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UMF receives $174,000 DOE grant for math coaching project

Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF education faculty and staff members, announce a $174,848 grant the UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project received from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington announce Thursday that its Maine Mathematics Coaching Project has received a $174,848 grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

First launched in 2015, the project is the only mathematics coaching preparation in Maine and one of only a handful nationally that requires participation by both the teacher and their school administrators. This significant component not only helps educators understand and adopt new instructional strategies, but also provides them with the district-level support that can insure their success.

Funds from this highly competitive grant will go to help Maine kindergarten through 8th-grade educators and their school districts strengthen teaching and learning in mathematics with the goal of increasing the math proficiency of Maine students.

“Today’s students are continually challenged by the demands of higher level mathematics, as demonstrated by recent test scores,” said Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education. “Having well-prepared math coaches embedded in their school districts will provide classroom teachers with consistent, cost effective professional development and the skills and support they need to help their students master math.”

Educators in the two-year project are nominated by their school districts. Current participants include cohorts that started the two-year project in June 2015, and June 2016, and include 29 teachers from every corner of the state.

The grant will provide participants with three days of professional development at UMF and two regional learning labs and discussion groups for teachers and their administrators in Auburn and Orrington. Funding will also assist with data analysis on student performance to help inform decisions and identify progress.

In addition, $10,000 is allocated for K-8 mathematics teaching materials including, manipulatives, technology and books for educators and students. These materials will be permanently housed in the Loraine J. Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center located in the UMF Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center.

“UMF created this project to be accessible to every educator in Maine no matter where they live and work,” said Sandra Macarthur, UMF director of educational outreach. “Our focus is to help teachers be the strongest educators they can be.”

The next cohort begins this June and still has several openings.

For more information, visit the website or contact Sandra Macarthur at sandra.macarthur@maine.edu, or 207-778-7186.

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