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Project Info: STAFF Leadership for Rural School Districts
staff: Dennis Schatz (Principal Investigator)
Cheryl Lydon (Project Director)
Paul Allan (Lead Staff)
grant award #: 9453938
funding began: 01-31-1995
funding ends: 01-31-1999
project focus: Science
grade levels: Elementary
venue type: Suburban,Rural
abstract: To overcome geographic isolation, limited resources, and professional development opportunities that rarely meet their needs, three rural school districts Riverview, Skykomish and Snoqualmie Valley are capitalizing on the Pacific Science Center's expertise and university collaborations to provide science education reform to their schools. The Center's involvement clearly demonstrates the potentially strong role of the informal science performer. The project prepares each district to raise expectations for science education by obtaining broad community involvement in the design, selection, and implementation of a comprehensive, inquiry-based K-5 science curriculum. The curriculum is based on nationally validated instructional materials. The project also provides staff development for all elementary teachers and establish mechanisms for sustaining reform. Each district provides teacher release time and supporting resources for curriculum and materials management. Thirty teachers, called STAFF leaders, together with 10 administrators are the leaders in their districts. These STAFF leaders, with guidance from the Pacific Science Center staff and community, receive over 850 hours of professional development in three years. These leaders then provide staff development to each district's entire elementary teaching staff. The goal is to provide all teachers with a minimum 153 hours; principals and administrators with 121 hours; and parents with 32 hours of professional development. The project is aligned with the Governor's Council of Education Reform and Funding (GSERF) and coordinated with a statewide staff development collaborative consisting of the Center, University of Washington, Western Washington and Washington State Universities, and Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs.