Educators from SMCM Aim to Improve Quality of Beginner Md. Educators

Race to the Top Sub-Grant will Fund Professional Development Initiatives Taking Place at Two Schools in the SMCPS

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md.—Lois Stover, director of teacher education, and colleagues in Educational Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, have received a sub-grant in the amount of $25,000 from the Maryland State Department of Education as part of the “Race to the Top” Teach for Maryland (Maryland Teaching Consortium) Network. The grant will support a collaborative project between St. Mary’s College and St. Mary’s County Public Schools aimed to improve the ability of future teachers and in-service teachers to support the learning of students in targeted schools.

In the fall, educators from the St. Mary’s College Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program will work with two elementary schools in the St. Mary’s County Public Schools System, Green Holly Elementary School and Park Hall Elementary School, on a number of teacher-preparation programs. Principals, site liaisons, teachers, and college interns will participate in professional development workshops and book study groups around the issues of working with economically disadvantaged students and will collaboratively research strategies and policies that effect academic improvement. Participants will also attend state-wide consortium meetings and workshops, and will contribute to writing state guidelines for other teacher-preparation programs.

“We look forward to enhancing our partnership with these two local schools—Green Holly and Park Hall Elementary Schools—that have traditionally been involved in St. Mary’s College undergraduate and MAT educational studies programs,” said Stover. “It is through such collaborations that we will prepare future Maryland educators, as well as principals and superintendents with the knowledge, skills, and disposition necessary to help all PreK-12 students be successful.”

“We will begin to develop a strategic plan in June to collaboratively identify goals and the strategies for which to meet the goals we set,” Stover continued.

Of the $25,000 grant, $5,000 will be used this spring on supplies, books, and strategic planning. The rest of the grant is earmarked for the next academic year.

In August 2010, Maryland was awarded one of the federal government’s coveted Race to the Top grants in the amount of $250 million over four years. The Race to the Top program is aimed at boosting student achievement, reducing gaps in achievement among student subgroups, turning around struggling schools, and improving the teaching profession.

Source: St. Mary's College of Maryland

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