Shaffer Evaluation Group is proud to be working with two new clients: Fort Sam Houston Independent School District in Texas, and Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia.

Located entirely on Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Text, the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District serves the children of military personnel who reside on the Installation and Camp Bullis. DoDEA funds are supporting the development of a real world, vertically integrated curriculum of math and science. Elementary grades will focus on exposure to and building the skills of STEM through science, robotics, math and hands-on learning, while the middle school focus will be to take those skills learned in elementary and move them to meaningful application through extracurricular clubs and competition. The secondary focus combines college and career readiness with real world skills that show the power, applicability and integral use of science, math, technology and engineering.

Prince William County Public Schools, located near the nation's capital, is the second largest school district in the Commonwealth of Virginia. With the support of DoDEA funds, the district is launching Operation STEP to CCR: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Pathways to College and Career Readiness, ensuring that elementary military-connected students in Prince William County Public Schools are provided STEM-related opportunities that adequately prepare them to be successful in postsecondary institutions or in the workplace after completing high school. This project will provide extensive opportunities for early exposure to STEM activities that will spark student interest in STEM-related career clusters.

Shaffer Evaluation Group serves as project evaluator for 12 school districts across the country that have received DoDEA MCASP grants. We provide pro bono support for districts submitting grant applications, working with district staff to prepare the required evaluation plan. After a grant award is made, we prepare a detailed evaluation plan and provide direct support to project directors to collect the data necessary for reporting. We also prepare the annual evaluation report required by DoDEA. Contact us for more information on how we can support your grant application.

Updated: Jan 30

We're pleased to announce that SEG will serve as evaluator for an Education and Innovation Research - Early Phase grant awarded to Tufts University from the US Department of Education. The project, "Coding as Another Language: The Development and Implementation of a Computational Thinking Curriculum and Sustainable Professional Development Model in K-2,” involves a partnership between the DevTech research group at Tufts University and Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) in Virginia, the first state to mandate the teaching of computer science.

The project will accomplish three goals: 1) create a comprehensive, field tested, high quality integrated K-2 computer science (CS) curriculum and suite of teaching materials and implementation supports that will be free and publicly available; 2) achieve high fidelity implementation in all 32 schools in the district resulting in statistically significant student learning outcomes and teacher’s pedagogical and content knowledge to implement the curriculum; and 3) build capacity of leaders, technology coordinators and specialized coaches to replicate and sustain work following the grant period.

Currently, Virginia is the first state to introduce K-12 CS Standards of Learning. However, as both Virginia and other states implement policies, there is a need of developmentally appropriate research-based curriculum as well as rigorous research-based professional development models that can scale up in the K-2 segment. To address the first need, given that ScratchJr is a free programming language designed for that age segment by the DevTech Lab, in collaboration with Mitch Resnick at MIT, and that is used by 13 million users worldwide, the proposed project aims to develop a K-2 CS curriculum, called “Coding as Another Language” (CAL), that integrates math and literacy while engaging children in learning to code with ScratchJr and unplugged activities to promote computational thinking. To address the second need, the proposed project seeks to develop and field test professional development strategies that are scalable for implementing the CAL curriculum and that are supported by evidence of learning outcomes.

The awarded grant builds on earlier pilot work with NPS with KIBO robotics. In 2016, the district was awarded a $1.5-million-dollar grant, “Operation: Break the Code to College and Career Readiness”, to support military dependent students and enhance academic achievement through integrated computer science. The newly funded project seeks to have an impact for all children in the district by significantly increasing early childhood computer science content knowledge and providing scalable strategies for introducing computer science in communities with high need students.

Today we inked an agreement with Copperas Cove Independent School District to support their military-connected students initiative for the next five years. Copperas Cove, located in central Texas, is implementing Operation: Copperas Cove Codes (C 3) to improve math achievement among military-connected middle school students. The district is offering in-class integration of Computer Science and coding instructional strategies and extra-curricular opportunities to increase students’ computational, mathematical, and problem solving skills. Computer coding exercises led by cross-curricular teachers and paired with specific content skills is anticipated to result in higher levels of computational thinking, synthesis of mathematical concepts, and higher academic aptitude of military students. In-class technology resources will be added to support Computer Science and coding integration with embedded professional development and campus based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) coaching. SEG will help the district collect and interpret data to guide program improvement and ultimately measure the success of this initiative.