School of Education associate professor receives $2.75 million grant for ESL teacher preparation

INDIANAPOLIS -- Improving educational opportunities for multilingual students has never been more important than now. The IUPUI School of Education is ready to become a major player in providing those opportunities.

Annela Teemant, an associate professor in second language education at the School of Education, has been awarded a $2.75 million U.S. Department of Education grant. The grant will span five years and include partnerships with three Central Indiana school districts and Indianapolis' Global Preparatory Academy.

Funds will support the preparation of English as a second language specialists, leaders and general educators in making individual and institutional change that is radical, measurable and replicable for improving education outcomes for English learners.

"We don't need incremental changes; we need radical change in how we engage students in learning and welcome families and communities into our schools," Teemant said. "This funding allows me to implement a districtwide English-learner agenda for change that impacts institutional practices and all teachers."

The professional development offered is multidimensional, collaborative and inter-institutional. The grant will allow educators to complete ESL certification; complete leadership academies; and engage in coach preparation and individual, peer and team coaching. Also, parents, families and community members will be able to participate in school-based equity projects and regional conferences.

This grant will continue Teemant's previous work in the field, which includes two previous federal grants to support ESL programs across Central Indiana.

"This is my 18th year in Avon, and there is not one other initiative that we have participated in that has had such widespread impact on schools and the community," said Angela P. Rasor, curriculum coordinator for Avon Community School Corporation. "This grant will carry us even further, and Avon schools will be forever changed."

Professional-development offerings will focus on whole-school reform using a multiyear focus on individual, peer and team coaching and workshops focused on pedagogy, culturally responsive curriculum development, teacher leader development and team coaching.

IUPUI School of Education professors Gina Yoder, Cleveland Hayes, Cristina Santamaria-Graff and Monica Medina will collaborate on the development of a parent-family-community engagement initiative and two regional conferences.

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