Page 1

Professional Development School District: University of Georgia College of Education and Clarke County School District Partnership Professors and teachers partnering to create innovative classrooms

Quality Education for All Students Through: Engagement in learning Interdisciplinary understanding and problem solving Critical inquiry and higher order thinking skills Authentic learning, connected to real world issues A sense of civic responsibility

Page P Pa ag gee 1


Professional Development School District (PDSD) – Background PDSD At-a-Glance •

Over 500 UGA students participate in courses or field experiences at PDS schools each year

Four Model 4 Professional Development Schools with Professors-in-Residence, onsite courses and extensive collaboration

Five Model 3 Professional Development Schools with on-site courses, as well as other collaborative projects

Six faculty work as Professors-inResidence

Eleven faculty teach on-site courses

Six out of nine COE departments have faculty involved

A COE Mathematics Education student assists a Clarke Middle Student with his math assignment.

The University of Georgia College of Education (UGA COE) and the Clarke County School District (CCSD) have had frequent interactions and meaningful collaborations for many years. The current partnership began during the 2007-08 academic year with a renewed interest in the potential of public education and a renewed commitment to collaboration, mutual support, and the sharing of resources. During this initial phase, meetings were inclusive, with participation from OneAthens, a community collaborative, as well as the school district and university. Conversations focused on fundamental questions about the nature of schooling, the needs of the university, schools and community, and the possibilities inherent in simultaneous renewal. In 2008 and 2009, representatives from both the school district and the college participated in site visits to schooluniversity partnerships in Illinois, Wisconsin, and South

Carolina, as well as in Georgia. As a result of these visits, extensive research, and many wide-ranging discussions, the group decided to focus their planning on the Professional Development School (PDS) model. The Professional Development School District (PDSD) model began with the opening of J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School as a PDS in August of 2009. The success of this school paved the way for continued conversations about a more comprehensive partnership design. In 2011, the CCSD and UGA COE expanded their partnership to include the entire school district. Several different models were created, based on four different levels of the partnership (see chart on p. 3). Currently, there are nine schools that are active PDS sites, with over 500 UGA students participating in a course or field experience at PDS schools each year. The partnership has been recognized as a leader in the PDS field.

“Our relationship with the University of Georgia through the development of a Professional Development School District has created the needed connections between educational practice and research - which is required to improve learning experiences for all children. Our strong working relationships have led to ‘real time’ opportunities for classroom teachers and university professors to collaborate on providing the most effective classroom instructional strategies, as well as stronger teacher preparation at the college level.” Dr. Philip Lanoue, Superintendent, Clarke County School District Page 2


PDSD – Mission & Vision The mission of our partnership is to improve the quality of education for all our students through a student-centered approach which fosters: • Engagement in learning • Interdisciplinary understanding and problem solving • Critical inquiry and higher-order thinking skills • Authentic learning, connected to real-world issues • A sense of civic responsibility We will accomplish our mission by: • Engaging in shared inquiry focused on teaching and learning • Facilitating the professional development of faculty in both institutions • Providing opportunities for clinically rich experiences in educator preparation • Sharing our expertise to innovate and to solve problems • Integrated decision making

PDSD – Structure School leaders work with the Districtwide Professor-in-Residence on teacher evaluation and support

Model 1

Groups of UGA students are placed together at the school for student teaching or field experience

Model 3

Model 2

Model 4 One or more UGA courses are taught on site at the school

“Our partnership with Clarke County has led to exciting and innovative approaches to teacher preparation at UGA. It has grounded that preparation in the wisdom of practice and created a wealth of new learning opportunities for our teacher candidates. The partnership is one of the best things that has happened to the college.” Dr. James Marshall, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, UGA College of Education

A COE faculty member contracts for at least 2-3 years to serve as a Professor-in-Residence at the school, spending 50% of his or her time at the school

Model 3 and 4 Professional Development Schools featured in this brochure include: Early Learning Center ............................page 4 J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School ....page 5 Fowler Drive Elementary School ............page 6 Barrow Elementary School.....................page 7 Clarke Middle School ............................page 8 Hilsman Middle School ..........................page 9 Clarke Central High School ..................page 10 Emerging PDS Sites: Coile Middle School & Cedar Shoals High School ....page 11 Districtwide Professor-in-Residence .....page 11 Office of School Engagement ..............page 11 Page 3


PDSD – Early Learning Center

COE faculty member Cindy Vail reads with students at the Early Learning Center.

