BetterLesson, a leading K-12 professional learning provider, is pleased to announce it is distributing $300,000 worth of professional development services focused on improving the continuity of teaching and learning across all environments and addressing issues of equity in education. Six K-12 organizations received matching grants during the first cycle of the BetterLesson program. Recipients are using awarded grants to improve the resilience of their pedagogy and to develop practices that promote social justice.
“It’s incredibly heartening to see that despite an ongoing pandemic and social and political unrest, schools and districts across the U.S. are motivated to improve teaching and learning in new environments and adopt strategies that promote social justice,” said Matt Kennard, CEO of BetterLesson. “Our team enjoyed reading through each and every grant application – the awarded services are well deserved, and we look forward to supporting recipients in achieving their goals.”
Recipients shared how they will utilize grant services:
- Norwalk Public Schools, Connecticut: Advance student-centered STEM education. The priority focus areas are student engagement, responsive and inclusive teaching and learning, and meeting all learners’ needs.
- Provo City School District, Utah: Improve literacy outcomes for students in K-3 through 1:1 coaching for teachers and leaders at four elementary schools. Districtwide support for social-emotional learning (SEL) through workshops and coaching for teachers and social workers to expand the capacity for support at each site.
- Methuen Public Schools (MPS), Massachusetts: Continue on a long-term path to advance student-centered, equitable and responsive teaching and learning to reach student achievement and engagement goals. Objectives include increasing the use of student data to inform instructional strategy best practices.
- Yeshivat Darche Eres (YDE), New York: Train all teachers in best practices, specifically related to blended learning, and implementing a 1:1 technology initiative.
- Lyons Township High School District 204 (LTHS), Illinois: Advance student-centered instructional practices through a cohort-based training model, ensuring teachers can focus on personalization, engagement and relevance for students in hybrid and remote modalities.
- Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (TST BOCES), New York: Solve common curriculum, instruction and assessment problems of practice in the region, and reenvision what equitable, accessible, rigorous and joyful teaching and learning looks like.
“TST BOCES is thrilled to partner with BetterLesson to advance our curriculum, instruction and assessment initiatives,” said Nicole Eschler, Executive Director of Regional School Success at TST BOCES. “This is likely the most challenging time any of us has experienced as educators, but the dedication, creativity and care shown by our educators is off the charts – we’re eager to build staff capacity and create sustained, systemic change.”
Launched in 2020, BetterLesson’s matching grant program provides U.S. public and private K-12 schools, districts and education service agencies in the United States with virtual professional learning services to improve teaching and learning in remote environments and integrate practices that advance social justice as part of regular classroom instruction.
Based on educators’ feedback, BetterLesson plans to offer future grant rounds to address the emerging needs of students and teachers post-pandemic, using lessons learned to accelerate growth.