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Suffolk Public Schools to benefit from continuing grant

Suffolk secondary math teachers will be among the many to benefit from a second-year grant supporting the Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center.

The Virginia Department of Education has awarded more than $2.4 million in second-year grants to support 13 programs established last year to increase the content knowledge and sharpen the classroom skills of the commonwealth’s mathematics and science teachers.

Suffolk teachers will be among the 156 served by the center, which is a partnership among Radford University, NASA Langley Research Center, Longwood University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech. The grant is for nearly a quarter of a million dollars. It is one of the 13 programs.

The grants are from the federal Mathematics and Science Partnership program, which supports efforts by colleges and universities to provide high-quality, professional development programs for teachers with the goal of improving instruction and closing achievement gaps in mathematics and science. Funded partnerships must include a mathematics, science and/or engineering department from at least one institute of higher education and at least one high-needs school division.

“The professional development opportunities provided through this program over the last 15 years have been critical to the commonwealth’s efforts to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to prepare their students to meet Virginia’s high expectations for learning and achievement in mathematics and science,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples.

Mathematics and Science Partnership grants were authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While the grant program was not included in the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, funding will be available in 2017 for a third and final year of awards.

In addition to professional development opportunities, the grants have also supported the development of curriculum and lesson plans, professional development materials and other resources for mathematics and science teachers.