The U.S Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education recently awarded UCP Charter Schools a $5.1 million three year grant for a new initiative to help increase learning gains for students by ensuring access to highly effective and diverse teachers and other school leaders. UCP Charter Schools was the only awarded applicant from Florida.
The UCP Charter Schools network of inclusive public schools has outperformed in learning gains for a disproportionate number of lower-income students with disabilities compared to similar student populations.
The three-year grant, entitled Project ELEVATE (Elevating Learning by Empowering and Valuing Advancement of Teacher and other Educators), will provide funding to address multiple challenges associated with achieving higher outcomes including:
Recruitment and retention of effective teachers and leaders in high need schools
Building capacity in teacher leadership through development and implementation of TeachMastery (a customized targeted and job embedded professional learning program)
Additional teacher mentor/coaching with master teachers and model classroomsDevelopment and implementation of the KEY Program (Key Engagement for Yay-Worthy – a gamification incentive program)
Principal Academy and Principal Resident program
Building Instructional Leadership Teams (ILT)
“I am thrilled to announce the funding for Project ELEVATE, a significant step towards strengthening our education system,” said Dr. Ilene Wilkins, Superintendent of UCP Charter Schools. “Teachers and school leaders are the backbone of our schools, shaping the future of our nation. With these grants, we aim to provide essential support to retain and empower these dedicated professionals. This initiative reflects our commitment to addressing teacher shortages, fostering educator leadership, and ensuring the highest quality of teaching and learning. Together, we can create an environment where educators feel valued, supported, and motivated to continue their vital work for our students.”
About UCP of Central Florida:
UCP of Central Florida is a non-profit (501(c) (3)) organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children of all abilities in Central Florida. For more than 60 years, UCP of Central Florida has provided support, education and therapy services for children and families touched by disabilities. As one of their programs, UCP operates a consortium of charter schools for students with and without disabilities and is considered a national leader in inclusive education.