Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago Receives $1 Million
Professional Learning Partnership Grant

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Will Support Loyola’s Center for Science and Math Education’s Implementation of New Middle Grade Science Curriculum
in Chicago Public Schools

CHICAGO, August 27, 2019 – A new partnership between Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Science and Math Education (CSME), Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and the Center for Curriculum Analysis in Madison, Wisconsin, will support professional development for more than 600 middle-grades science teachers from more than 300 Chicago Public Schools. Led by Loyola, the collaboration will provide a variety of professional learning experiences for CPS middle grades science teachers to implement science curriculum which aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards as part of CPS’ Curriculum Equity Initiative.

This training will build upon the work occurring in CPS science classrooms over the last few years while helping educators blend hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and debate like professional scientists and engineers. The project is supported by a $1 million Professional Learning Partnership grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Our years of work with the diverse student population in CPS prepare us well to address achievement gaps in student science performance,” said Rachel Shefner, PhD, associate director of the center and director of accreditation and academic regulatory compliance at Loyola. “Through the Loyola-Gates Professional Learning Partnership, CSME will design professional learning for these teachers and develop a cadre of teacher-leaders who will sustain the professional learning work after the project ends and provide support for school administrators.”

This unique partnership will provide educators high-quality professional learning opportunities to nurture the curiosity of the next generation of young scientists and scholars,” said CPS Chief Education Officer, LaTanya D. McDade. “CPS is grateful for Loyola’s enduring partnership and thrilled to expand learning opportunities to help implement the Curriculum Equity Initiative.”  

The Center for Curriculum Analysis will provide customized tools for teachers to reflect on their own science instruction as well as for measuring the impact of the program on teachers and their students. Shefner and her team are also planning to develop models so the professional learning program can be applied to other districts with similar needs.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 14 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.

About Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools’ mission is to provide a high quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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