The Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition recognizes effective student and teacher educational programs through its "Programs that Work" Awards. The Coalition reviews programs and chooses exemplary, innovative programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning. On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, Mrs. Tammy Stone, Coordinator of Science, Mr. Eric Fitzgerald, Director of Careers and Technical Education, and Dr. Doug Alderfer, Assistant Superintendent, attended a ceremony at the Library of Virginia to accept the award for Rockingham County Schools. Governor Terry McAuliffe was present at the event and presented the award to the recipients.
The division earned the award for their teacher program on the Vertical Articulation of Environmental Education. The program is designed to ensure that environmental education will be taught throughout a student’s K-12 career and that action projects will be an essential part of that instruction. In year one of the program, the division partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to build capacity for environmental education by taking forty administrators to the Chesapeake Bay as part of their summer education program. Additionally, administrators participated in a book study and discussion of the book, Education and the Environment by Gerard Lieberman. Over the past two years, the division has focused on teacher professional development and growing environmental programs in the schools. This professional development provides K-12 classroom teachers with the knowledge and skills to incorporate environmental education into subject matter across the curriculum. These efforts will further build the capacity for vertically aligned environmental education to ensure the program is sustainable into the future. The ultimate goal of the project is to design ever-evolving models for exceptional environmental experiences that are interdisciplinary and connected with our community. Rockingham County Public Schools is proud to be a state leader in the area of environmental education.