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Improving Teacher Quality

Science Writing Impacts Real Learning (SWIRL)

Grant Number: 10-702

Grant Award: $991,537

Duration of Project: Thursday, September 30, 2010 - Monday, September 01, 2014

Project Subject Areas: English and Science

Grade Band: K-6th

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • California State University, San Bernardino

Local Education Agencies:

  • Coachella Valley Unified, Thermal


  • K-12 Alliance/WestEd
  • Lawrence Hall of Science: Full Science Option System (FOSS)

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



  1. Increase teacher science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge specifically in the use of inquiry-based science kit instruction and the use of science notebooks
  2. Increase science-centered school culture of high expectations and collaboration for faculty, students, and parents
  3. Establish a science-centered school culture of high expectations and collaboration for faculty, students and parents
  4. Implement a parent program for student support of academic literacy in grades K-3


  1. 14 Days Per Year (3) of Professional Development
  2. Yearly Summer Institute (Content in the 3 science disciplines and pedagogy using FOSS kits and focused on writing strategies through notebooks)
  3. Yearly On-site:
    • Teaching Learning Collaborative: Lesson Study incorporating lesson design and notebooks
    • Grade Level Meetings as a professional learning community looking at student work and determining instruction interventions
    • After School Program with parent volunteers to increase professional development opportunities for teachers, build parent support and provide experiences for students

Anticipated Outcomes:

  1. Increase in teacher science content and pedagogical skills (notebooks and inquiry science
  2. Increase student achievement in science and writing strategies
  3. Establish a strong science school culture
  4. Establish a science parent support program


Project: Joseph Jesunathadas, Research Director,
Institute of Higher Education: David Polcyn, Project Director,
Institute of Higher Education: Iris Riggs , Co-Director,
Local Education Agency: Alma Gonzalez , LEA Co-Director,

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

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