Institute History

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The Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform was endowed by Mark Hollis in 2000 in memory of his mother, who was an avid reader and supporter of education. The Institute's early work was to develop local incubation projects to test innovative ideas that would positively impact K-12 classrooms, with specific attention to closing the opportunity gap for children in marginalized settings. Since its inception the Institute established many innovative initiatives, including one of the first co-taught (special education and general education) classroom in the Central Florida area, a co-teaching model that reflects innovative teaching practices, the first public kindergarten single sex classroom in the country, and an after-school program that focuses on STEM, literacy and the arts. The Institute's work in the area of single-gender pedagogy has been showcased throughout the United States, Japan and Europe. Moreover, the after-school program has been used as a model for other schools and districts. The Institute also managed a federal T-3 Grant (Technology in Teacher Training) that transformed how local teachers and students used technology and brought the first smart classrooms to Stetson. In addition to researching and supporting innovative teaching practices, the Institute has developed professional development workshops for in-service teachers and district leaders throughout the nation and been instrumental in creating research protocols for Institute projects. The Institute continues its mission to stimulate innovations for the advancement of P-12 education through research and applied partnerships.