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MASE II Annual Overview

submitter: Mathematics and Science Enhancement II (MASE II)
published: 12/09/1999
posted to site: 12/10/1999
Local Systemic Grant (#ESI - 9552863)
PI Annual Progress Report, Year Four
September 1, 1998 - August 30, 1999



The Mathematics and Science Enhancement II (MASE II) project is a five year (1995-2000) Local Systemic Change (LSC) program for 2000 of the over 6000 K-5 teachers in the Clark County School District (CCSD), Las Vegas, Nevada. MASE II, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), builds on the MASE I leadership program to improve mathematics and science programs for all K-5 students in one of the fastest growing districts in the United States. MASE II is grounded on work with students and teachers in real classrooms with increasingly diverse student populations. Attention is directed at engaging all students in high quality, inquiry-based science and mathematics.

MASE II is designed and implemented as a collegial inquiry into how to enhance and improve teaching and learning science and mathematics in grades K-5. MASE II staff also see the project as an inquiry into professional development. Project design and implementation is shaped by the context and size of the district, the nature of the LSC program, and project staff beliefs and assumptions. Findings and evidence collected through MASE II inquiries into teaching and lessons learned from project evaluators, the MASE II Advisory Board, MASE II national partners, and other LSC projects contribute to ongoing refinement and enhancement of project design, implementation, and effectiveness. Local and national partnerships enrich MASE II offerings.

MASE II is driven by a clear vision toward the following goals:

  • High academic standards for all students
  • Mathematically and scientifically literate students
  • Students engaged in effective, inquiry-based, hands-on mathematics and science
  • Improved understanding, performance, confidence, and achievement
  • Effective use of technology

The MASE II program targets in-depth learning for teachers and administrators structured around the concept of whole school development, with the school as the "unit of work". MASE II is designed to engage teachers from 60 Project Schools, 30 mathematics and 30 science, in 100 hours of challenging professional development. Administrators attend a minimum of 36 hours of leadership development. A very carefully crafted leadership development component for teachers builds capacity while maintaining the integrity of professional development as MASE II continues to scale up. The goals of leadership development are to increase the number of Teacher Leaders, deepen their knowledge base, and support their growth as expert teachers and facilitators. CCSD looks to MASE II to build capacity and lead the path to exemplary programs in science and mathematics for all students. In a complementary effort, Eisenhower, CCSD professional development funding, and existing district structures are utilized to simultaneously move K-5 teachers outside the MASE II Project Schools toward standards-based teaching.

Project Activities

MASE II offers a "multiple strategies" approach to professional development and addresses the needs of novice to experienced and expert teachers, Teacher Leaders, and administrators in small and large group sessions. During the first year in the project, all MASE II teachers participate in the Structured Use Workshops series, focused on Full Option Science System (FOSS) and Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. These sessions are thoughtfully designed to illuminate important content ideas, program, and philosophy. Teachers engage in program experiences modeling best instructional practices and reflect on the components. They implement strategies and curriculum with their students and return to future sessions to share results, refine strategies, and continue learning with the next module/unit. Sessions occur over time to build a learning community engaged in dialogue and reflection about important content and pedagogical matters that can be replicated in teachers' classrooms.

Project offerings are designed to enhance knowledge in four dimensions: content; pedagogy/assessment; how children learn; and instructional materials. These offerings include:

  • Science Structured Use Workshops: FOSS, 18-24 hours
  • Site-based and Classroom-based Sessions, 6-18 hours
  • Animals; and Force and Motion, each l8 hours
  • Science as a Core for Literacy, 6-18 hours
  • Science Notebooks, 3-18 hours
  • Insightful Use of FOSS/Investigations, 6-18 hours
  • Mathematics Structured Use Workshops: Investigations in Number, Data, and Space, 30 hours
  • K-2 Mathematics Mini Conference, 18 hours
  • Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS), 48 hours
  • Bridges to the Mathematics Classroom, 36 hours
  • Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI), 48 hours
  • How Children Learn, 6 hours
  • Inquiry Institute, 90 hours
  • Inquiry into Technological Design, 30 hours

MASE II professional development opportunities include the Leadership Institute, the Mentorship Process, Administrative Leadership sessions, and School Team meetings.

Year Four Accomplishments

Major accomplishments during year four include, and are not limited to, successfully:

  • articulating a vision and the methods to implement balanced, effective science/mathematics instruction and learning and broadening CCSD support base.
  • infusing MASE II programs/strategies into existing district structures and departments.
  • extending partnerships within the community with scientists, museum staff members, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) staff, and UNLV Nevada Medical Society.
  • maintaining a culture of openness, inquiry, respect, and collaboration at all levels of the project.
  • continuing to provide strong professional development offerings that model appropriate pedagogical practices as the project scales up.
  • extending the expertise of Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs) related to identification and development of Teacher Leaders and related to collaboration with CCSD departments.
  • increasing the number and expertise of Teacher Leaders and School Team Leaders.
  • implementing MARS Assessment process and tasks in 13 Project Schools.
  • enhancing the quality and nature of Structured Use Workshops for FOSS and Investigations through the Leadership Institute by studying the science/mathematics content, process, and pedagogy of and developing syllabi for each module/unit.
  • refining and strengthening intermediate-level professional development offerings.
  • building and implementing a School Team Leadership cohort at each Project School.
  • facilitating Area Professional Development days for all CCSD teachers in each of six areas to move the whole district forward toward standards-based teaching and learning.