For Immediate Release: Jan. 19, 2023
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will provide 25 or more new instructional math coaches over the next four years to identified K-12 schools. The coaches will deliver professional development and coaching services to teachers and administrators that will improve student outcomes.
Today, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve a four-year contract of nearly $11 million in state-appropriated funds with Catapult Learning, LLC, to provide mathematics coaching services to selected schools. Catapult has more than 46 years of experience supplying educational supports to schools and districts across the world. The state’s contract with the company includes an optional one-year renewal for year five.
The first group of coaches will begin working later this month at selected schools. Additional schools will be added throughout the year.
MDE’s coaching model success, which has been a factor in improving student achievement and transforming schools in Mississippi, began in 2013-14 with 29 literacy coaches. The coaching model has expanded to a combined team of 107 coaches in literacy, special education, school improvement, early childhood, math and digital learning. Coaches are deployed across the state to support classroom instruction.
“Having instructional coaching support in multiple subject areas has proven to benefit Mississippi teachers and students alike,” said Dr. Robert Taylor, state superintendent of education. “I anticipate further progress with the addition of the new math coaches, and the MDE appreciates the state’s financial investment to this program to accelerate learning.”
Schools chosen to receive math coaches were selected based on a review of Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) math data across several years. A cohort within the schools was selected based on the amount of novice math teachers on staff who had less than three years classroom experience.
Catapult engaged with national partners during the recruitment of math coaches to maximize the quality of coaches and to avoid pulling current Mississippi teachers out of the classroom to serve in this full-time statewide capacity. The recruitment process includes a performance-task presentation in which math coach candidates demonstrate interpersonal skills, depth of content knowledge in mathematics and pedagogical strengths.
All math coaches have previous classroom and coaching experience. They will offer in-person and virtual coaching support, individualized plans of action, in-person modeling and co-teaching, classroom observations, lesson plan development, professional development and summer enrichment for administrators. Additional services will be made available (in-person and/or virtually) across the state for educators, pre-service teachers, administrators, and Educator Preparation Providers throughout the life of the contract.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.