The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) was selected as one of two local school systems to participate in the Maryland State Personnel Development Grant through the Maryland State Department of Education. The total grant award is $5.5 million to be spent during the next four years between MSDE and the two participating school systems.

Two HCPSS schools, Hanover Hills and Jeffers Hill elementary schools, will become state and national demonstration sites for creating and delivering specially designed instruction in mathematics with embedded social-emotional supports for students and instructional coaching for staff.

The initiative is designed to improve the mathematics proficiency of elementary students with disabilities in grades 3-5, and narrow the opportunity and achievement gaps for these learners.

The grant emphasizes the importance of building educators’ capacity to collaborate and deliver evidence-based practices. To help special educators learn new methods and strategies to support students with disabilities in grades 3-5, funds may be used to enable teachers to engage in professional learning opportunities and carve out time to plan, review data, and develop lessons.

HCPSS will spend the next year collaborating with MSDE to develop plans for the use of the grant funding. These plans may include investing in math coaches, professional learning on SDI, consultants and instructional materials.