Corlears MS 56 and SUNY Oswego Partnership

Corlears MS 56 and SUNY Oswego
Professional Development Partnership

This partnership includes set of several interdependent projects aimed at supporting the growth of students, pre-teachers, teachers, and faculty.

Each aspect of this partnership includes professional development interactions between MS 56 teachers and SUNY Oswego faculty.  Some projects also focus on support of pre-teachers and MS 56 students.  In each case the activities of one project contribute to and benefit from the activities of all of the other projects. 

A. ETE 8th Grader Urban/Rural Exchange and 9th and 10th Grade Reunions.  Since 2002 MS 56 teachers have worked in partnership with teachers from Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Middle School to develop the Empowerment Through Education  project. In the fall of each academic year (01-02, 02-03, 03-04) teachers advertised, accepted applications, and then selected up to 10 eighth graders at each school for participation in ETE. Throughout the fall and winter, the ETE students and their teachers meet regularly after school to talk about their school progress, shared readings, college attendance, information about each others' schools and communities, and other topics relevant to this group. In the spring, the MS 56 and their teachers traveled to Oswego County to visit the APW Middle School and selected sites in Oswego County, meet with APW students at SUNY Oswego.  Also in the spring, APW students and their teachers traveled to NYC to visit MS 56 and tour NYC along with MS 56 students. The teachers at both school meet throughout the year with each other and SUNY Oswego faculty (Parsons, Burrell, and Ihlow) to plan curriculum for these ETE activities.   In the spring or fall, the teachers also plan for a reunion weekend for the previous 8th grade participants.  In 2003, the first reunion was held in Albany, where students re-kindled friendships and toured the capital buildings.  This project is funded by Project SMART.

B. Edu 381 Pre-Teacher Two-Week Immersion. Each January about 13 SUNY Oswego pre-teachers spend two-full weeks observing and assisting MS 56 teachers and students.  The  pre-teachers are supported by Project SMART teachers and other teachers in the building.  Since January 2000 64 pre-teachers have participated in this course.

C. Seven-week Student Teaching Placements.  MS 56 teachers host SUNY Oswego student teachers for a seven-week intensive student teaching experience (supervised by college faculty and a cooperating teacher).  In previous semesters, MS 56 has hosted only one student teacher so far.   That student is now teaching in another school on the lower side of Manhattan.

D. Teacher Study Groups.  Dr. Dennis Parsons and  Ms. Marcia Burrell have been supporting MS 56 teacher professional development through a variety of academic year study groupings since Fall 2001, when the ETE study group was formed and continues to operate.  In 2002 a second study group was formed (and continues) so that teachers could learn more about and practice Generating Expectations for Student Achievement (GESA) strategies.  During 2003-04 a third study group (YALG) was formed to read and discuss young adult literature. These study groups meet regularly, for at least 40 hours across the academic year.  Teachers work additional hours between meetings.  In the 2004-05 academic year teacher study groups will continue to work on these projects, and/or they will evolve into working on new projects.

E. Project SMART Summer Institute Participants.  MS 56 teachers who have participated in the academic year study groups join with more than 40 other teachers and college faculty to share their past year's progress, learn about cutting edge issues in education, and plan for the coming academic year's professional development work.  Two to seven MS 56 teachers have participated in this Summer Institute every year since 1996.  In 2004, nine teachers will participate.

MS 56 and SUNY Oswego Partnerships: Past, Present, and Future.  This partnership has steadily expanded over the past three years.  With the support of SUNY Oswego's Curriculum & Instruction Department and Center for Urban Schools, the MS 56 administration and teachers, and the New York State Education Department's Teacher Leadership Quality Partnership (TLQP) funding to Project SMART we expect to continue to improve this seamless pre-teacher/teacher/faculty professional development partnership.



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 Pat Russo
 Last Updated 2/20/09