Lab’s Math and Science Academy seeks partnership school
Sixteen years. That’s how long the Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy (MSA), which provides professional development to area teachers, has been around. “We’ve done it all in 16 years, but we’ve never done it all in one school,” says MSA Education Specialist Randy Merker. “MSA has been effective, and we can have even more impact by working with the entire school program.”
Which is why MSA hopes to develop a partnership school—essentially an existing district elementary school in either Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, San Miguel, Sandoval, or Taos county that will collaborate with MSA, the community, and an institution of higher education with a teacher pre-service program.
One goal of this partnership school is to sustain a community of learners (students, teachers, and parents) who are engaged in their work and who think critically and deeply about the world around them. But the purpose of the partnership stretches beyond the classroom and beyond an academic year. “We want to develop a model for elementary education where pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and principals have opportunities to continually improve their practices,” Merker says. “We want to provide a model of best practices and innovation for educators that can be used long-term.”
The selected elementary school will not only be the physical location for these goals to unfold but will also be invited to participate in grant-funded, educational research and to collaborate with MSA and higher education faculty.
Working with MSA, the selected institution of higher education will collaborate with elementary school staff in developing programs, teaching courses, mentoring teacher candidates, and guiding research. “We are hopeful that teachers will further their education at the partnership school,” Merker says. “This is a real opportunity to develop educational best practices and have a lasting impact on the future of education in Northern New Mexico.”
- Interested elementary schools and districts can learn more about the partnership school opportunity here.
- Interested institutions of higher education can learn more about the partnership school opportunity here.
Taos Day School staff and MSA work to develop open-ended math tasks that are accessible and challenging to all students. These problems are a key to students developing mathematics problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding.
Math Teacher Leader Network
As if developing a partnership school in the coming months isn’t challenging enough, MSA is also hard at work cultivating a Math Teacher Leader Network, which will enhance the quality of math education in elementary schools through a network of math teacher leaders.
“This network of area educators can share best practices, experiences, challenges, training expertise, and resources,” Merker explains. “They will be a training resource for math education content and teaching.”
- Interested elementary schools can learn more about the Math Teacher Leader Network opportunity here.
Anyone interested in learning more about the work MSA has done may watch this video: