Understanding and Teaching Students in Poverty

ATTN: those registering after 1/17 will be placed on a waitlist, as the course is currently filled. We will notify you by 2/1 if a spot has become available.

Professional Development
Graduate Credits: 


Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), this rich and rigorous course is designed to enable Massachusetts’ preK-12 educators to help close the achievement gap among students of disparate income groups. Participants will explore the complex political, sociocultural and neurophysiological concepts underpinning the challenging issue of providing an inclusive educational experience for all students to succeed. Frameworks, strategies and tools for teaching students living in poverty will be shared. Action research will lead teaching teams to be agents to further educational equity in their school communities. If a minimum registration and attendance requirement is met for the cohort, a teacher stipend may be available for participants.

Courses are held in two 6-hour sessions with 33 hours of on-line coursework and homework as follows:

Module 1: Defining poverty effects on learning - Face to Face Session
Module 2: Inclusive classroom strategies - On-line Session
Module 3: Investigating assets and issues - On-line Session
Module 4: Building resilience and collaboration - On-line Session
Module 5: Transformative inquiry - Face to Face Session

Participants who successfully complete the entire course may be eligible for a $100 stipend. Details will be provided on the first day of class.

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers; PreK - 12.


67.5 PDPs or 3 graduate credits will be awarded to participants upon completion of this course. Graduate credit is available through Lesley University at an additional cost of $500. Graduate credit registration and payment occurs at the first section meeting, and payment can be made by credit card or check at that time. 


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Audrey Morse photo

    Audrey Morse is a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at the Collaborative for Educational Services, taught the 2018 and 2019 MA DESE Institute course Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty in partnership with Lesley University.


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at collaborative.org. You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.