The Rochester City School District (RCSD), a high need eligible LEA with designated SURR schools, and Fairport Central School District (FCSD), a LEA with success in teacher technology integration, have agreed to partner in application for the NYSED Enhancing Education Through Technology grant.
The RCSD will serve as the primary applicant and lead fiscal agent. The EETT grant project will advance technology integration skills of secondary and middle school teachers, focusing on teachers in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 and teachers at SURR or SINI designated schools. Students at these grade levels will also be targeted. More than 600 RCSD teachers and more than 9,200 RCSD middle grade students will benefit from the project activities. Approximately 160 Fairport Central School District teachers and more than 1,600 middle grade students will benefit each year from the project activities. In addition, six non-public schools (Nazareth Hall, Hillside Children’s Center, Aquinas Institute, Rochester School for the Deaf, Northside Christian Academy and Cathedral School @ Holy Rosary) have requested to participate in the 2009-2012 EETT grant project impacting more than 60 teachers and 360 middle grade students each year.
The EETT Project is intended to thread Math, Science, ELA and Instructional Technology in a unified effort to integrate curricula with technology and improve instruction. It has two primary sub-themes/components: embedded professional development on Technology Infusion and data-driven, customized professional development on Technology Infusion. Teacher’s current practice and skills as they relate to technology and core curriculum will be self-evaluated. Instructional Technology (IT) staff will analyze the surveys and develop detailed Individualized Learning Paths (ILP) for each teacher as they engage in peer-led trainings properly suited for their instructional level. The second component of the project provides enhanced classroom settings in middle and high schools that develop the learning environments and provide opportunities in Math, ELA, and Social Studies for teacher training in curricula integration with technology. Schools that have model classrooms, initially established in RCSD’s first EETT grant, will be outfitted for new technology and form the framework for training. Thirty RCSD teachers will be selected and trained as Subject Matter Experts trainers and 50 teachers will be trained as core Content Development trainers. Content Develop teacher trainers and Subject Matter Expert teachers will ensure onsite resources for technology and curriculum integration. The proposed training and professional model is an enhancement and replication of Rochester’s highly successful elementary teacher training program currently funded by New York State Title IID funds and outlined in RCSD’s Technology plan.
Many teachers entering the workforce and many veteran teachers are ill-prepared to integrate technology with curricula. A direct result of this condition is perhaps that pre-service teachers have not had the experience of integrated environments or activities in their instruction at the graduate and undergraduate level.
The findings in the New York Technology Policy and Practices Council Report by the Metiri Group (July 2007) indicate that a key ingredient to closing the achievement gap for students and ensuring they will be ready to compete in a changing global economy is a systemic approach to 21st Century digital learning. This project outlines one of the fundamental changes and approaches that must take place in order to address the above stated need - teachers need to be prepared to teach with technology and integrate core curricula using the digital tools. This initiative is replicable and scaleable; it can be used as a model across the State.
The Metiri Group Report (July 2007) points to the success of an elementary program that successfully articulated and implemented a professional development plan for teachers. The school district cited is not named but it is in fact the Rochester City School District. This same successful implementation is the framework for the implementation for middle and high school teachers’ proposed training initiative.