25 Rutherford County Educators to get help in teaching through grant

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Twenty-five Rutherford County teachers will be better equipped to serve gifted students thanks to a generous grant by The Jennings & Rebecca Jones Foundation.

The foundation has awarded Rutherford County Schools a grant for extensive training in the education of gifted and advanced students. Through an application process, elementary teachers were selected to participate in a series of nine full-day workshops throughout the school year, which began in November and will conclude in July.

The workshops are linked to both field work in teachers' classrooms and the study of related professional literature. Once complete, teachers in the program will earn the Tennessee's Gifted Employment Standard and will be equipped to differentiate curriculum and instruction for advanced and gifted learners.

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This training addresses the unique needs of gifted and advanced students, says RCS Spectrum Coordinator Susan Lewis.

The trainings are led by Dr. Tamra Stambaugh, assistant research professor in Special Education and executive director of Programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University, and Sarah DeLisle, assistant director of day programs and professional development at Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth. Stambaugh and DeLisle are working with teachers to develop differentiated curriculum and instruction strategies that will both motivate students and extend their learning.

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In addition to working with Stambaugh and DeLisle during workshops held in Rutherford County, teachers will also spend a full day at Vanderbilt University learning about differentiating math curriculum for advanced learners from Dr. Kathy Gavin, retired research professor at the University of Connecticut and senior author of M²: Mentoring Young Mathematicians.

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