Danville Public Schools (DPS) Teachers Selected to Participate in Master’s Degree in Reading Program through Averett University

Posted on September 24th, 2018 by Danielle Staub

Danville Public Schools (DPS) is collaborating with Averett University to provide a Master’s Degree in Reading Program. This program is based on the Division’s need for additional Title 1 Reading Specialists, who require a Master’s Degree in Reading. Federal Title 1 funds are allocated to schools and districts with the aim of improving educational opportunities for all children. These funds are an important source of support and they positively affect literacy instruction within the school division.

Averett University’s Reading Master’s program will be delivered via classroom instruction as well as online courses, with a flexible time frame based on college coursework the individual teacher has already completed. Fifty-seven (57) DPS teachers expressed interest in the program. Of those 57, 15 teachers plus alternates were selected by lottery to participate, several of whom are Averett alumni.

“Once the teacher completes the Master’s Degree in Reading program, he or she will qualify to have another endorsement, that of Reading Specialist, added to his or her Virginia teaching license. Teachers with this endorsement are particularly qualified to work with students, through the Federal Title 1 program, to improve reading,” stated Dr. Juliet Jennings, Chief Human Resources Officer for Danville Public Schools. “We are grateful to the Averett leadership team for their support and partnership, and we are indeed excited to offer this program to our teachers.”

The cost of tuition for the program is partially funded by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). DPS pays the remaining cost of tuition. Participants must sign an agreement with DPS, stating that all tuition payments are subject to available funds as approved by the Danville School Board; tuition payments are made directly to Averett University; the participant agrees to remain with DPS as an employee for a minimum of three years after the degree has been conferred; and failure to comply will result in the discontinuation of tuition assistance and/or the reimbursement of funds to DPS.

“Reading is a foundational skill that all children must master as they should be reading on grade level by third grade to facilitate the transition from learning to read to reading to learn,” said Dr. Sue Davis, chair of Averett’s Department of Education and director of Teacher Education. “Averett University is ready to serve our school division partners with training and graduate work in this critical subject.”