SPOKANE – After two successful years of helping local teachers prepare students for college, a university-school district partnership has been renamed and expanded.
The Riverpoint Advanced Mathematics Partnership (RAMP) will continue for the next three years, thanks to an $850,000 grant. A similar $371,000 grant funded its predecessor, the Riverpoint Partnership for Math and Science Math Grant. In both cases, federal dollars were administered by Washington’s Higher Education Coordinating Board, with $34,000 supplemental funding provided by the Transition Mathematics Project for the first part of the project.
The board’s associate director Mark Bergeson said he was impressed when he sat in on a day-long partnership workshop in August. He reported seeing “zero yawns and lots of smiles” among the teachers who were getting mathematics instruction.
“Everyone was very engaged throughout the day – and believe me, I don’t see that often,” he said. “And I was really impressed by workshop leaders Janet Frost, Kris Lindeblad and Jackie Coombs. They have a passion for what they’re teaching, and they complement each other.”
Frost is partnership director and an assistant professor at the WSU College of Education. WSU hired Lindeblad, former Spokane School District mathematics coordinator, as project co-director. Coombs, also a co-director, is an assistant professor of mathematics at Eastern Washington University.
The RAMP project provides professional development for 43 teachers and 17 principals. The previous partnership enrolled 30 teachers. In both cases, high school teams were partnered with 10 college math faculty from Eastern Washington University, Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College.
“The teachers really valued the work, and by the second year, were beginning to make changes in their classrooms to help their students prepare for the state’s new Performance Expectations and College Readiness Standards in mathematics,” said Frost. “Of those original 30 teachers, 24 are continuing with us.”
The teachers spend 96 hours per year, and principals 16 hours, in partnership workshops and other activities.
High schools represented are Gonzaga Preparatory, Central Valley, University, Cheney, Jenkins, East Valley, Ferris, Lewis & Clark, North Central, Rogers, Shadle Park, Mead, Mt. Spokane, Spokane Valley, and West Valley. Contract-Based Education and Rivercity Leadership Academy are also included.