Funded under the guidelines for "Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement," this five-year project is a partnership among Virginia Tech, the Albemarle County Public Schools, and the Montgomery County (Va.) Public Schools. The project expands to the elementary grades the partner's ongoing, common work with middle and high school teachers of mathematics in the Local Systemic Change (LSC) project "Systemic Reform of Grades 6-12 Mathematics in Rural Virginia." All 629 teachers who teach mathematics in the 27 elementary schools in the two participating county systems receive at least 130 hours of professional development and support for curricular implementation. Albemarle County has adopted "Investigations in Number, Data and Space," and Montgomery County has narrowed its selection to "Investigations" or "Everyday Mathematics."
The professional development consists of summer institutes beginning prior to implementation, and sessions that are held throughout the school years for the duration of the project. The project provides 173 hours of professional development for the teachers at all grade levels, K-5. Leadership is provided by teams, with each team consisting of a university faculty member, a mathematics supervisor/coordinator, one additional leader in each county, and six elementary teacher leaders. A cadre of 54 teacher leaders -- two in each school -- contributes to the sustainability of the project beyond the life of its NSF funding.
In addition to the required LSC core evaluation, the project's evaluation includes a component to track change/growth in teacher's content knowledge, as well as attitudes and beliefs towards mathematics.
Auditable cost sharing is derived from Virginia Tech and the partnering school districts.