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Collaborative Effort Results In Large State Department of Education Grant

Green Country education stakeholders collaborate to provide mentorship program for new Math and Science teachers

     Dozens of schools in northeastern Oklahoma will soon benefit from an initiative designed to train and support novice math and science instructors thanks to a grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.  The grant will be used to implement the Oklahoma Teacher Induction Program (OTIP). If all of the requirements are met, the group could receive up to $1.58 million over three years. The amounts received will depend on the progress of the OTIP program.

       Osage County Interlocal Cooperative(OCIC), which includes Anderson, Bowring, Caney Valley, Frontier, Hominy, Newkirk, Osage Hills, Pawhuska, Shidler, South        Coffeyville, Woodland and Wynona districts was the lead educational agency on the winning grant application. OCIC was joined by Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public  Schools, Jenks Public Schools, Skiatook Public Schools, Holland Hall, the University of Tulsa, educational consultant Dr. Martha Parrott, Charles and Lynn Schusterman  Family Foundation, ImpactTulsa and Oklahoma Innovation Institute’s Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance in putting forth the cutting edge program. OTIP was the only  mentorship program funded through OSDE Math and Science Partnership grants for 2016. 

     Thanks to the work of relentless partners, OTIP will impact 17 school districts which employ almost 1,300 math and science teachers who engage more than 76,000  students per day. The strength of this program lies in the diversity of its school district partners which represent urban, suburban, rural and private school settings. 

     Through the OTIP program, 20 mentor teachers will be selected from partnering school districts to mentor 60 novice educators. During the life of the program,  Oklahoma classroom instructors will receive mentorship training, content specific instruction, classroom observations, mentor check-ins, and follow-up workshops.

     "Receiving this tremendous grant is incredibly timely and will serve as a force multiplier in attracting and retaining the math and science teachers our students need,"  said Xan Black, Program Director for the Oklahoma Innovation Institute's Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance. "The impact of these dollars will be acutely felt in light of the  budget shortfalls our schools are facing. Professional development is unfortunately one of the line items that are cut when our educational institutions are straining to  make ends meet."

    The OTIP initiative directly supports Oklahoma educators in those critical first years of their vital profession. 

     Under leadership of the OCIC, this unprecedented alliance of education stakeholders crafted a roadmap for providing critical coaching to math and science teachers    across Green Country. OTIP represents a powerful formula for a mentorship network that will facilitate real time connections for educators in northeastern Oklahoma over  the next 3 years. 

     All of the grant partners worked together to design a framework providing mentorship opportunities for math and science teachers. By receiving this grant, partners will be able to provide a larger network of mentors over the next three years to teachers in suburban, rural and private schools near the Tulsa region.  

     “Through the relationships built during this program, teachers from Bowring will be able to connect with a teacher from Jenks to support each other through the challenges of teaching rigorous math and science content,” said Jeff Lay, director of the MSP Oklahoma Teacher Induction Program.

To apply to participate in OTIP as a novice teacher (5 years or less experience), complete the application at this link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1usVGMuSeMQAbLb8tFUvralca3iVs8K2YwYCaV3T0ldM/viewform

 

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