CREC's division of Data Analysis, Research and Technology (DART) was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $50,000 from the H.A. Vance Foundation to fund a professional development academy entitled "Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Realistic and Immediate Classroom Connections."
DART provides consulting services, technical support, and training on technology integration for CREC Magnet Schools and other Connecticut school districts. While working with districts, DART staff found that despite the recent implementation of the Common Core, adoption of personalized learning, and knowledge of the SBAC testing platform, districts continue to be challenged by outdated technology resources. They also found that districts were in need of solutions for delivering professional development that helped schools in revamping existing curriculum and instruction through technology. In order to assist districts with these challenges, the Vance Foundation grant will provide funding for a professional development academy.
"The overarching goal of the academy is to transform the teaching and learning environment, experiences, and opportunities for students and teachers," explained Sarah Ellsworth, Ph.D., director of DART. "By supporting teachers in this manner, we can easily identify ways to deepen understanding for all learners through the infusion of technology tools and make immediate curriculum and pedagogical connections."
The H.A. Vance Foundation is a family foundation that funds systemic education reform efforts in Hartford. CREC is grateful for their support of this important project, which in its initial stages will include teachers from the Hartford Public Schools and CREC Magnet Schools. Training will occur throughout the school year and will consist of collaborative opportunities and push-in models where CREC specialists will co-plan with small groups of teachers and on occasion, shadow to provide coaching, modeling, and in-class support and assistance.