Veronica Betancourt, M.S.
Science Education Associate, Intercultural Development Research Association
Veronica Betancourt, M.S., is a science education specialist. She has served in the education field for more than a decade. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in school improvement at Texas State University and is particularly interested in parent engagement in science. Ms. Betancourt designs and delivers interactive training sessions that provide teachers the tools for increasing student achievement, with particular focus in English learners and science. She has successfully facilitated numerous trainings, sessions and multi-day institutes with various districts, at conferences and for institutions of higher education. She has developed and is implementing IDRA’s professional development model for elementary and secondary science entitled Science Smart! that focuses on increasing access to science for all students through authentic, inquiry-based situational learning. Most recently, she has co-authored a guide for elementary and secondary teachers, entitled Science Instructional Strategies for English Learners: A Guide for Elementary and Secondary Grades.
Ms. Betancourt holds a masters of science degree in bicultural/bilingual studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a bachelor of science in biology, and is certified in composite science and English as a second language.
Veronica Betancourt, M.S.
- “Asset-Based Lessons for Linguistically Diverse Classrooms,” IDRA Newsletter, February 2013
- “Establishing Home-School Partnerships for Success in Science,” with Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, November-December 2012
- “Science Classroom Strategies for English Learners – Learning with the iPad and Other Tablets,” with Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., IDRA Newsletter, September 2012
- “Visual Interpretation in Science – Strategies for English Language Learners,” with Paula Johnson, M.A., IDRA Newsletter, August 2012
- “Technology Integration in Science and Mathematics – The Opportunity to Explore,” with Paula Johnson, M.A., and Hector Bojorquez, IDRA Newsletter, September 2011
- Coaching and Mentoring for Leadership, with Abelardo Villarreal, Kristin Grayson & Rosana G. Rodríguez, 2011
- Science Instructional Strategies for English Learners – A Guide for Elementary and Secondary Grades, with Abelardo Villarreal & Kristin Grayson, 2011
- Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework, contributing author, 2010
- “Cultivating Learner Success,” IDRA Newsletter, April 2011
- “An Unspoken Culture Clash – The Deeper Culprit of Teacher Beliefs,” with Kristin Grayson, IDRA Newsletter, February 2010
- “Differentiating Science Instruction using Language Proficiency Standards,” with Kristin Grayson, IDRA Newsletter, January 2010
- “The ‘Fourth-Grade Slump’ and Math Achievement – Addressing the Challenge with Student Engagement,” with Kristin Grayson, IDRA Newsletter, August 2008
- “Breaking the Bonds of Boredom in Science and Math,” IDRA Newsletter, May 2007
- “Releasing the Mathematician and Scientist within Students,” with Kathryn Brown, IDRA Newsletter, April 2007
- Affective Lessons are Effective Lessons (Science for English Learners), February 25, 2013
- Learning with iPads for Diverse Students (Science for English Learners #6), with Paula Johnson, M.A., October 1, 2012
- Visual Literacy in Math and Science (Science for English Learners #2) – Episode 112, August 29, 2012
- Learning with iPads for Diverse Students (Science for English Learners #6) – Episode 114, October 1, 2012
- “Science for English Learners #1,” March 30, 2012
- “Data and Vocabulary in Math and Science,” with Paula Johnson, M.A., March 9, 2012
- “Advancing American Indian Education,” with Bradley Scott, Ph.D., Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., & Paula Johnson, M.A., February 13, 2012
- “Science Success for English Learners,” with Kristin Grayson, August 26, 2011
- “Pitfalls and Promises of Interactive Science Notebooks,” October 15, 2010
- “Beyond the Worksheet in the Science Classroom,” November 21, 2008
- “Teaching Opportunities through Discovery in Science,” May 19, 2008
- “Science is a Key to Life,” October 15, 2007
While Science Smart! is still in its infancy, it has made great impact in the way science is taught by teachers and the positive benefits of science learning by students. One west Texas school saw a double digit gain in 2008 standardized tests for high school science after receiving a year-long implementation of Science Smart!, and another school in San Antonio saw a 25 percentage point gain in its exit level science scores that same year. Levels of implementation are based on district or campus need, and the Science Smart! model is designed to cater to the specific equity issues that these campuses face, such as equitable resources, greater access to science opportunities for minorities and females, and the transformation of teaching practices to meet the needs of a growing population of English learners.
During her years in the classroom, Ms. Betancourt taught numerous classes including, but not limited to: biology, marine biology, environmental science, integrated physics and chemistry, chemistry, chemistry in the community and oceanography. While working in an area
school district, she was a class sponsor; coordinated and contributed to assemblies, campus committees, and district PERC committees; served as a mentor for new science teachers; and volunteered for the Southside United Against a Violent Environment. She has also taught marine biology and oceanography in the Upward Bound program.
Ms. Betancourt was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Alpha Chi National Honor Society.
IDRA is an independent, private non-profit organization, directed by María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., dedicated to strengthening public schools to work for all children. As a vanguard leadership development and research team for more than three decades, IDRA has worked with people to create self-renewing schools that value and empower all children, families and communities. IDRA conducts research and development activities, creates, implements and administers innovative education programs and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.ntacting staff at IDRA: Thanks to the world of spam, we cannot post the email address of individual staff members. However, you can either call IDRA directly at 210-444-1710 or use our online form to have your message directed to the staff member you want to reach.