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Harvard School District 50 receives $250,000 math, science grant

HARVARD – McHenry County teachers are undergoing training to better their math and science skills and enrich their curriculum thanks to a $250,000 grant.

The federally funded Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships program awarded Harvard School District 50 $250,000 in its 2017 grant cycle to go toward professional development for teachers. The focus is comprehensive math and science education and allows teachers to attend graduate school courses and then follow up with curriculum development and instructional coaching workshops.

District 50 partnered with Aurora University for the trainings. Twenty teachers from Harvard, Woodstock, Crystal Lake, Cary, Nippersink and Belvidere school districts are participating in the three and half week program.

“This is benefiting teachers because of the focus on math and science education as a career long process,” said Harvard District 50 Curriculum, Assessment and Grants Coordinator Margaret Segersten, “Teachers are continuously upgrading their knowledge and skills and in turn students will benefit.”

The district plans to apply for the grant again in 2018 but funding isn’t a guarantee, Segersten said.

The program had 20 slots and teachers had to be willing to sacrifice three and half weeks of the summer for the program. District 50 is also the recipient of a similar science, technology, engineering and mathematics grant called I-STEM, also in the amount of $250,000. I-STEM also involves professional development.

Segersten said she hoped to see teachers implement what they had learned over the course of the summer courses during the upcoming semester.

“I am hoping to see more engaging and hands on science classes,” she said. “And students starting to dive deeply into the content.”

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