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About Project SMART
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) has been awarded a 2.25 million dollar five year grant that will extend until September 30, 2014.  The Science and Mathematics Accelerated Readiness for Teaching (SMART) project is designed to attract,train and retain non-education majors with a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) to teach math and/or science in grades 6-12 at high needs schools for a minimum of three years. These high needs schools will be determined by the Federal Title I definition (35%). 

HCPS will work in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance to provide recruitment and pre-selection induction for potential candidates. The process will also include required face time with students in selected schools.  TBWA will provide expertise in recruitment, professional employee preparation as well as a facility to support training activities.  A comprehensive screening process will include a committee to select 40-50 candidates in the second year of the grant.  Screening takes place twice a year in December and April.

Selected program participants will be invited to Teacher Interview Day and will be eligible for the program incentives once they are hired at a high needs school.  The key aspect at this point will be for participants to find positions so they can continue in the program.  Participants will be enrolled in the District’s Alternative Certification Program (ACP) at employee processing and will begin the required coursework in July, working as a learning community.  Participants will receive a scholarship to pay the ACP program fees.

The ACP Program will provide content specific training embedded into the program curriculum.  The participants will complete the district ACP program in 1 year, achieving full certification.   Each candidate will have two mentors (in addition to district requirements) to support both content and pedagogy during their first year. Mentoring, consistent with the Empowering Effective Teachers Induction process, will continue throughout the three year Project SMART program.

Upon completion of the three year commitment, testing fees (one time each, up to $680.00) will be reimbursed.   The goal of the grant is to attract 250 new teachers over 5 years.  Please check out the new section of our website for the next information meeting date.

Last Modified: Feb 18, 2013