HCISD expanding partnership with Discovery Education

Harlingen CISD this week announced the expansion of its multi-year partnership with Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content. 

In this collaboration’s latest phase, Discovery Education will support four more HCISD schools during the 2019-20 school year to further accelerate the growth of STEM teaching and learning. 

Last year, in support of HCISD’s strategic plan Transforming Learning for Global Achievement, Discovery Education began providing educators in the district’s STEM2 Preparatory Academy dynamic digital content and sustained professional learning they are now using to create engaging, STEM-focused digital learning environments.

In this new stage of the partnership, Discovery Education will support educators at two more HCISD elementary schools and two HCISD middle schools as they create immersive STEM learning experiences that will heighten students’ college and career readiness.  

“Discovery Education’s dynamic digital resources and sustained, job-embedded professional development were initially chosen by HCISD to support our strategic plan’s key goals,” said HCISD Chief Academic Officer Alicia Noyola.  “Together with Discovery Education, educators at the STEM2 Preparatory Academy are having great success as they use these resources to deliver high-quality instruction that results in maximum student achievement. Expanding this powerful partnership will help us replicate this success in even more schools.”

Two HCISD elementary schools — Travis Elementary School and Rodriguez Elementary School — will begin integrating Discovery Education STEM Connect into classroom instruction. STEM Connect is a cutting-edge, web-based, interdisciplinary K-8 supplemental resource that helps students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills they need for success beyond graduation and was recently awarded the prestigious CODiE award by theSoftware and Information Industry Association. Featuring flexible, modular learning units, STEM Connect provides students an easy-to-follow educational experience that includes real-world challenges, career connections, and hands-on activities.  In addition, the educators at these two schools will also participate in Discovery Education’s STEM formation initiative.  

A comprehensive, three-year system of professional development, STEMformation helps educators strengthen and sustain a culture of STEM at individual school sites and guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies.  With a focus on developing high-quality STEM lessons, creating transdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education school-wide, STEMformation provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership to create a center of STEM excellence.

In addition to the elementary schools, educators from two HCISD middle schools — Vela Middle School and Gutierrez Middle School — will participate in Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corps capacity building model.  A four-year system for scaling STEM education, STEM Leader Corp is a sustainable capacity building model that develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they support STEM in their school system.  Both STEMFormation and STEM Leader Corps have been certified as meeting the Global STEM Alliance STEM Education Framework, which was developed by the New York Academy of Sciences and SRI Education.

“Harlingen Superintendent Dr. Arturo Cavazos, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Alicia Noyola, and the entire HCISD team are playing an incredibly important leadership role in accelerating STEM education in South Texas,” said, Phillip Mikula, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to support HCISD’s work to prepare their students for future success.” 

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