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New grant to fund STEM education programs and AP tests at high schools
Posted 9/7/18

A new partnership between the Koret Foundation, a San Francisco-based philanthropic foundation, and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) will fund teacher trainings and STEM education programs, and help cover the cost of AP tests in math, science and English for students in the program at three Hayward Unified School District high schools. The College Readiness Program aims to expand access and achievement in high-quality public STEM education across the country, particularly among students underrepresented in STEM careers.


The College Readiness Program represents a total investment by the Koret Foundation of $2 million over three years and includes intensive teacher trainings to ensure educators have the content knowledge and teaching strategies necessary to prepare students for AP-level coursework, including STEM coursework that is vital for today’s job market. The program is being implemented at Mt. Eden High School, Tennyson High School and Hayward High School.


“Koret looks for innovative models that increase access to quality education for all students,” said Jeffrey Farber, chief executive officer of the Koret Foundation. “NMSI‘s track record of success is what the Bay Area community needs and we are proud to partner with NMSI to expand their proven College Readiness Program in the region.”


Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) serves more than 20,000 students from pre-kindergarten through high school. HUSD strives to ensure that all students receive a quality education and graduate college and career ready. Approximately 72 percent of the student population is socioeconomically disadvantaged, and one-third are English learners. The district recently passed a Sanctuary Schools resolution and a resolution in support of African-American student achievement; both focus on improving academic achievement outcomes for students facing additional barriers to learning.


“NMSI and Koret have a shared passion and mission to remove barriers to student success,” said Will McDowell, program manager at NMSI. “Well-trained and supported teachers have a tremendous impact on their students, schools and communities. We’re proud to partner with Hayward Unified School District to deliver our proven College Readiness Program, continue to improve teacher satisfaction and effectiveness, and increase Bay Area students’ access to high-quality STEM education – the key to unlocking their potential.”


Educators whose schools have benefited from NMSI’s teacher training have seen the differences it makes in the classroom. Kelly Bellard, an AP calculus teacher at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward, said. “NMSI has been a vehicle for us to offer AP chemistry and AP computer science principles as two new AP courses for this upcoming school year. Teachers now have access to a lot of new resources to use with their students, which is very valuable for both students and teachers.”


Hayward Unified School District Board President Dr. Annette Walker agreed, saying, "Our district shares NMSI's college readiness vision and understands the importance of broadening access and achievement in AP coursework for our students. This partnership will allow us to prepare our young scholars for college and improve their options in higher education.”


This College Readiness Program will also help cover the cost of AP exams, which represents an outsized burden for families from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Dave Seymour, principal of Hayward High School, said, “We’re very excited to begin this partnership with NMSI and the Koret Foundation, which will encourage students to enroll and succeed in college-level AP courses. I’ve seen the data on what the College Readiness Program has achieved around the state and country, and I’m proud to use that proven model at Hayward High.”