The Early Learning Center (ELC) is part of CCSD’s early childhood education programs, which include the state lottery funded Pre-Kindergarten Program, federal Early Head Start and Head Start, Preschool Special Education, Striving Readers, and Early Reading First. Through collaboration among these programs, 1,200 students are served across the district, with approximately 150 children participating at the ELC. Approximately 96 percent of the students receive free and reduced lunch through the federal meal program. Shelley Goodman is the Director of the Office of Early Learning and Principal of The Early Learning Center. PDS activities at the Early Learning Center are wide ranging, involving four UGA faculty, including Cindy Vail, Bridget Ratajczak, Rebecca Lieberman-Betz, in the COE

COE students in the Birth through Five Program lead story time with Early Learning Center students.

Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education, and Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, faculty in the COE Department of Educational Psychology. Each semester, typically 25-30 undergraduate and graduate students in the Birth through Five Program are placed in classrooms for practicum and student teaching experiences and assist with the assessment of ELC students. UGA courses taught on site cover assessment, curriculum and development of young children, and allow for the ELC teachers, staff, and instructional coaches to make presentations to the classes. UGA students benefit from a model preschool classroom in the building. UGA faculty also provide professional learning and support to ELC teachers on Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) and social skills instruction and assist with grant writing.

“The PDS model has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support for the Early Learning Center. There has been a remarkable change in teaching practices and the number of children being removed from class for behavior challenges. PBIS ensures teachers address social and emotional competencies in the classroom, so children develop appropriate social behaviors. In addition to social and emotional support, the PDS model enables our school to offer authentic learning environments for UGA students in the Birth through Five program. This is a true professional learning community.” Shelley Goodman, Director, CCSD Office of Early Learning and Principal, Early Learning Center

Page 4


PDSD – J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School opened in August 2009 as the first Professional Development School, resulting from a collaboration that began in 2007 (see p. 2 for more background). The school incorporates the principles of the School-wide Enrichment Model, which encourages teachers to use gifted strategies with all learners. J.J. Harris serves over 500 children in Pre-k through grade 5. The school population is approximately 70 percent Latino and over 20 percent AfricanAmerican; 92 percent of the children receive free or reduced lunch. Xernona Thomas has served as the principal since the school opened. The collaborative work of J.J. Harris and the COE is coordinated by Lew Allen, faculty in the COE Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education, who has served as the Professor-in-Residence since 2009. Allen provided leadership for the development of the school-wide vision and mission statement and works closely with the administration to support all professional learning activities. He supervises 10-15 student teachers each semester and works with the instructional coach to align the supervision of student teachers with her coaching efforts. Allen also attends weekly TATAL (Talking About Teaching and Learning) team meetings for each grade level, as well as Instructional Leadership Team meetings.

Approximately 30 UGA students take elementary methods courses on site at the school each semester, and over 50 students serve as volunteers. Janna Dresden, faculty in the COE Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education and Director of the Office of School Engagement, and Julie Kittleson, faculty in the COE Department of Mathematics and Science Education, teach methods classes that provide UGA students many opportunities to observe and learn from practicing teachers as well as interact with students from different grade levels. These classes are coordinated and structured to provide of a variety of specific learning experiences for pre-service teachers. For example, pre-service teachers learn observation skills in classrooms by participating in Look and Learn sessions, observe and then debrief with master teachers during Teaching Rounds, ask questions of experienced teachers in Talks with Teachers, and teach small group, inquiry-based science lessons to elementary school students during Science Centers. UGA faculty are also collaborating with teachers at each grade level to develop a school-wide literacy approach. UGA research at J.J. Harris is ongoing, focused on the nature of PDS collaborations and the role of the Professor-in-Residence. Published research can be found in the American Journal of Evaluation and School-University Partnerships.

“Through the PDS partnership with UGA, professional learning at J.J. Harris Elementary is differentiated by grade level and/or individuals, meeting teachers where desire for improvement arises or interests exist. Student teachers are offered the same professional learning opportunities as mentor teachers, and efforts to further align pre-service teacher instruction with classroom teacher practices continue to evolve through a mutual reflective process.” Melanie Bradberry, Instructional Coach, J. J. Harris Elementary Charter School Principal Xernona Thomas (left), Professor-in-Residence Lew Allen (center), and Instructional Coach Melanie Bradberry (right) work collaboratively at J. J. Harris Elementary Charter School.

