Last week, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Education Commissioner Lana Seivers announced that 44 school systems across the state will receive partnership grants designed to provide research-based training in math and science content and teaching strategies through partnerships with area universities.
As part of the grant, East Tennessee State University received $226,277 and will partner with Cocke County, Elizabethton City Schools, Greeneville City Schools, Greene County, Hancock County and Kingsport City Schools.
Nancy Wagner, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction with Kingsport City Schools, said the grant will benefit both the teachers involved and students in the school systems.
"I guess the biggest benefit is that it will help our students because they (teachers) are going to be receiving content training and follow-up for sustained professional development," Wagner said. "That builds capacity with our teachers, and that also impacts our students because if they (teachers) have stronger content knowledge and they're supported in teaching that particular subject, then the instruction is going to be strengthened and students will benefit. ... I think it's going to be a great opportunity for our teachers."
According to the press release, each participating university will hold a two-week summer institute for teachers in partnering school districts, as well as follow-up training throughout the school year. Material covered in the workshops will meet state standards and thus be linked to curriculum currently taught in middle and high school.
Participating teachers, Wagner said, will receive three hours of graduate credit at no cost, as well as a stipend to help cover costs of meals and travel to and from the class.
Wagner said Kingsport City Schools does partner with ETSU for other grants, but this is the first partnership through the Center for Excellence in Math and Science at ETSU.