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Faculty, Students, Partners Present at NAPDS [04/07/2016]

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Presenters at NAPDS included (l-r) SOE student Austin McClinton, partners John Choins and Lisa Bray, and SOE faculty member Rachelle Rogers.

The Baylor School of Education was well represented at the recent conference for the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) in Washington, D.C. in March. Several Baylor SOE faculty members gave presentations, as did Baylor SOE students and representatives from the local Baylor Professional Development School (PDS) campuses.

The vision of NAPDS is to serve as an advocate for the educational community that is dedicated to promoting the continuous development of collaborative school/higher education/community relationships and to create and sustain genuine collaborative partnerships between P-12 and higher education institutions.

Here’s a rundown of presentations at the conference:

It Takes Two: Bridging Theory from the University to Practice in the PDS
Leanne Howell, Krystal Goree, Baylor SOE
Paula Gardner,
Spring Valley Elementary PDS
Jay Fischer, Audrey Swoveland, Susan Mathis, Kathleen Minshew, Spring Valley Elementary PDS
It is no longer sufficient to teach pedagogy, theory, and skills in isolation. This presentation demonstrates how one setting is not enough to fully prepare pre-service teacher candidates to teach in diverse classrooms. We posit It Takes Two settings to fully prepare them to be teacher leaders — the university and the professional development school.

The Impact of a Year-Long Interview
Rachelle Rogers, Baylor SOE
Herb Cox, Amanda Packard, Midway Middle School
Steve Seale, Midway High School
In this presentation, participants heard perspectives from: the University Liaison, the principal, the mentor teacher, and the intern who is now a first year teacher. The University Liaison shared how the campus continues to “pay it forward” by placing a teaching associate (junior in the School of Education program) with the new teacher who completed a year-long interview.

Finding Gold in the Freshmen Year
Lee Anne Brannon, Baylor SOE
Dora Almaguer, Waco ISD PDS Site-based Coordinator
Tracey Jones, Brandi Ray, Baylor SOE
Middle school students identified as in need of additional academic support received tutoring for one hour twice a week throughout one semester. The college students prepared lessons using best practices, taught the lessons and conducted a pre- and post-assessment to measure the impact of the tutoring. Impressive benefits to both groups emerged from this unique partnership. The presenters will discuss and highlight the data collected over several years!

Enhancing Learning through Reciprocal Professional Development
Paula J. Gardner, Kathleen Minshew, Jay Fischer, Spring Valley Elementary, Midway ISD
Leanne L. Howell, Baylor SOE
Learning to use technology responsibly to access learning and produce professional-quality products is a goal for every K–12 student. This presentation highlighted how one Spring Valley PDS and Baylor partnered to provide pre-service junior- and senior-level candidates and the PDS faculty tools they could use to enhance content delivery through the purposeful use of instructional technology. In this partnership, the campus Instructional Technology Specialist, in cooperation with the Site Coordinator and University Liaison, presented weekly professional development in using instructional technology to enhance learning. The pre-service teachers then implemented instructional technology to support the English Language Arts and Social Studies content they deliver.

Cultural Revolution: the Two Hands of a Turn-Around
Kelli Barron, Dora Almaguer, Suzanne Hamilton, Cesar Chavez Middle School
Meet the two hands bringing revolution to one formerly failing middle school in Texas. On the left, meet a new administration backed by highly effective teachers who stopped complaining, “Our students can’t read,” and began teaching them to read. Teachers exchanged summers for MRTs; the district invested in more time and experience; our administrators engaged the community so kids came back knowing this year was different. On the right, meet one of the most effective PDS programs in the nation. Baylor University staffs our campus with hundreds of educators: freshman tutors, sophomore pull-outs, junior co-teachers, senior Interns, and ELL tutors walk our halls.

