The Temple Independent School district was selected to receive a planning grant of $150,000 to prepare for the implementation of a Math Innovation Zone (MIZ) program.
This Texas Education Agency initiative is aimed at improving academic outcomes in math for students in pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through eighth grade. Temple ISD was one of up to fourteen Texas school districts and open-enrollment charter schools selected receive MIZ funding. District administrators applied for the grant earlier this year and were notified of the district’s eligibility mid-November.
In looking for qualifying educational systems, TEA looked at demographics, infrastructure and administrative support. Apart from urban demographics and district-wide technology initiative, Temple ISD secured the grant by demonstrating strong, data-driven and collaborative instructional processes, having experience with blended learning, and having the support for blended learning from district leadership.
“The MIZ selection team was very impressed with [Temple ISD’s] Letter of Interest and found a strong fit with our district profile and program goals,” said Andrew Hodge, director of Math Innovation Zones for TEA. “This was an incredibly competitive process and Temple ISD was a clear fit for Math Innovation Zones.”
The planning grant is the first of two waves of funding for participating school systems which will be evaluated against Fidelity of Planning measures to determine the eligibility of continuing on and receiving execution grants of up to $150,000 in the 2019-2020 academic school year.
Temple ISD selected Hector P. Garcia, Kennedy-Powell, Scott, Bonham and Lamar as the campuses to implement the MIZ program. The initiative will begin in August of 2019 with kindergarten, third- and sixth-grade pilots with the objective of becoming a mature, K-8 program in three years’ time.
The end goal for this program is to prepare students for Algebra I — which is typically taken in eighth or ninth grade. As the final state-tested math course, Algebra is a crucial milestone for any student in Texas. By nurturing the math skills throughout student’s careers using MIZs, Temple ISD and TEA intend to better prepare students to overcome this hurdle.