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Louisiana 2007 Grantee Abstracts

Grantee Name:Louisiana State University
Project Name:Transitions to Teaching Project
Project Director:Brenda Nixon 225-578-4082
Partner Districts/LEAs:East Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, Iberville, and City of Baker

The Baton Rouge Transitions to Teaching Program is collaboration between Louisiana State University's (LSU) "Geaux Teach" program, ADVANCE BATON ROUGE's (ABR) Laboratory for Educational Ventures in Leadership (LEVL) and the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators' (LRCE) "Teach Louisiana Consortium." The project will recruit, develop, and retain science and math teachers for five high-need school districts. Thirty new participants will be recruited each year, for a total of 150, with special attention paid to attracting mid-career changers, especially current paraprofessionals with college degrees who are assisting science and math teachers. Once recruited, candidates will participate in a three-year intensive certification program with LRCE. In addition, candidates will also have the opportunity to participate in a master's degree program designed by Louisiana State University. Participants will begin a program with rigorous summer training and then be placed for three years in one of the five partner districts. Once hired as beginning teachers, participants will be matched with specially trained veteran teachers and mentored throughout the first year. Additionally, principals in the schools will be trained to lead with an awareness of differential support for beginning/ alternatively certified teachers. This model brings together the university and two non-profit organizations to address dire educational deficiencies in school districts strongly impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This grant will also be the impetus to develop ongoing work among a unique network—LSU, ABR, and LRCE. The successes and lessons learned from BRTTT will strengthen and expand recruitment, preparation, and retention strategies for science and math teachers, thereby facilitating civic capacity through new understandings of educational leadership practices.

Grantee Name:Calcasieu Parish School Board
Project Name:Transition to Teaching Project
Project Director:Johna Rion 337-217-4200 x1313
Partner Districts/LEAs:The Calcasieu Parish School System

The Calcasieu Transition to Teaching initiative is a partnership between the McNeese State University (IHE) and the Calcasieu Parish School System, a high-need LEA composed of 58 high-need schools. The overarching goal of the Calcasieu T2T Project is to recruit and train 260 mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to become highly qualified teachers of special education, elementary education, mathematics (middle and secondary) English (middle and secondary), social studies (middle and secondary), and science (middle and secondary). Through what T2T has termed the "New Teacher Academy," the program will provide a systematic induction and mentoring support service as well as a culture of student learning and collegial collaboration that uses technology and teacher "learning communities" to help Calcasieu Parish School System develop qualified teachers. The six major program components are induction camp, cohort modules consisting of coursework presented in face-to-face and web-based formats, mentoring and collaboration, ongoing applied professional development, financial incentives, and evaluation. Specific goals related to recruitment, support, and retention are to recruit mid-career professionals to enter alternative certification programs in Calcasieu Parish, support new recruits through certification with high-quality professional development and job-specific mentoring, ensure that prospective teachers receive licenses by meeting the competencies defined by the Louisiana Department of Education, create policies and practices to facilitate the placement of teachers in high-need schools, and provide professional development for at least three years. As Calcasieu recovers from the devastating Hurricane Rita, the resilience of the education community has taken center stage. The Calcasieu Transition to Teaching Project seeks to make a difference for children in greatest need.

Grantee Name:The University of Louisiana at Monroe
Project Name:TEACH Delta Region: Teachers Earning Alternative Certification Here in the Delta Region
Project Director:Beverly Flowers-Gibson 318-342-1300
Partner Districts/LEAs:Caldwell Parish Schools, Catahoula Parish Schools, Concordia Parish Schools, East Carroll Parish Schools, Franklin Parish Schools, Madison Parish Schools, Morehouse Parish Schools, Richland Parish Schools, Tensas Parish Schools, Union Parish Schools, West Carroll Parish Schools, Monroe City Schools, New Vision Learning Academy, Canton Public Schools, Clarksdale County Schools, Coahoma County Schools, Greenville Public Schools, Holmes County Schools, Humphreys County Schools, Jackson Public Schools, Leflore County Schools, Shaw School District, South Delta Public Schools, Vicksburg/Warren County Schools, Yazoo City Schools, and Yazoo County Schools.

The TEACH Delta Region project is a partnership of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Jackson State University in Mississippi and 26 Local Education Agencies across the two states. The project will expand and enhance alternative certification programs at each university and allow candidates to achieve full state certification via a Masters of Arts in Teaching in elementary, secondary, and special education, which can be completed in as few as 14 months. Seventy new participants will be recruited each year for a total of 350 teacher participants over the next five years. These individuals will be drawn from the pool of recent college graduates and mid-career professionals. Project participants will seek certification and become teachers of record in a high-need core subject area. The overarching goal and purpose of the project is to increase the number of certified teachers in partner school districts and increase the types of support new teachers receive, which will lead to teacher retention. Mentoring, tuition assistance/stipends, professional development, laptop computers, books, and web-based support initiatives will be provided to retain at least 90% of the recruits beyond the third year of teaching.

Grantee Name:The University of New Orleans
Project Name:Rebuilding New Orleans: The Recovery School District Transition to Teaching Program
Project Director:William Sharpton 504-280-1397
Partner Districts/LEAs:The Recovery School District

The program will prepare new teachers to fill critical personnel shortages in the newly established Recovery School District (RSD), established as part of the process to rebuild the education infrastructure of New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina. The program consortium includes the Recovery School District, the University of New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana (a Catholic Historically Black university), Learning Points Associates, and the New Teacher Project. The repopulation of New Orleans is now presenting an unprecedented staffing problem in terms of qualified teachers for urban learners. The project will offer an alternative certification program using faculty from participating universities and local education agency personnel and provide an induction model that creates professional learning communities for teachers to engage in a job-embedded model of professional development and support. The project's recruitment, preparation and induction support of 60 mid-career professionals and recent college graduates annually will result in a total of 240 new certified teachers with expertise to teach core subjects, aligned with the needs of urban youth.

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Last Modified: 04/08/2008