Examining the Impact: A Case Study of Spring Valley Elementary: A Midway ISD- Baylor University PDS
Paula Gardner, Leanne Howell, Krystal Goree, Baylor SOE
Jay Fischer, Susan Mathis, Kathleen Minshew, Audrey Swoveland, Spring Valley Elementary PDS
Spring Valley Elementary is in its second year of a formal PDS partnership with Baylor University. Over the course of only 18 months, the campus has experienced exponential success for all stakeholders. This presentation highlighted the impact of the formal partnership and provided practical strategies for other similar partnerships. In our partnership, teachers, administrators, pre-service teacher candidates, university faculty and K-4 students are all jointly involved in school improvement efforts, curriculum development, program evaluation, and teacher preparation.

International PDS partnerships
Richard Strot, Barbara Purdum Cassidy, Betty Ruth Baker, Baylor SOE
Baylor University has three study abroad programs in the School of Education that offer student teaching experiences at international partner schools. Teacher candidates can choose to experience schools in San Jose, Costa Rica; London, England; or Brisbane, Australia. Each month-long program includes coursework, field experiences, cultural interactions, and the opportunity to explore the host country.


Doug Rogers

Gearing Up for Governance: An Overview of PDS Governance Recognized in the Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning (2010) Krystal Goree, Doug Rogers, Baylor SOE
Brent Merritt, Midway ISD
Yolanda Williams, Waco ISD
Information was shared about the oversight council, the coordinating council, and campus steering committees – three critical decision-making bodies that keep the partnership running smoothly and are designed to enhance communication and work together to identify partnership goals and initiatives. With a focus on the NAPDS Nine Essentials (2008) and the NCATE PDS Standards (2001), the partnership’s major goal strands address: candidate development, teacher/faculty development, improving professional practice, school development, and improving student achievement. Governance policy tied to each of these strands was highlighted, along with the partnership cost share financial model for providing teacher stipends, partnership professional development, and campus support.

Setting the Stage for a Successful Career — Teaching Dispositions
Brandi Ray, Lee Anne Brannon, Baylor SOE
Sheila Gloer,
Baylor SOE and Cesar Chavez Middle School
Bill Shephard, Dora Almaguer, Cesar Chavez Middle School
This presentation showed ways in which Baylor University and Cesar Chavez PDS Middle School achieve successful teaching of educator dispositions. Baylor University, having seen a need to help new students transition from high school into a rigorous college environment, recently developed a credit-bearing course for new students calling it the New Student Experience (NSE). Baylor’s School of Education recognized that future teachers also needed to become acclimated to the rigors of the teaching profession so we combined the NSE course with our Introduction to Teaching course for freshmen. Goals of the NSE course are for students to connect to the institution, develop autonomy, succeed academically, and develop personal and professional goals. These goals seemed to fit hand-in-hand with teacher professionalism standards.

There’s Something Special about Specialized PDS Campuses
Barbara Purdum-Cassidy, Baylor SOE, Midway ISD, Waco ISD
Sandi Cooper, Krystal Goree, Leanne Howell, Karon LeCompte Baylor SOE
Suzanne Nesmith, Lakia Scott, Rick Strot, Baylor SOE
Bevil Cohn, Waco ISD
Jay Fischer, Midway ISD
This presentation shared the following: (1) provided a description of the Specialized Elementary PDS campuses, (2) discussed the implementation of the pilot program, (3) described the research study designed to measure the impact of the specialized campuses, (4) shared initial research findings, and (5) discussed how the data from the study will be utilized for program evaluation.

Growing Pains and Gains: School Turn-Around and the PDS Partnership
Madelon McCall, Baylor SOE
Kendra Strange, University High School
Belinda Rubio, University High School and Baylor SOE
This presentation provided an overview of the obstacles faced by teacher educators and school administrators as they work together to offer both quality field experiences for teacher interns and meet the requirements of district and campus administration seeking to “turn around” a struggling high school. The presenters offered suggestions to other partnerships experiencing similar struggles and engaged participants in a discussion of initiatives that improve the experiences of pre-service teachers while improving student achievement and strengthening the university/PDS partnership.

