Maryville Partners with Area Middle Schools in $1.5 Million Summer Program


The Parkway School District, St. Louis Public Schools, and local private schools in St. Louis recently received approval for a $1.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to focus on middle school mathematics instruction. The “Mathematicians in Residence” grant, partnered with Maryville University, will focus on improving teachers’ skills and the performance of students who struggle with mathematics.

Early last fall, a meeting with the district administrators and the Maryville University Institute for Partnerships in Education discussed developing a summer program which would aid in the performance of students in St. Louis and the voluntary transfer program. Maryville’s role partnering with both districts helped the schools seek grants and decide on the program’s content. The committee concluded that students would benefit from a program covering mathematics, one of the two No Child Left Behind testing areas. “‘Mathematicians in Residence’ is a great opportunity for us to be involved with cutting edge studies in mathematics. There is an opportunity for us to really make a difference with a population of students that need assistance. It will also strengthen our relationships with districts and long-term partnerships,” concluded Sam Hausfather, Ph.D., dean of the school of education.

The three year program will include three-week summer sessions for middle school math teachers incorporating teaching to selected students followed by in-school coaching during the academic year. The training, conducted by nationally known researcher Dr. Cathy Fosnot, will provide middle school teachers with innovative techniques on how to teach students based on individual learning styles. Dr. Fosnot, from City University of New York, also authors a textbook that Maryville professors currently use. In addition to taking on the role as program leader, the University will also provide three faculty members to serve as coaches for the teachers throughout the program. Karen Cannon, M.A., assistant professor of education, Paul Mack, Ed.D., , associate professor of middle school education, and Min Deng, Ph.D., director of actuarial science and math, will participate as coaches in the training and visit the middle schools to observe the new techniques and continue coaching throughout the year.