SCSD Awarded Over $2 million in Grant Funds

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The Syracuse City School District has been awarded two grants totaling $2, 397, 177 M to support sustained high-quality professional development on research-based pedagogy and mathematics and science content.  The grants will begin July 1, 2014 and run for two years.
The district will establish on-line and face-to-face professional learning communities for the mathematics portion of the grant.  Teachers will develop a deeper understanding of the mathematics they are teaching, reflect on lesson preparation and analyze instructional videos and student work.  The professional development will target content and research-based pedagogy and guidance will be provided to instructional coaches and instructional leaders on supporting and monitoring classroom implementation.
“This grant will provide an opportunity to create collaborative communities within our district, supported by constructive coaching and focused on content knowledge and effective teaching strategies.  With these resources and skills, teachers will be empowered to make instructional decisions that will allow students to be successful in learning and understanding mathematics and science,” said Superintendent Sharon Contreras. 
The professional development that will be provided to our elementary school teachers will have an intensive focus on improving their science, engineering and technological instructional strategies while making and developing stronger connections to the Common Core Learning Standards in math and ELA. Teachers will engage in professional development that will improve and deepen their physical science content knowledge while being trained in the use and implementation of STEM notebooks to support and strengthen their science lessons.  The professional development will also allow teachers to work together to discuss the effectiveness of lesson delivery, pacing and lesson development. 
The district will be partnering with the Institute for Learning from the University of Pittsburgh and LearnZillion  to support implementation in the mathematics classrooms.  Syracuse University and the Cornell Center for Materials Research will be partnering to provide content and pedagogical support in the area of physical science.  Dr. Sharon Dotger, Associate Professor and Program Chair for Science Teaching will provide a 30-hour summer workshop for building leaders and teachers on the instructional shifts described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education.  It will focus on showing teachers how to get students engaged in analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations in science and designing solutions (for engineering), and engaging in scientific argument from evidence.