COE Early Childhood Education students give science lessons to small groups of J. J. Harris students on Science Center day.

Page 5


PDSD – Fowler Drive Elementary School

COE Early Childhood Education students work in small groups in their elementary methods class taught on site at Fowler Drive Elementary School.

Fowler Drive Elementary School reopened in January 2011 after an extensive remodel that created a 21stcentury school with a focus on science, math, and technology. The physical environment of the school encourages Beth Tolley learning even in its hallways. Instead of plain tile floors, Fowler students walk on a map of Georgia and its cities, allowing them to journey from the University of Georgia Arch in downtown Athens south to River Street in Savannah. The map extends outside to encompass three small humps in the landscape, which represent the North Georgia mountains. The school serves nearly 400 children in Pre-K through grade 5; nearly half are African-American, and 44 percent are Hispanic. Over 95 percent of the children receive free or reduced lunch. Anissa Johnson serves as the school’s principal. Since 2011, Beth Tolley, faculty in the COE Department of

A Fowler Drive student practices reading alongside a COE student who takes an educational psychology class taught on site at the school.

Elementary and Social Studies Education, has served as the Professor-in-Residence at Fowler Drive. Each semester she supervises 10-15 student teachers and over 30 field experience students, teaches an elementary methods course on site, and collaborates with teachers and administrators. UGA students benefit from frequent opportunities to work in classrooms to observe children and teachers. Teachers at the school serve as guest lecturers in the on-site classes to offer insight to pre-service teachers on a variety of educational practices. Fowler Drive students benefit from individualized attention and small group work with UGA students. An on-site educational psychology course taught by Paula Schwanenflugel, faculty in the COE Department of Educational Psychology, also offers 10-15 UGA students the opportunity to work one-on-one with students twice a week to strengthen reading and comprehension skills. Collected data demonstrates growth in reading achievement for many of the children.

“We benefit tremendously from the reciprocal professional development of the student teachers and interns. Through their input, we are better able to offer interventions for our students and deliver one-on-one instruction to remediate and extend the learning environment for our students. This approach provides meaningful professional development and offers a practical clinical setting for the college students. We believe this hands-on learning structure provides a positive win-win relationship for the Fowler Drive students, staff, and teachers.” Anissa Johnson, Principal, Fowler Drive Elementary School “It has been a phenomenal learning experience for me to be completing my practicum experience at a Professional Development School, especially Fowler Drive, which embodies a sense of professionalism, dedication, and community. I am surrounded by teachers who truly care about learning new, innovative ways to teach and engage their students.” Rachel Glover, Early Childhood Education Student, UGA College of Education Page 6


PDSD – Barrow Elementary School Barrow Elementary School is one of the leaders in the district in terms of integrating technology into learning and was featured on the Georgia Partnership for Education Excellence bus tour. The school serves nearly 500 children in Pre-K through grade 5. The population is 39 percent AfricanAmerican, 46 percent White, 7 percent Asian, and 5 percent Hispanic; 51 percent of the children receive free or reduced lunch. The school’s principal is Ellen Sabatini. At Barrow, COE faculty and CCSD teachers work together to co-construct classes that offer powerful learning experiences for both Pre-K through grade 5 students and UGA undergraduate students. Under the leadership of Jennifer James, faculty in the COE Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education, UGA courses taught at Barrow have included First Year Odyssey courses that focus on young children and reading, social studies methods courses, and a service learning course related to hunger issues, serving a total of 90 UGA students since 2011. For Barrow students, James

has directly offered two service-learning enrichment clusters, “Barrow Action Team” and “Neighbors helping Neighbors,” through which children have grown food for the local food bank, created a hunger-awareness video, and prepared a meal for a local homeless shelter. James has financially supported four additional social studies enrichment clusters through a small grant from the university’s Office of Service Learning. In addition to these on-site courses, James has worked with teachers and teams to integrate social studies content into the new Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts and delivered team-level professional learning around integrated planning and experiential learning in social studies. Along with two teacher researchers, Glennda Shealey and Rita Foretich, James is currently leading a two-year study supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation to determine what it means to prepare students for civic participation in a 21stcentury world.

