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Clarkstown Central School District Awarded $1.25 Million STEM Grant for Professional Development

Clarkstown Central School District Awarded $1.25 Million STEM Grant for Professional Development

Clarkstown Central School District Superintendent Dr. Martin D. Cox and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Susan Yom today announced that the District was recently awarded a $1.25 million Smart Start grant from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED). 

The five-year grant will support the development, implementation and sharing of 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. $250,000 will be allocated annually for a total of $1.25 million for five years. 

Entitled “Deep Learning through Culturally Relevant and Gender Equitable Pedagogy in Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology”, the District’s plan focuses on high-quality professional development for teachers and administrators through the lens of equity for STEM. Educators will be exposed to the challenges of STEM access and opportunities globally as well as in the Clarkstown CSD across multiple expressions of diversity (e.g., race, social class, gender, language, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, ability).  Educators will increase their understanding in how to integrate culturally responsive sustaining pedagogy, Deep Learning Instructional design, ISTE standards,  and the NYS Computer Science, Engineering, and Educational Technology (Digital Literacy) standards into transdisciplinary units that will be broadly shared throughout New York State.

This summer, the first cohort of 50 K-8 educators will begin to receive professional development. Teachers will create a new professional learning community that will collaborate and create a culture of STEM equity-minded educators who will impact their school community and New York state. The ultimate outcome of this grant will lead to the encouragement of broad access, interest, and participation for traditionally under-represented populations in the STEM field, such as female students, students with differing abilities (students with disabilities), English language learners/Multilingual learners (ELL/MLLs), and/or Black, Hispanic, and Native American students, as well as economically disadvantaged students in STEM courses and college/career pathways.  

These initiatives are directly aligned with the District’s five-year Technology plan. 

Download the District Technology Update presented on February 25, 2021.

The Smart Start program (and component activities, materials, professional development resources, etc.) supports the mission of the New York State 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. Learn more about the program at