FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington has secured a $174,848 grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

The effort is aimed at training elementary and middle school mathematics teachers to become mathematics coaches for their districts.

The project, which started with its first group in 2015, is the only mathematics coaching preparation project in Maine and one of only a handful of programs in the country to require participation of district administrators, according to a news release from UMF.

Districts must nominate their teachers for a spot in the project, which now has 29 participants across two groups. The application deadline for the 2017 group is April 15.

If selected, teachers would receive two years of mathematics coach training and visits from coaching supervisors. The grant will go toward providing participants with three days of professional development at UMF and two regional learning laboratories and discussion groups in Auburn and Orrington for teachers and their administrators.

Funding will also go toward data analysis on student performance and $10,000 in kindergarten-through-grade 8 mathematics teaching materials to be housed in the UMF Theodora J. Kalokow Education Center. Upon completion of the project, teachers will be able to provide coaching for mathematics teachers in their districts.

“Today’s students are continually challenged by the demands of higher level mathematics, as demonstrated by recent test scores,” said Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education.

“Having well-prepared math coaches embedded in their school districts will provide classroom teachers with consistent, cost effective professional development and the skills and support they need to help their students master math.”

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

[email protected]

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick