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ESEP: Organizational Information and Contacts

The ESEP/Atlanta project is a joint effort of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and the Elementary Science Education Partners (ESEP).

ESEP is a consortium consisting of Emory University, the Atlanta University Center (the Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman, Morehouse, Morris Brown Colleges and Clark-Atlanta University), and Georgia State University. The program is directed by the principal investigator at the Emory University Medical School and co-principal investigators at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia State University, and the Atlanta Public Schools.

ESEP is responsible for the SKIL institutes to train lead teachers, the organization and direction (along with lead teachers) of workshops for the training of teachers, and for all aspects (recruiting, training, matching, and otherwise managing) of the science-partners program.

The ESEP efforts are funded by a 5-year, $5.7-million grant from the National Science Foundation's Local Systemic Teacher Enhancement Program and a 2-year $114,500 Eisenhower Grant.

The APS is a city-wide system with 70 elementary schools (grades K-5) and 35,000 elementary-school children. It is responsible for all other aspects of the implementation of the reform program, including the purchase of curriculum materials, the freeing of lead teachers for 10 school days/year, the creation and operation of a materials support center, providing substitute teachers for classroom teachers during training workshops, and the development of in-house capability to design performance-based assessment materials.

Leadership. The principal investigator (PI) on the NSF grant, who is also the project director, is Robert DeHaan, the William P. Timmie Professor in the Department of Cell Biology of the Emory University School of Medicine. The co-PIs are Dr. Vernon Allwood, Director of the Office of Community Relations and Student Affairs of the Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Molly Weinburgh, an assistant professor in the College of Education, Georgia State University; and Dr. Benjamin O. Canada, Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools.

Integrating ESEP and APS efforts. The process of integrating the efforts of the six undergraduate campuses of ESEP with one another, with the two medical schools, and with the efforts of the APS is complex. This is accomplished by four committees with well-defined responsibilities and some overlapping membership.

1. An Intercampus Working Committee with representatives from all seven institutions and the APS meets quarterly and is concerned with areas that are the responsibility of ESEP. E-mail networks allow rapid communication among the seven campuses.

2. An Executive Council comprising the PI, the co-PIs, the assistant directors, and key staff members meets weekly to monitor and adjust policy and direction.

3. An APS-ESEP Coordinating Committee meets once a month to deal with questions that arise concerning administrative staff development and curriculum policy. Members include the APS assistant superintendent for instruction, science coordinator, a special assistant to the superintendent, and the core evaluator from the APS, as well as the co-PIs and selected members of the ESEP Executive Council.

4. Within the APS, there is a Superintendent's Cabinet, two members of which attend the APS-ESEP Coordinating Committee meetings.

Staff. The grant also supports the following staff:

  • At the Emory central office, an assistant director, a project manager, a staff development coordinator, and a half-time secretary.
  • At GSU, the assistant director for Participatory Reform and a half-time liaison coordinator.
  • At each of the four AUC campuses, a faculty member who serves as a liaison coordinator for the science partner recruiting effort at that campus.
  • At the Morehouse School of Medicine office (which provides the direction and integration of the AUC effort), a project manager, a liaison coordinator, and a secretary.
  • At the APS Department of Research and Evaluation, a full-time evaluator.
  • At a nearby APS warehouse building, the science materials coordinator and an assistant to manage the Science Materials Support Center.

Contact Information

Information on ESEP/Atlanta can be obtained from

  • Elementary Science Education Partners (ESEP)
    Emory University Medical School
    575 Rollins Way
    Atlanta, GA 30322
    FAX: 404-727-3051

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