LEESVILLE, La. (Fort Polk Progress) - Ten schools in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, were selected as Central Louisiana Instructional Partnership project partners. CLIP is an endeavor "to recruit, train, support and retain" science and math teachers in Central Louisiana schools.
Anne Smith, a Vernon Parish School Board curriculum director, announced the details of CLIP at a regular school board meeting Oct. 6 in Leesville, Louisiana.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for Vernon Parish," Smith said.
According to Smith, CLIP stems from The Orchard Foundation receiving an approximately $4.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education to find and train qualified math and science educators in Central Louisiana.
From this, The Orchard Foundation and project partners committed to $8,801,519 in in-kind matched non-federal funds to implement CLIP as a teacher residency program. The goal is to promote better academic achievement in middle school math and science for students in grades 6-8 that attend schools in rural areas.
Vernon Parish School District is one of nine Central Louisiana parishes benefitting from the CLIP grant, which also includes Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides and Winn parishes.
The five-year grant is expected to train up to 44 middle school math and science teachers, which will be known as CLIP residents.
The residents will be required to complete a 15-month graduate program and will receive a Master of Arts teaching degree from Northwestern State University, a professional teaching license and training stipend upon completion.
In addition to graduate coursework, their residency will consist of co-teaching alongside a mentor teacher in schools in need of middle school science and math teachers. The residents will also learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) content to take back to their classrooms.
After completing their residency, graduates will be assigned to the CLIP schools selected for at least three years, and receive two years of induction support, including coaching and professional development.
Applications for the first group of CLIP residents will be accepted in spring 2019, with the program beginning in summer 2019.
"There's a national, state and local shortage of math and science teachers," said James Williams, VPSB superintendent. "We were able to move forward with this CLIP grant, so that hopefully we can have what we need as far as math and science teachers in the parish."