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Project STELLAR: Teaching for Critical Transitions

Science Teaching for English Learners - Leveraging Academic Rigor

The School of Education is leading a professional development program, called "Project STELLAR: Teaching for Critical Transitions," that serves teachers of long-term English Learners in three partner school districts in southern California – Lennox School District, Culver City Unified School District and Wiseburn Elementary School District. STELLAR stands for "Science Teaching for English Learners – Leveraging Academic Rigor."

The partnership is funded by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Professional Development program and will provide intensive training in academic writing in environmental science for 100 in-service teachers, 29 teacher leaders, and 20 pre-service teachers of English Learners over the next five years. SOE's Center for Equity for English Learners will receive $1.9 million over the five-year period, with substantive funding allocated to partner school districts.

The goals of Project STELLAR include the creation and implementation of a coherent and comprehensive professional development program for pre-service and in-service teachers in academic writing in science. The partnership aims to improve educational outcomes for 4th-8th grade English Learners during "critical transition" periods by increasing the capacity of teachers and administrators to provide high quality, content-based language and literacy development while addressing the socio-emotional needs of long-term English Learners.

Leading the project as principal investigator is Magaly Lavadenz, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and director of CEEL. Elvira Armas, the center's associate director, is the project's co-director. The Department of Educational Support Services and Eric Strauss, President's Professor in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering are content experts for the project.

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