Students, teachers at FBISD’s EDGE campuses benefit from George Foundation grant

(Submitted photo)
Pictured from the left are Dr. Molly Cordeau, Texas Education Agency professional service provider; Dr. Marla Sheppard, FBISD assistant superintendent; Deanna Olson, Briargate Elementary principal; Saché Cantu, George Foundation grant associate; Dr. Phillys Hill, FBISD chief academic officer; Ammie Blahuta, George Foundation director of special programs; Dr. Megan Evans, FBISD director of innovation and continuous improvement; John Null, George Foundation chairman of the board; Quynh-Anh McMahan, George Foundation grant officer; and Jim Condrey, George Foundation board trustee.

Students at Fort Bend ISD’s two EDGE campuses are benefiting from an innovative instructional model, made possible in part to a $153,000 grant from the George Foundation.

The Educators Dedicated to Growing Excellence (EDGE) instructional model was introduced at Briargate Elementary and Ridgemont Elementary at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. Representatives from the George Foundation recently visited Briargate to observe its unique learning environment.

As part of the EDGE model, students have a team of highly qualified teachers delivering instruction that is targeted and individualized based on student’s learning styles, content mastery or interests. Master, mentor and EDGE teachers receive stipends as part of a team approach and share planning duties as well as ownership in all students’ success. The master teacher leads the team, teaching students and coaching others, thus creating a new model of support and growth for their fellow teachers.

The George Foundation grant awarded to Fort Bend ISD funds stipends for 17 of the district’s 24 mentor teachers.

“Students and staff are excited about the EDGE model, as we believe it is a more holistic approach to learning,” said Dr. Phillys Hill, chief academic officer for Fort Bend ISD. “Fort Bend ISD is thankful to the George Foundation for partnering with us in this innovative program that helps both students and teachers achieve success.”

As part of the EDGE instructional model, mentor teacher duties include providing instruction that is aligned with written curriculum and collaborating with the master teacher to lead professional learning communities. There is also increased collaboration with other grade levels to ensure that instruction is aligned at all levels.

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