The Impact of the Modern Math Classroom on All Students
Steve Seale, Midway ISD
Amanda Packard, Josh Dietert, Baylor SOE
During this presentation, participants heard from the transformed teacher, Steve Seale, who is currently at Midway High School, in his 20th year of teaching. Amanda Packard, Steve’s 2014-2015 Baylor Intern and currently a first year teacher at Midway Middle School provided her perspective. In addition, Josh Dietert, Steve’s current Baylor Intern, shared his experience. More specifically, Steve explained how his teaching has changed from the traditional paper-pencil classroom to completely paperless. He shared how the PDS supported his transition, as well as some of the APPs and activities that are used to make the classroom a more engaging environment. Amanda discussed how all students are able to communicate with her electronically, even posting questions, which allows for support outside the classroom. Through her action research, she was able to share the impact of electronic communication in the classroom. Finally, Josh Dietert showed how the students’ achievement and participation both increased by going digital. He shared his action research from the 2015-2016 school year that supports his findings.

Working Together to Set the Stage: Ongoing Middle-Level Curriculum Development which Empowers Students, Candidates and In-service Teachers Alike
Sheila Gloer, Baylor SOE
Bill Shephard, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Waco ISD
Laura Marder, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Waco ISD
Baylor University School of Education and Cesar Chavez Middle School PDS in Waco, Texas, developed a unique and ongoing sense of professional development. Under new administration at CCMS, sixth-grade teachers were organized into interdisciplinary teams and challenged to meet the Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE) four essential attributes: An education for young adolescents must be 1. Developmentally Responsive, 2. Challenging, 3. Empowering, and 4. Equitable. Baylor Middle Level novice teachers were taking a course introducing them to middle level philosophy and curriculum which is distinguished by learning activities that appeal to young adolescents, is exploratory and challenging, and incorporates student-generated questions and concerns. These two events created a wonderful occasion for the two groups to learn together while designing innovative curriculum which would set the stage for both in-service teachers and novice teacher candidates to develop relevant integrated units that challenge and empower their sixth grade students.

PDS Work Beyond the Classroom: A View from the Administrative Office
Doug Rogers, Baylor SOE
Herb Cox, Midway Middle School
Jeff Gasaway, Midway High School
Jay Fischer, Spring Valley Elementary
Aaron Pena, Woodway Elementary
While much of the Professional Development School (PDS) work takes place in classrooms with teachers, teacher candidates, and students, there is equally significant work that takes place in the administrative offices of PDS campuses. This presentation focuses on the challenges and rewards that PDS work brings to administrators on both the PDS campuses (an elementary, a middle school, and a high school) and the university campus. This presentation opened the office door and shared what happens in the background from an administrator’s perspective to make a PDS successful.


Madelon McCall

Implementation of the Co-Teach Model in Secondary Teacher Preparation
Madelon McCall, Rachelle Meyer Rogers, Baylor SOE
Lisa Osborne, Jeff Gasaway, Midway High PDS
Barbara Bowden, Herb Cox Midway Middle PDS
Presenters for this session shared the research that is occurring in a suburban high school and middle school setting. This research examines the implementation of co-teaching as a method for preparing teacher candidates during their senior year internship, as well as the effects of the model on classroom student learning. The research explores the co-teaching models that are most effective for student learning, the characteristics of co-teaching that promote teacher intern professional growth and learning, and the attitudes of mentors and interns toward the benefits and challenges of co-teaching.

A Framework for Establishing and Sustaining Innovations in a Professional Development School
Mary Witte, Doug Rogers, Katherine Alford, Baylor SOE
Kim Arnold, Rachel Lieber, Waco ISD, Hillcrest PDS
In this session, members of a 21-year-old University/PDS partnership shared the framework they have and continued to experience when it became evident that a system was needed to gather and track student assessment data in real time so that instructional decisions were in the hands of the teachers about their own students. Also, in thinking of the PDS as a place for innovation, Interns needed experience in using technology to assist them in assessment. The University and PDS leadership pulled together resources to obtain the system and provide TRAINING for not only the Mentors and Interns, but for the entire PDS staff including the principal, assistant principal, and the instructional specialist.

