Grant funding expands professional learning development for Delaware school districts


DELAWARE -“We need to bring our very best teachers to the table to give our students the very best that they have,” Cape Henlopen School District’s Director of Teaching & Learning LouAnn Hudson said.

That’s the goal of the Reimaging Professional Learning Grant program. It looks to get educators to use what’s called High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM), providing them a blueprint on how to plan, teach, and assess students learning.

We’re told the first state looks to strengthen its academic vision of every student leaving the k-12 system being prepared for either college or the workforce.

The program provides school districts across the state of Delaware support with the expansion of professional learning. “Elementary teachers don’t specialize in just one subject, they cover a broad range of subjects,” Hudson said.

We’re told if teachers are more prepared it will enrich the students academic experience. “With this type of professional learning, we don’t have to limit the instructional time. We’re getting that on the spot, real-time feedback from our teachers so that they can support the students in exactly what their needs are,” Caesar Rodney School District’s Director of Curriculum & Instruction Tara Faircloth said.

The Cape Henlopen School Districts is receiving over $147,000 to provide additional training for its elementary math teachers who expressed the need for more resources to get students to a proficient level. “It’s a hands on training where they actually do the math, they study the standards, and the progression of the standards in order to really identify where students are,” Hudson said.

Math and English Language Arts were at the center of the over $476,000 in grant funding the Caesar Rodney School District was awarded.

Faircloth says it will allow for individualized growth while also challenging students. “It’s amazing when you have elementary students that can say ‘I respectful disagree and here’s why.’ All of our curriculums really allow our kids to engage in what they’re learning,” Faircloth said.

Those we spoke with say the funding benefits will go beyond the classroom. “Whether they choose college, career, or whatever path is right for them. We want them to have the skills they need to pursue all of those dreams,” Hudson said.

Caesar Rodney School district says they’ve also partnered with the University of Delaware for math development to do similar professional learning.

Nine school districts were awarded a total of 15 grants in this round of funding that will impact more than 60,000 students statewide.

The RPL grant program was started in 2016 and has awarded over $12 million dollars.

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