20 Aug 2014
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Alcoa Foundation Gives $21,000 Grant to Seneca Valley

The money will be used for professional development.

Alcoa Foundation Gives $21,000 Grant to Seneca Valley

is on the receiving end of a $21,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation.

The money will be used to support a professional development program for math teachers in each of the district’s six elementary schools as well as the and middle schools.

Focusing on  environment, empowerment, education and sustainable design, the Alcoa Foundation contributes millions annually to organizations and schools around the world.

The foundation chose Seneca Valley to receive a grant because of its commitment and dedication to professional development in education, district officials said in a statement.

The Seneca Valley Professional Development Program, supported by the foundation grant, began in the district two years ago.

The grant, which will allow the program to expand, will have a direct impact on 250 elementary teachers and 3,900 students, the district said in its statement. The program allows teachers to examine and refine their own classroom practices and work with colleagues toward shared goals of improving students' understanding of math. 

The program will include monthly instruction and coaching sessions with internationally-known mathematics instructors, the district said. A trained lead teacher will hold follow-up sessions at each school. 

“Through this program, our teachers have developed a much deeper understanding of the concepts of mathematics and been supported in the refinement of their instructional techniques to develop student understanding,” said Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale.

Seneca Valley has asked Dr. Margaret Schwann Smith, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, to lead the effort. 

“Her experience and national reputation in practice-based professional development for teachers of mathematics makes her an excellent choice for the program,” Vitale said.

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