University of Rochester

Grant Furthers Math Reform, Literacy Initiatives in City School District

January 15, 2004

The Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester has been awarded a $1.2 million grant by the New York State Education Department. The award will help further initiatives to reform math and literacy teaching and learning. Awarded over a five-year period, the grant will help connect Rochester city schools with a network of research-based models and educators.

Judith Fonzi, director of the Warner Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, and Joanne Larson, associate professor and chair of teaching and curriculum, are leading the project, which involves the support and expertise of several Warner faculty and doctoral students.

The literacy component of the project is directed by Larson, and will focus efforts at Rochester City School District (RCSD) School 28 at the elementary level. The project will expand to secondary schools with the addition of Meg Callahan, assistant professor, and Bronwen Low, assistant professor, both in teaching and curriculum.

Warner doctoral student Katie Orem is directing the mathematics component, and works with teachers and students at RCSD Schools 28, 3, 41, 50, and 58 at the elementary level. With the addition of doctoral student Joann Bell, the project will expand to include secondary schools.

These collaborations between the Warner School and RCSD seek to implement a school-wide systemic approach to improve practices, including long-term sustained professional development to improve instructional programs. The mathematics model will also include mathematics instruction for parents and other community members.

This project builds on and extends the work of several previous math and literacy reform initiatives by Warner School faculty and doctoral students that were funded with multiple grants by the National Science Foundation and by New York State.