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Georgia 2009 Grantee Abstracts

Grantee Name:DeKalb County School System Professional Learning Instruction
Project Name:Preparation of Alternatively Certified Math and Science Teachers
Project Director:Sonja Alexander 678-676-0077
Partner Districts/LEAs:DeKalb County School System (DCSS)

The DeKalb County School System (DCSS) and Georgia State University (GSU) are collaborating to recruit 90 paraprofessionals (30 paraprofessionals a year for three years) with associate degrees, and to train them to be highly qualified middle school mathematics and science teachers. In order to graduate highly qualified mathematics and sciences teachers in two years, GSU and DCSS have combined to offer intensive online, evening, Saturday, and summer courses. Participants will complete coursework while they work at DCSS, and are committed to working in a high-need school for three years after completing the program.

Central to the project is DCSS Human Resources and Professional Learning Departments collaboration with GSU in order to expedite and fast track the certification, hiring and placement process of project participants. The process is streamlined by virtue of participants being a DCSS employee, with classroom or school environment experience, and having earned a significant number of credits toward graduation. The hiring process will also be aided by the fact that project participants already have employment files, and their application for employment can easily and speedily be updated as they progress through the project.

Grantee Name:Georgia Professional Standards Commission
Project Name:Focus on Change in Underrepresented Staff and Staffing Systems (FOCUS)
Project Director:Cynthia Stephens 404-232-2619
Partner Districts/LEAs:Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Brooks, Burke, Calhoun, Chatham, Chattooga, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Doughty, Dublin, Early, Echols, Emanuel, Fannin, Gainesville, Glynn, Grady, Greene, Gwinnett, Hancock, Irwin, Lamar, Lanier, Liberty, Marrietta, McIntosh, Meriweather, Miller, Mitchell, Mongomery, Pelhman, Putnam, Quitman, Randolph, Rome City, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Thomasville, Tift, Turner, Valdosta, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, and Worth

Project Focus on Change in Underrepresented Staff and Staffing Systems (FOCUS will implement an innovative and connected series of objectives and strategies that streamline teacher hiring, selection, and placement. In addition, the project will revamp the preparation programs and support systems in order to promote effective teaching practices, and improve student achievement. Partnering LEAs comprise one-third of Georgia LEAs, and serve 30% of 1.6 million public school students.

The need for Project FOCUS is evident and well documented in Georgia’s teacher supply and demand data, and in projected hiring needs for Georgia public schools over the next decade. The goal of Project FOCUS is to trigger essential changes to state and local policies in order to effectively staff high-need schools with high quality teachers. Paradigm shifts will systemically restructure schools hiring practices to include unique and research-based pathways that allow highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals to transition into classrooms. Core content areas will include mathematics, science, special education, and foreign languages. A critical outcome of the project will be the models, coalitions, and practices that build a strong cadre of Transition Teachers, and that strengthen school leaders capacity to ensure that high-need schools are fully staffed with good teachers every year and where needed.

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Last Modified: 06/30/2009