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Archive for the ‘Race to the Top’ Category

The Lake County School Board has been awarded a portion of UCF’s Job-embedded Teacher Preparation Grant in the amount of $740,000.

The program is part of Florida’s Race to the Top initiative designed to address the gap that exists in recruiting and effectively training aspiring teachers to become highly effective in the classroom. The overall goal of this program is to provide instruction on effective teaching for candidates experienced with content but new to teaching as they engage in the day-to-day challenges of the teaching practice. More specifically, this program will provide professional development and assistance for content majors in math and science as they assimilate into the teaching realm.

In concert with Orange County, Seminole County, Volusia County, Florida Virtual Schools and Lockheed Martin, Lake County will be a targeted district for the University of Central Florida’s Embedded Teacher Training Program. Based on the District’s regular interview process, candidates from this program, which will be students in the UCF Master of Arts in Teaching program, would be hired. Once these participants were employed, they would receive continuous mentoring and coaching, ongoing support from university and District staff and opportunities for collaboration among their cohort as they continue coursework to gain expertise in teaching and learning.

“Mentoring and coaching from both Lake County Schools’ staff and UCF staff will be a major component of the internship,” said Nancy Velez, Chief Academic Officer for Lake County Schools. “As such, funding from this grant will be used to support program participants by providing highly effective math and science teacher mentors. These mentors will be paid stipends to attend extensive summer professional development on mentoring and coaching, as well as stipends for mentoring new teachers for the year-long program.”

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Lake County Schools received official notice this week from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) that the District has been awarded additional grant funding under the State’s Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative.

The grant, “Local Instructional Improvement System Grant,” will provide an added $146,000 in funds to support the District’s goal of “Creating a User-Friendly Integrated Data Management System with Single Sign-on Access.”

On Jan. 31, the FLDOE published minimum standards for a Local Instructional Improvement System (LIIS). School districts participating in RTTT have until June 30, 2014, to acquire systems that meet these minimum standards. The functions of the LIIS are being incorporated into developing the District’s Integrated Data Management System. Funding from the LIIS grant will help to ensure that all minimum standards set forth by FLDOE and the June 30, 2014, deadline will be met.

As part of the Race to the Top grant, Lake County Schools is able to draw down a percentage of its approved $4 million in grant funding each quarter during the next four years. The funds are being used to meet specific Race to the Top deliverables that are outlined in the District’s grant application. Examples of these deliverables include the development of new teacher and principal evaluation systems that are based in part on student achievement, expansion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) coursework and program offerings, and driving improvement in persistently low-performing schools. For more information about Lake County Schools Race to the Top grant, log on to www.lake.k12.fl.us.

Race to the Top is a U.S. Department of Education initiative to use $3.4 billion in grant money to reward changes in teaching programs and efforts to improve academic achievement. Florida is one of 11 states to receive the grant. Florida is scheduled to receive $700 million and half of it will be divided among individual school districts.

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