Book Buddies for Kindergarten: A Win-Win-Win-Win for Everyone!
Lisa Colvin, Anna Fox, Lois Wandless, Tarleton State University
Helen Smith (Baylor SOE graduate, BSEd ’95) Waco ISD
Melissa Becker (Baylor SOE graduate, EdD ’00) Tarleton State University
Jessica Meehan (Baylor SOE graduate, MSEd ’08, EdD ’13) Tarleton State University
Reading Acquisition and Development is a foundation course for subsequent literacy courses Tarleton State University pre-service teachers take to prepare them to meet the challenges of promoting strong literacy skills with learners. This TSU outreach campus located in an urban community partners with a PDS campus to provide a rich field experience that benefits all involved: the pre- service teachers, the kindergarten teachers, their kindergarten students, and the district. It’s a win-win-win-win!

Collaboration between an IB/PYP school and a PDS Partnership to Ensure Best Practice and Maintain the Integrity of the IB Program
Melissa Reese, Melissa Pritchard, Melissa Reese, Sue Miller, Mountainview Elementary School
Jackie Hayes, Baylor SOE
Mountainview Elementary is an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) school and in partnership with Baylor University, hosting junior-level and senior-level education students on the campus to work within classrooms providing small group and whole group instruction. IB focuses on concept- and inquiry-based learning as well as integrated instruction within lessons. Our teachers have had extensive IB trainings and use that to guide their teaching candidates on how to develop their hands-on instruction in the classroom. Using six transdisciplinary themes and the co-teach model, teachers are using best practice to align with state standards to teach authentic, integrated learning experiences.


A student panel included two Baylor participants, Sarah Barnett and Brittany Rollins (center in the green shirts).

A 10th Essential? Some Thoughts from the Next Generation
Sarah Barnett, Brittany Rollins, Baylor SOE
Kristin Morris, Emily Ray, Hannah Cohan, Salisbury University
Crystal Holmes- Smith, Caleb Moore, SUNY Buffalo State
Rebecca Reynolds, Anna Soltis, Georgia Southern University
McKenna Flores, John Frasca, Ohio University
Callie Dearstyne, Brianna Logano, Florida Gulf Coast University
A group of 12 students representing six institutions has collaborated online since the fall of 2015 to share perspectives on our current and future roles in the PDS movement. Collectively, we represent diverse school experiences in a variety of settings. As we began to think about our PDS experiences as apprentice professionals, we first examined the NAPDS list of 9 Essentials. While it was gratifying to realize that Essential #2 related specifically to us as the next generation of teachers, we realized that perhaps a tenth Essential is needed in the list. While it may be inferred from the other nine, there is no explicit mention of the need for PDS to serve well the P-12 students we teach. What could be more essential?

Becoming a STEM Campus: Bell’s Hill Elementary PDS and Baylor University
Richard Strot, Suzanne Nesmith, Sandi Cooper, Baylor SOE
Bevil Cohn, Victoria Ward, Deborah DeGraf, Waco ISD
Becoming a STEM campus does not happen overnight. Bell’s Hill Elementary PDS (Waco ISD/Baylor University) began a journey to becoming a STEM campus in response to lack of achievement in math and science. Session participants learned about the components added to the campus to enhance the focus on Science, Technology, and Mathematics, including: the role of the faculty science specialist, the greenhouse and garden, the Apple® grant, and professional development. Baylor’s partnership was described with a focus on the changes initiated in the teacher education program to support an elementary science and math specialty campus.


Austin McClinton

Collaborative Research: A PDS Using Data to Drive Instruction
Rachelle Rogers, Austin McClinton, Baylor SOE
John Choins, Lisa Bray Midway ISD
Action research is a model of professional development in which teachers systematically investigate instructional practices in order to improve their teaching. The idea of action research is that educational challenges are best identified and investigated where the action is: at the classroom and school level. This presentation shared the following: (1) the professional development offered to mentor teachers on action research, (2) two action research projects focused on iPads in the classroom and building relationships with students, (3) the research findings and how results have been shared among the partnership, and (4) how the action research has impacted our professional development school.

For more news from Baylor School of Education, visit the Instant Impact home page.


One Comment

  1. Great opportunity for Centex admin to showcase the great things happening in local districts. Kudos to Baylor for facilitating the opportunity for a spectrum of administrators. From such veteran administrators, such as Bevil Cohn, to first year principals, such as Dr. Kendra Strange, Baylor included many partners.

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