“The PDS partnership that Clarke County School District has developed with UGA is the most directly impactful professional development that I have participated in. By working collaboratively with UGA faculty, I am able to extend my thinking about teaching and learning, develop innovative strategies and lessons, and incorporate it all immediately into the classroom with support.” Glennda Shealey, Third-Grade Teacher, Barrow Elementary School “I am a strong believer in the PDS program. I have witnessed it strengthen the connection between college students and classroom teachers: giving both sides a voice in an open dialogue. I love learning new ideas and techniques from pre-service teachers along with demonstrating strategies I have learned along the way. Fortunately, the real winners in a PDS relationship are the students, and I am grateful to be a part of it.” Michelle Hart, First-Grade Teacher, Barrow Elementary School COE faculty member Jennifer James teaches an enrichment cluster class called “Neighbors helping Neighbors” to Barrow Elementary School students.

Barrow Elementary School students enjoy extra time to read in the school’s hallway.

Page 7


PDSD – Clarke Middle School

A COE Mathematics Education student assists Clarke Middle School students in their math class.

Dorothy Y. White

Since 2011, Clarke Middle School (CMS) has been an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme candidate school, offering a rigorous inter-disciplinary curriculum with a focus on holistic learning, intercultural awareness, and communication. It serves nearly 600 students in grades 6-8. The school population is 52 percent African-American, 32 percent White, and 9 percent Hispanic; nearly 68 percent of the children receive free or reduced lunch. Tad MacMillan is the principal of CMS.

Clarke Middle School Professor-in-Residence Dorothy Y. White and her COE Mathematics Education class enjoy working in small groups with Clarke Middle students.

Since 2011, Dorothy Y. White, faculty in the COE Department of Mathematics and Science Education, has served as the Professor-in-Residence at CMS. She typically teaches her secondary mathematics course on site at the school twice a week each semester. Approximately 20-25 UGA students work with CMS students in small groups during one class period, spending three weeks at each grade level (6th, 7th and 8th). The UGA students learn to listen to students’ mathematical thinking, ask questions, and work with groups. CMS teachers benefit from getting additional help for their students. Teachers and administrators also share their expertise with UGA students on topics, such as classroom management, family engagement and assessment. White actively participates in CMS math team and planning meetings and supervises student interns and teachers at CMS.

“Clarke Middle is lucky to have Professor White as our Professor-in-Residence. She brings her expertise to our content and faculty meetings, her students work with our students, and in general, we are getting closer to the ideal of blending theory and practice. It has also been so powerful for our teachers, administrators, and students to be guest lecturers for her class. The whole process has been powerful.” Tad MacMillan, Principal, Clarke Middle School

Page 8


PDSD – Hilsman Middle School

Gayle Andrews

Kathy Thompson

Like Clarke Middle School, Hilsman Middle School is also an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme candidate school, providing a rigorous inter-disciplinary curriculum with a focus on holistic learning, intercultural awareness, and communication. Hilsman serves over 650 students in grades 6-8. The school population is 60 percent African-American, 22 percent White, and 8 percent Hispanic; 75 percent of the students receive free or reduced price lunch. Selena Blankenship serves as the principal. Since 2011, Kathy Thompson and Gayle Andrews, faculty in the COE Middle Grades Education Program in the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education, have served as coProfessors-in-Residence at Hilsman. They co-teach 35-55 UGA students in their

middle school methods course on-site each semester and supervise interns and student teachers. They collaborate with Hilsman teachers so that UGA students can observe many different styles of teaching and create opportunities for UGA students to assist Hilsman students with projects. For example, during Extended Learning Time, UGA students facilitate Hilsman students’ brainstorming for ideas, research question development, and the research process to help them with their Social Studies Fair projects. Thompson and Andrews are also engaged with the School Improvement Leadership Team and collaborate with teachers during summer and the academic year, including ongoing professional learning days so that their work is integrated into the school community. They recruited the UGA Project FOCUS program to the school, giving Hilsman students opportunities to learn hands-on science lessons from UGA students. Gretchen Thomas, faculty in the COE Learning, Design, and Technology Program, has also begun to support technology integration efforts at the school.

