.

Richmond County Schools

In partnership with Georgia Southern University, Richmond County Schools will offer professional learning opportunities to an 80-member cohort. This cohort will participate in a Mathematics Academy for Teaching Excellence (MATE) with sessions focused on mathematics course content, hands-on modeling, effective teaching strategies and general curriculum development. MATE will specifically focus on examining the curriculum for geometry, data and measurement.

Southwest Georgia RESA

Southwest Georgia RESA will provide professional learning for K-8 mathematics teachers to use critical thinking and problem-solving strategies to engage students in the learning process. Teachers will build an understanding of effective mathematics instruction, access mathematics learning resources, and will develop fair, transparent, and equitable assessments in mathematics to determine the mathematical literacy of all students.

Integrated Mathematics and Computer Science/Coding

Sandy Creek High School

Fayette County Public Schools

Sandy Creek High School will provide professional learning that supports the integration of authentic coding and programming experiences into academic instruction. The program will also increase the exposure of non-traditional STEM students to the STEM subjects. Computer science teachers will be provided professional learning to apply visual programming, scripting, and programming using professional game engines. Computer science and mathematics teachers will collaboratively develop school-wide game programming projects that integrate math and computer science. Teachers will also design and develop integrated instructional materials, artifacts and assessments.