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HCPSS Selected to Participate in Maryland State Personnel Development Grant

May 11th, 2022

The Howard County Public School System was selected as one of two local school systems to participate in the Maryland State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The total grant award is 5.5 million dollars to be spent over the next four years between MSDE and the two participating school systems.

Two HCPSS schools, Hanover Hills and Jeffers Hill elementary schools, will become state and national demonstration sites for creating and delivering specially designed instruction (SDI) in mathematics with embedded social-emotional supports for students and instructional coaching for staff.

This initiative is designed to improve the mathematics proficiency of elementary students with disabilities in grades 3-5, and narrow the opportunity and achievement gaps for these learners.

“I am proud to be a part of this type of work, and to know that we are co-creating something that possibly could be replicated throughout our county and beyond,” said Terri Savage, Executive Director of Special Education. “This is an opportunity to improve student outcomes by focusing on how to address all of a child’s needs and helping them to persevere. By supporting their mathematics competencies as well as their social-emotional learning, it keeps students engaged in the classroom, ready to learn, and working alongside their classmates.”

HCPSS will spend the next year collaborating with MSDE to develop plans for the use of the grant funding. These plans may include investing in math coaches, professional learning on SDI, consultants, and instructional materials.

The grant emphasizes the importance of building educators’ capacity to collaborate and deliver evidence-based practices. To help special educators learn new methods and strategies to support students with disabilities in grades 3-5, funds may be used to enable teachers to engage in professional learning opportunities and carve out time to plan, review data, and develop lessons.

“I am thrilled that two of our schools were selected to participate in this valuable work,” said Michael Martirano Ed.D, HCPSS Superintendent. “These additional resources will support many of our youngest learners with disabilities, equipping special educators with additional resources and skills needed to thrive in challenging situations.”