Schools receive grant

From Staff Reports

   Carter County elementary school students will benefit from a No Child Left Behind grant the Milligan College Department of Education recently received from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Milligan's grant of $72,911 was one of 21 selected from 79 proposals across the state, totaling nearly $1.3 million in aid.
   A federally funded program, the Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program is the largest federal initiative for using professional development to improve teaching and learning. The program encourages college professors and K-12 teachers to work together and continue in their professional development. The goal is to increase knowledge and improve instruction.
   Milligan College is currently working with Carter County Schools to provide professional development activities for approximately 30 teachers and staff from several Carter County elementary schools, including Little Milligan, Range, and Valley Forge Elementary.
   Teachers attend one to two instructional workshops per month between December 2003 and September 2004 in science, mathematics, and reading/language arts - subjects the schools received average or below-average performance results for, according to the 2003 Tennessee No Child Left Behind At-A-Glance Report. The goal is to improve instruction and help teachers develop school improvement plans.
   "Teacher training for those teachers working with low income students, students at risk and students with low achievement levels is extremely important to improving the level of performance in our schools," said Daniel Holder, chairman of the Carter County School Board.
   Carter County has 17 schools serving children in grades K-12. Seventy-six percent of the schools are Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited. Almost 70 percent of the children served are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
   "Research-based, intensive, and sustained professional development activities will enable our teachers to increase gains in student achievement," said Dr. Shirley Ellis, director of federal projects/testing for Carter County School System. "The work Milligan is doing for the Carter County schools is wonderful, needed and greatly appreciated."
   Milligan College teacher education faculty will provide technical help and consultants throughout the project. Carter County Schools principals and support staff will assist Dr. Beverly Schmalzried, chair of Milligan's education area and coordinator of the grant project, in developing plans for each workshop and reviewing pre-test and observation session results. Schmalzried said Milligan's Teacher Education Curriculum Library will also be available to consultants and participants.
   "We are very pleased to be involved with Carter County Schools in this project. Our Milligan students and the children and teachers in Carter County will all benefit from our working together," said Schmalzried, who previously served as a family policy administrator for the Air Force, where she helped transform their early childhood education program to earn congressional accolades.
   Milligan's teacher education program is state-approved and NCATE-accredited. The college places undergraduate students in student teaching and graduate students as interns in schools throughout the region. Teacher education curricula are available in early childhood education, middle grades, 11 secondary fields and music, theatre and physical education.