What’s Right With Schools: New partnership enhances STEM courses with students in Waterbury schools

Whats Right With Schools

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A new program in Waterbury is enhancing STEM courses with students.

It is a partnership between UConn, Math For America and the Waterbury Public School District. The fellowship is made up of 11 teachers across the district, two of whom are at North End Middle School in Waterbury.

Anthony Della Cace is one of the fellows. He is a math teacher at North End Middle School, where he has been his entire 10-year teaching career.

“When you go through a year like last year, you learn how important it is to have the best tools in your repertoire to be a good teacher in the classroom and whenever there’s an opportunity to improve those tools, you want to take advantage of it,” Della Cace said.

“The most important thing to do in a classroom is to get your students to engaged in the work because once they’re engaged, then that growth and progress happens,” he added.

Science teacher Louis Labarba said the most valuable part of the fellowship is collaborating with other teachers.

“Your fellow teachers are in the trenches with you and doing it and when they say something works, you can trust that,” Labarba said.

Each of the fellows went through a two-day summer institute and they’ll get $5,000 a year for the next four years.

“As our teachers become more comfortable with different strategies, then they can give those strategies to their students,” said Kari Nizzardo, K-12 science supervisor for Waterbury Public Schools.

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