A grant for science and math teacher training has been awarded by the federally funded Teacher Quality Partnership to two dozen districts to improve the skills and resources of science and math teachers.
The Fresno Unified School District was awarded nearly $8 million as a part of this initiative.
The district will establish a Fresno Teacher Residency Program at Fresno State. There will be a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math which will cover teaching frm kindergarten to 12th grade with the grant monies.
300 teacher residents will be supported by the The Fresno Unified grant for $7,795,066 for five years, according to Kim Mecum, associate superintendent for human resources.
The grant builds on others that the district has secured in the past five years with the goal of putting effective teachers in every classroom and increasing the diversity of the teaching work force, Mecum said.
“Any time you receive a grant of this significance — there’s only 24 given in the nation — you really have to prove you’re reliable for that kind of funding,” she said.
Five years ago, the district got a $2.2 million federal Transition to Teaching grant to target and recruit instructional aides to enter the teaching profession, Mecum said.
And two years ago, the district was awarded $403,000 from the Bechtel Foundation for a teacher residency program in science, math, technology and engineering for grades four through eight. The first group of 13 teacher residents will finish the program this semester at California State University, Fresno. A second group of 24 students began the program this summer.
This latest grant allows the district and Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education to expand the residency program to include transitional kindergarten, first, second and third grades and high school grades, Mecum said.
Teacher residents have the opportunity to earn not only a multiple subject credential to teach in kindergarten to eighth grades but a foundational credential in math or science to teach those subjects in middle and high school.