"We need elementary school mathematics specialists, elementary school-based leaders who know and understand mathematics and can effectively mentor their colleagues. Given the need for students with a mathematics and science background and interest, this project is a first step in that direction, with multiple national implications."

- Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell

McDaniel College’s Elementary Mathematics Specialists & Teacher Leaders (ems&tl) Project is supported by the Brookhill Institute of Mathematics. The ems&tl Project addresses issues related to and in support of elementary mathematics specialists (EMS). The project also provides opportunities for the continuing professional development and mentoring of regionally-based mathematics teacher-leaders and elementary school mathematics specialists in Maryland. Project accomplishments, since its founding in 2009, and continuing supported goals, include:

The ems&tl Project has developed a leadership framework for mathematics specialists (

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell directs the ems&tl Project. Jon Wray serves as project manager. Beth Kobett is the ems&tl Project’s lead consultant. Dr. Barbara Swartz serves as the Project’s evaluator.

- Supporting McDaniel College’s master of science (MS) program in elementary mathematics education which includes Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) certification as an Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader (EMIL). In 2010 McDaniel College became the first college/university in the state of Maryland to receive Maryland State Department of Education approval for the Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader (EMIL) endorsement.
- Developing, maintaining, and expanding the project’s nationally respected clearinghouse for mathematics specialists. The project website, which has received over 500,000 visits, includes the following sources of information relative to the work of elementary specialists: school district-based initiatives which involve elementary mathematics specialists; college/university graduate level programs for mathematics specialists; state certification guidelines for elementary mathematics specialists; publications ranging from texts to testimonies, and a discussion forum which includes activities and a chat room for specialists. The ems&tl website continues to add updates related to issues of importance for mathematics specialists – nationally.
- Collaborative work with a core group of elementary mathematics specialists from central Maryland. The Project continues to engage a core group of mathematics specialists. These specialists provide project leaders with input on their day-to-day successes, challenges, milestones and professional needs. Such collaborative feedback influences our work.
- Providing professional development opportunities for area elementary mathematics specialists;
- Providing professional development for mathematics specialists nationally, through annual conferences of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, selected Regional Conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and other regionally based or national efforts (e.g. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators annual conference) in support of mathematics specialists.
- The project will continue to collect data and examine the impact of the work of mathematics specialists at the regional and national level. Recent and forthcoming reports and presentations (online and print) will address the impact of mathematics specialists, challenges they face, and leadership issues which impact their work. The Project will continue its work in analyzing programs for specialists at the college/university level; reviewing state certification and national accreditation efforts; and also the impact of school and school district programs which involve mathematics specialists.

The ems&tl Project has developed a leadership framework for mathematics specialists (

*Teaching Children Mathematics, October 2013*), and print and modular case-based professional development activities focusing on mathematics content, pedagogy, and the leadership issues which confront mathematics specialists. Project contributions also include*Look For’s*related to both the Standards for Mathematical Practice (CCSS-M, 2010) and the Mathematics Teaching Practices (NCTM, 2014), published manuscripts related to mathematics content (*Fractions are Numbers Too!*, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, April, 2014) and, more recently, formative assessment (*Classroom-Based Formative Assessments: Guiding Teaching and Learning*NCTM, 2015). The Project has also assisted school districts and elementary mathematics specialists in implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These efforts have been generated locally, piloted regionally, and disseminated nationally.Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell directs the ems&tl Project. Jon Wray serves as project manager. Beth Kobett is the ems&tl Project’s lead consultant. Dr. Barbara Swartz serves as the Project’s evaluator.