Within the expectations of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) there are some provisions that allow for educator ‘Professional Development and Learning’ as an ‘acceptable expense’ for school districts. Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act, offers innovative options for how this PD funding can be used, including investing in teacher leadership and teacher-led professional development. Under the new law, districts are also required to “meaningfully consult with teachers” and other stakeholders and “seek advice…regarding how best to improve the local educational agency’s activities.”
A mechanism for the application for funding under Title II requires that districts explain how they involve teachers in the overall decision-making process — which means that teachers now participate in the evaluation and selection of their personalized Professional Development and Learning under these Title II funding opportunities. Science Safety has reviewed and researched the acceptable uses for PD funding dollars and provided some approved recommendations, that are reinforced by relevant recent pedagogical studies and using these key findings as a platform for choosing appropriate, comprehensive, current and customized professional development for teachers in the areas of science, STEM, and CTE.
Based on the 2021 publication ‘A National STEM Education Imperative: What the Data Tells Us’, which was a national study on the current state of safety awareness in STEM and CTE programs, some of the key findings were truly remarkable for educational stakeholders. These are some of the highlights from the study by Dr. Kenneth Roy and Dr. Tyler Love who conducted the research and analyzed the results from the participants. The whole report can be found here: Download the complete report at: https://doi.org/10.3102/1888047
• 80% of science & STEM teachers reported having 1 injury in the past year
• 51% of schools nationally have had an injury or litigation
• 77% of accidents involve students
• 62% of teachers regard students not following instructions as the leading cause of accidents or injuries
• 69% of teachers do not use a safety contract or lab safety acknowledgement form with their students
• STEM accidents increase once class size exceeds 24 students
• 57% of schools have classes larger than 25 students, however only 26% of those schools have a facility large enough to support that many students (occupancy load issues)
And the two largest key findings from this study:
• 35% of teachers of STEM and CTE did not have any formalized safety training
• Completing formalized safety training can reduce accidents by 51%
These findings together with the recommendations from recognized educator associations such as the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS), the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA), the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and many more all strongly encourage school administration and classroom teacher annual safety training for regulatory compliance. This is also a mandated legal requirement for those newly hired teachers and those new to teaching another subject area under OSHA CFR 29 1910.1450 and OSHA 1910.1200
Science Safety has developed an accessible virtual safety training program that is customized for every grade level and subject area from primary school though to AP Science in high school. We have thoughtfully designed a multi-modality system for providing safety training that is grade-and-subject-area appropriate with built-in assessments, videos, animations, scenario-based problem-solving, the earning of certified micro-credentials and verifiable certificates of completion for participants. Additionally we have established communities online that can connect colleagues across the town or across the country in our PLC’s that are an integral aspect to raising the culture of safety awareness in your schools. Our team of instructional designers, subject-matter-experts and IT specialists have been delivering the highest quality content that is current, comprehensive, cost-effective and compliant since 2014 to educators across the world. All of our content is reviewed by Dr. Ken Roy who is America’s most respected school safety advocate.
Let Science Safety help your district meet its safety, risk management and Professional Development objectives collaboratively with you.
Please complete this short form to engage with Science Safety about how to use your existing ESSA funding for Professional Development in your district. We welcome the opportunity to help make your schools, staff and students safer.