Maryville University Leads $1.4 Million Math Partnership Grant


The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded Maryville University, the St. Louis Public Schools, and area nonpublic schools a $1.4 million St. Louis Mathematics Partnership Initiative grant designed to improve mathematics achievement among young students. The program seeks to achieve this goal by increasing the mathematics content knowledge and teaching skills of teachers in St. Louis.

Maryville University’s School of Education will serve as the lead partner for the three-year initiative, working in strategic partnership with Maryville’s College of Arts and Sciences, the St. Louis Public Schools, and a number of individual Archdiocesan and Lutheran schools in St. Louis city.

“The biggest impact of this program is that the kids who need the most help in terms of mathematics ability and technology skills will be able to come up to 21st century workforce standards,” says Sam Hausfather, dean of Maryville’s School of Education.

The initiative focuses on professional development for third, fourth and fifth grade teachers and features intensive summer programming, Saturday sessions and onsite coaching. The institute will debut this summer. Participants will receive two weeks of intensive training in math content, best practices in teaching and the use of technology as a tool in the classroom, delivered by nationally recognized experts, Maryville University professors and Apple, Inc. staff.

Mascheal Schappe, assistant professor for math education in Maryville’s School of Education, will serve as project coordinator. Other Maryville faculty members will participate in the program, including Professor Min Deng, director of the Mathematics and Actuarial Science Program, who will assist in curriculum development.

“While obtaining the resources to provide the latest technology and professional development by nationally recognized experts is exciting, a powerful component of this initiative is the researched-based process created by school district leaders and the University to implement and sustain meaningful professional development,” Schappe says.

Funded by a Federal Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant administered through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the initiative will infuse technology—including iPads and Smart Boards—into the classrooms of participating teachers.

“Technology and math go well together,” Hausfather says. “Math as it is taught now is learning how to multiply and divide, but you still have to learn how to think mathematically. Students who don’t have a strong background in math find it difficult to participate in technology and compete in the economy.”

Along with improved student test scores in mathematics and the opportunity to integrate technology-based strategies in their classrooms, participating educators receive stipends and graduate credit through Maryville University’s School of Education.

Maryville University is a selective, comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of 5,033 students. Maryville offers more than 75 degrees at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels to students from 46 states and 30 countries. Consistently ranked as a top private school by Forbes and Kiplinger’s, in 2012 and 2013, Maryville was named the No. 1 Overperforming University in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Maryville’s athletics teams compete at the Division II level in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Founded in 1872, the University is ideally situated on 130 picturesque acres in West St. Louis County.

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