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This summer, 24 high school science, social studies and math teachers from ten area schools are participating in the new Enhancing Learning in Subject Area Classrooms (ELSAC) program. This program is offered by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services’ Fox Valley Writing Project (FVWP) in conjunction with the Appleton Area School District.

A three-year professional development program, ELSAC is designed to help teachers improve their use of literacy to enhance student learning in secondary content area classrooms. This opportunity was made available through a Wisconsin Improving Teacher Quality grant secured by FVWP Director Patricia Scanlan, who is also a reading professor in the college.

Consisting of two, one-week summer institutes, along with follow-up sessions during the school year, the ELSAC program seeks to develop a collaborative, professional community of educators committed to improving their own instruction.

The expectation is that participants leave the program with teaching plans to improve their classroom instruction and enhance students’ content area learning. So far, the program has proven to have a strong impact on participants.

“I came in a little skeptical about teaching writing in math,” said Appleton North math teacher Shannan Davis. “But by the end of the second day, I was ready to scrap my lesson plans and start over.”

The first ELSAC session was held June 28-July 2, 2010 at Appleton North High School, with a second session planned for Aug. 16-20, 2010. This year’s participants were selected through an application process and represented ten area high schools: Appleton East, Appleton North, Appleton West, Ashwaubenon, Freedom, Lourdes, Oakfield, Oshkosh North, New London and Xavier.

Pat Scanlan, Reading Education, submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.