“It has been an honor to learn from the staff and students at Hilsman Middle School. I can’t explain how wonderful it is to learn from real life situations and see how teachers handle them. Being able to see how things actually happen, instead of reading it from a textbook, has been invaluable to me as a future teacher and as a person.” Meganne Butler, Middle School Education Major, UGA College of Education

COE Middle Grades Education students take their middle school methods course on site at Hilsman Middle School, where they benefit from many interactions with students, teachers, and administrators.

Page 9


PDSD – Clarke Central High School

A COE Mathematics Education student tutors a Clarke Central High School student one-on-one in his math class.

In 2012, Clarke Central High School (CCHS) was named a Breakthrough School, through a joint program of the MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The school is one of only ten in the nation chosen for making gains in academic achievement by providing rigorous and personalized instruction, with at least 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunches. CCHS serves nearly 1,500 students in grades 9 through 12. The school population is 56 percent African-American, 21 percent White, and 18 percent Hispanic; nearly 73 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch. The school is led by principal Robbie Hooker. PDS activities at CCHS are centered in Math Education and English Education. Each semester, AnnaMarie Conner,

Clarke Central High School teacher Margaret Trandel (second from left) and her students welcome COE students in her math classroom.

faculty in the COE Department of Mathematics and Science Education, teaches a secondary methods class on site to 20 COE math education students, giving them opportunities to work one-on-one with high school math students in three different classrooms. Peg Graham, faculty in the COE Department of Language and Literacy Education, teaches a secondary teaching methods class on site once a week each semester to approximately 15 English Education students. Students observe CCHS students and teachers, work one-on-one with high school writers, learn from teachers who guest lecture in their class, and conduct inquiry projects on issues such as technology in the classroom, effective literacy practices, and the Ninth Grade Academy. UGA faculty also supervise student teachers at CCHS and participate in School Improvement meetings.

“Pairing the UGA math education students with our Clarke Central students for tutoring is beneficial as individual student needs can be targeted. The greater gain, however, seems to be exposing the high school students to people who are both close to them in age and who deeply feel the importance of learning math.” Margaret Trandel, Math Teacher, Clarke Central High School Page 10


PDSD – Emerging Professional Development Schools

Several Coile Middle School students take annual trips to the University of Georgia to be exposed to higher education opportunities.

Annually, around 80% of Cedar Shoals high school graduates report they will attend either a two or four-year college after graduation.

Coile Middle School

Cedar Shoals High School

Coile Middle School, led by Principal Dwight Manzy, is just becoming a PDS school with a focus on English Language Learners and striving readers. Ruth Harman, faculty in the COE’s Department of Language and Literacy Education, is teaching a graduate-level class on site that will focus on content and language integration in science, English Language Arts, and social studies. Approximately seven percent of the Coile students have a first language other than English.

Under the leadership of Principal Tony Price, PDS activities are getting underway at Cedar Shoals High School with a focus on social studies education. Sonia Janis and Mardi Schmeichel, both faculty in the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education, are teaching social studies methods courses on site and are partnering with teachers to link the pre-service teacher curriculum with the high school classes.

Districtwide Professor-in-Residence

UGA College of Education Office of School Engagement

Sally Zepeda Professor, COE Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, and a Fellow in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Education and Human Development Sally Zepeda serves as the Districtwide Professor-inResidence for the entire school district. Her work has centered on the new teacher evaluation system, professional development for school leaders related to their work with the evaluation system, and framing key practices from the research base, most notably the observable classroom practices that frame the performance standards and their key elements.

The Office of School Engagement (OSE) serves as a bridge between the worlds of theory and practice in P-16 public education to improve the educational experiences of students and the professional lives of educators. Janna Dresden Director, Office of School Engagement, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education Erica Gilbertson Public Service Faculty Representative and Project Manager, Office of School Engagement Page 11


For more information, contact: Dr. Janna Dresden, Director Office of School Engagement College of Education University of Georgia 706-542-8491 jdresden@uga.edu www.coe.uga.edu/ose Dr. Noris Price, Deputy Superintendent Clarke County School District 706-546-7721 pricen@clarke.k12.ga.us www.clarke.k12.ga.us

Vision The Clarke County School District and the University of Georgia College of Education Professional Development School District aspires to transform education at all levels through a systemic, sustained, and comprehensive partnership.

Page 12

UGA Photos by Dot Paul

PDSD: UGA-COE and CCSD  

Professional Development School District: University of Georgia College of Education and Clarke County School District Partnership Profess...