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Smart Start Grant Program

The New York State Education Department has awarded $6 million in grant funds to 17 applicants to assist in the professional development of K-8 teachers in their knowledge and expertise of the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards that were adopted in December 2020. The purpose of the Smart Start grant is to develop, implement, and share innovative programs that provide professional development and support to increase expertise in computer science, engineering, and/or educational technology among teachers in grades K-8. 

NYSED recognizes the need to prepare students to succeed in the dynamic 21st-century economy, specifically in the areas of computer science, engineering, and educational technology. Upon graduation, every student in New York State should know how to live safely and productively in a digitally-dominated world, understand the types of tasks computation can help automate, understand essential features of how the technologies of their lives work, and be able to effectively utilize technology to create, research, communicate, and collaborate.

These programs and component activities, materials, professional development resources, etc., will support the mission of the NYS Board of Regents, which is to ensure that every child has equitable access to the highest quality educational opportunities, services and supports in schools that provide effective instruction aligned to the state’s standards, as well as positive learning environments so that each child is prepared for success in college, career, and citizenship.

New York State teachers need professional development and support in order to help their students achieve success in computer science, engineering, and educational technology. NYSED recognizes that high-quality professional development that utilizes best practices and instructional methodologies and are tailored to school district and regional industry needs is critical to improving learning opportunities and outcomes for all NYS students.

Professional development and support will be provided by qualified non-profit organizations or institutions of higher education. Districts/Consortiums also must partner with their Regional Economic Development Council to tailor the program to regional business or future employer needs.

The program goals of the Smart Start Grant are as follows:

  1. The implementation of fully developed programs that provide professional development and support to increase expertise in computer science, engineering, and/or educational technology among teachers in grades K-8, to allow such teachers to become in-house experts in the school and district.
  2. The publishing and sharing of the state-funded programs, including any and all materials and artifacts (with the exception of Personally Identifiable Information and artifacts created by K-8 students) produced over the course of the grant, so that other NYS districts can freely use, copy, adapt, and implement similar programs. Programs will be published on the applicant’s website.

This grant has 17 awardees that will fund the training of over 7,000 teachers in more than 500 schools over the course of the grant. The grant period is anticipated to be five years, beginning April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2026.

Grantee Distrcit or Consortium

Program Focus Resources
Brentwood UFSD Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology STEPD UP 
Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES Computer Science 3C’s for Cyber Success: Coding, Computational Thinking, and Cybersecurity
Clarkstown Central School District Computer Science and Engineering Deep Learning through Culturally Relevant and Gender Equitable Pedagogy in Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology
Freeport UFSD    
Greater Southern Tier BOCES Educational Technology T3 Project: Transforming Teaching with Technology
Kenmore-Tonawanda UFSD/Tonawanda CSD Educational Technology KTUFSD and TCSC Smart Start Grant
Longwood Central School District Computer Science and Engineering Longwood and William Floyd Computer Science for All
Monroe #1 BOCES Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology Monroe 1 BOCES Smart Start Program
Nassau BOCES Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology Students Soar with STEM Success
Orange-Ulster BOCES Educational Technology Research, Create, Collborate, and Communicate (R3C)
Ossining UFSD (Westchester County Consortium) Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology K-8 STEM Ambassadors
Rockland BOCES Computer Science  Rockland County Smart Start Program
St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology Student Preparation for Emerging Careers in Computer & Information Technology Initiative (SPECCIT)
Syracuse City School District    
Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES Computer Science and Engineering  WFL BOCES/U of R Smart Start: Digital Fluency & Engineering for the Future
Western Suffolk BOCES Computer Science Computer Science For All Western Suffolk
Yonkers City SD Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology Developing an Understanding of STEM Trajectories Through an Inquiry-Based Learning Approach

 

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