Texarkana Independent School District has been awarded a $150,000 Texas – Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (T-STEM) Innovative Learning Lab grant from the Texas Education Agency.
Texas Education Agency is funding, for the first time, grants to three to five school districts that will serve as STEM role models and host highly interactive, Blueprint-specific learning opportunities for developing other STEM Academies throughout the state of Texas. The grant initiative is to leverage expertise in Texas schools by providing access to innovative, inquiry-based professional learning spaces which will provide support for rapid implementation of the T-STEM Blueprint and transformative campus change.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant and serve as a T-STEM role model for the state,” said Ronda Jameson, Director of STEM Education. “TISD has been committed to empowering educators across the country with the tools needed to transform teaching and learning methods for the 21st century. In doing so, we have built on state and national efforts to improve mathematics and science achievement among all students and focus on increasing the number of students who study and enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.”
TISD has been designated as a T-STEM Academy since 2009 and is rated as a role model in all seven T-STEM benchmarks. Those are: mission-driven leadership; T-STEM culture; student outreach, recruitment & retention; teacher selection, development & retention; curriculum, instruction & assessment; strategic alliances; and academy advancement and sustainability.
Grant funds will be utilized to enhance the site visitor protocol, including the provision of STEM-specific professional development sessions for site visitors and technology-based support for new academies. TISD STEM leaders also will provide a weekly “STEM 911” session for novice STEM programs and a T-STEM Newcomers Academy for rising STEM leaders.