The University of Toledo (UT) and Bowling Green State University (BGSU) will partner with two public school districts, in a Local Systemic Change project, to achieve a system wide comprehensive reform of K-6 science education in the schools.
Thirty-two support teachers from Toledo Public School (TPS) and suburban Springfield Local Schools (SLS) will be given full time release from teaching and will receive over 200 hours of training. The Support teachers who will be carefully selected for their deep knowledge of science content will work in teams with scientists to provide assistance to the 1476 classroom teachers, grades K-6. All elementary teachers will attend summer institutes, which will be held at both universities. Eight institutes, staffed by scientists and science educators from both UT and BGSU, will be offered each summer and approximately 45 teachers will be enrolled in each one.
Scientists will also be involved in classroom activities and monthly meetings with teachers, during the academic year. Over the five years of the project teachers will receive at a minimum over 100 hours of professional development to enhance the implementation of FOSS and STC instructional materials which have been selected by both districts. Principals will participate in a one-day retreat with follow up sessions throughout the year.
Ohio proficiency tests will be used to determine student progress in science and as a component of project evaluation. Each school will develop an action plan that involves the parents and the community.