Grant funds from the Kentucky Department of Education will be used in the subject area of math at Brooks, Freedom and Pleasant Grove Elementary Schools.
Each Mathematics Achievement Fund (MAF) grant is valued at $50,000 each per year and renewable for up to four years as long as schools maintain compliance requirements.
Brooks is in its third year of funding and math interventionist Teresa Cooksey said, “We are thrilled.”
Grant funds are going toward the salary of a highly trained mathematics intervention teacher as well as support the training for two additional teachers; a primary grade and an intermediate grade teacher.
“All three teachers will be part of a mathematics team and share their knowledge with the entire staff at Brooks Elementary,” Cooksey affirmed.
Individual student progress will be measured through multiple sources of data. All intervention students receive a Student Proficiency Plan that details student assessment results according to the student’s long- and short-term goals set by their intervention teacher which is based on their baseline performance.
“We also use data from MAP, diagnostic assessments, benchmark assessments, and AIMSweb progress monitoring,” Cooksey said.
She added sustainability will be demonstrated through the mathematics team consisting of the principal, math intervention teacher, a primary grade teacher and an intermediate grades teacher.
“The mathematics team members will become leaders throughout the school,” Cooksey said. “Each team member will share their expertise with the staff through professional development and trainings will be provided for all staff as well as for the primary and intermediate grades separately.”
Each school year two new teachers, one primary and one intermediate grade, will attend ten days of intensive comprehensive courses. By the end of the grant, Brooks will have four primary and four intermediate teachers as well as the mathematics intervention teacher, trained in instructional strategies, formative/diagnostic assessments, and progression of learning framework to advance students’ mathematical reasoning and knowledge.
Freedom Principal Matthew Treadway also expressed excitement about the benefits grant funding will provide for students and staff.
“We will supplement a certified intervention teacher’s salary while also providing intensive math training required for the program,” Treadway noted. “The money will fund a 10-day training for a new primary and intermediate teacher each year over the course of four years.”
Although collaboration with other funded schools is not a required part of the grant, Treadway said Freedom welcomes the opportunity to share ideas.
“Mathematical Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with other grant recipients in BCPS is highly encouraged,” he said.
Results of measured progress will be gauged by weekly student assessment as a part of Freedom’s RtI structure.
“Add+VantageMR is the program that contains the assessment we will be utilizing as well as MAP and other formative and summative assessments,” Treadway said. “We will continue to monitor and analyze the data to determine its effectiveness for students receiving the intervention. To go along with the quantitative data gained through assessment, we will collect various forms of qualitative feedback from PD opportunities for staff provided by the mathematics team as a result of this grant.”
Pleasant Grove educator Denise Bullock echoed Treadway’s sentiment saying funds will employ a certified Math Intervention teacher (MIT) who has received a 10-day intensive training in Add+Vantage MR (Add+Vantage Math Recovery/AVMR) from the Kentucky Center for Mathematics.
“In addition to the MIT, two classroom teachers (primary and intermediate) will also receive the intensive training each year,” Bullock confirmed. “These teachers and the MIT will serve on the school mathematics team and provide support to other teachers through co-teaching and collaboration to help further develop our students’ understanding of mathematics.”
A total of eight PGES classroom teachers will receive the intensive training during the grant cycle. Funds will also be used to provide additional professional development opportunities for the school mathematics team.
Bullock said Pleasant Grove welcomes a collaboration initiative with Brooks and Freedom having already done some work with educators from Crossroads.
“MITs collaborated to provide a training session during the recent teacher planning day EdCamp,” Bullock cited. “Also, the MITs participate in WebEx meetings (weekly or monthly, dependent on experience) with a Regional Coordinator from the KCM and other MITs from schools across the state. In addition to the WebEx meetings, MITs attend 3 Collegial Team meetings per year to collaborate with other MITs from Kentucky schools.”
Prior to beginning intervention, the MIT administers an AVMR assessment to diagnose students’ understanding of number concepts. The results of this assessment are used to guide instruction that meets each student’s specific needs. These assessments are administered again mid-year and at the end of intervention services to measure progress.
In addition to the AVMR assessments, progress of students is tracked through teacher observation, anecdotal records and fluency assessments.
“MAP is administered three times per year. The data is analyzed to identify students at risk and in need of possible intervention,” Bullock said. “In addition to MAP, classroom skill checks, formative assessments, and teacher observations are also considered when identifying students for intervention.”
“Math partners are utilized in many of our classrooms during math instruction to provide students with the opportunity to discuss mathematical concepts and work collaboratively to solve problems,” she continued. “This discourse often helps students develop strategies based on the methods their partner may be using. Students can often explain their thinking in ways that their peers can understand. Allowing for this time of student discourse can help build confidence and help students to both be and feel successful.”
Schools must justify results among students to sustain funding.
“By providing many opportunities for job-embedded professional development to provide teachers with the necessary strategies and tools to improve daily mathematics instruction for all students as well as provide quality intervention for struggling learners is our sustainability platform,” Bullock said. “This progress will be monitored through ongoing analysis of MAP data, classroom assessments, weekly CBM probes, and AVMR assessments. One PLC per month is dedicated to analyzing progress monitoring data for students receiving intervention services to determine next steps.”