Partnership Update 2010-2011
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University (CSB/SJU) Education Department
The Education Department strives to provide meaningful, relevant, and effective field experience opportunities for pre-service teachers. To offer this important aspect of the teacher preparation program requires ongoing collaborative efforts with partner and cooperating schools. Cooperating schools are those with whom we have informal relationships that allow for flexibility and participation based on year-to-year needs of schools and the college/university. Partner schools are those with whom we have developed intentional relationships based on a foundation of trust, understanding, and shared vision, and with whom we have significant field experience programs. While we do not operate within the framework of professional development schools, these cooperating relationships and intentional partnerships provide a range of opportunities that intend to benefit pre-service students, school teachers and administrators, and K-12 students. The following narrative describes various partnership efforts and activities that took place in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Apollo High School:
This year CSB/SJU students did field work at the tier-two and tier-three levels of experience (see Attachment A). At the tier-two level three methods course faculty worked with Apollo teachers. Both EDUC 355 English Pedagogy 9-12 and EDUC 355 Social Science Pedagogy 9-12 have long histories of several students doing field work at Apollo. Additionally, students form EDUC 355 Math did clinical work at Apollo. Also, students from EDUC 322 observed and taught in music classes at Apollo. At the tier-three levels, seven CSB/SJU students did their semester student teaching experience at Apollo.
Additionally Apollo High School and the CSB/SJU Education Department partnered through shared faculty. Two experienced teachers from Apollo High School were instructors for the Education Department. Mr. Mike Mortrude taught one section of EDUC 216 Literature for Young Adults 5-12. Mr. Mike Berndt taught one section of EDUC 355 Social Science Pedagogy 9-12.
Cathedral High School:
Cathedral High school has been an ongoing and supportive partner for many years. Most recently we are in the fourth year of a science partnership (see Secondary Science Partnership description below.)
In addition to the science partnership work, Cathedral High School and its middle school partner John XXIII hosted teacher candidates from EDUC 355 Social Studies Pedagogy 9-12.
Community Agencies: Service Learning:
The Education Department through Service Learning partnered with 24 community agencies and schools to provide 177 placements for service work in these community agencies. CSB/SJU education students provided approximately 4,650 hours of service to the people and communities represented by these agencies.
Culture Days: Australia:
On November 30, 2010 approximately 60 middle level students from South Junior High came to CSB campus for a morning of cultural enrichment activities. Forty-nine teacher candidates from EDUC 358 (Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Language Arts) 5-8 had the opportunity to involve middle-level students in interdisciplinary lessons and activities about Australian literature, geography, society, and science. EDUC 358 Science pre-teachers, for example, created lesson on the geology and meteorology of Australia, as well as animal adaptations to the climates. South Junior High teachers assisted with teacher candidate evaluations and event evaluations.
On April 28, 2011, the Education Department hosted Australian Culture Day on the CSB campus for 57 students from St. John's Preparatory Middle School. This event was planned and designed to support the current unit the middle level students were studying in their integrated school program. Thirty-four teacher candidates from EDUC 358 (math, social studies, and language arts) involved the students in interdisciplinary lessons and activities relating to the literature, geography, social science, and math with an Australian theme.
Diversity Immersion and local experience for elementary candidates (EDUC 212):
The Urban Immersion diversity experience now works with three principle sites including EXPO Elementary, Risen Christ, and San Miguel. All visits were supervised by Lynn Schnettler (fall) and Lanie Odette (spring). Forty-nine CSB/SJU students spent a full week working as teacher assistants in these schools, all with highly diverse populations.
Students in the elementary block also have a three-week experience in local schools as teacher assistants. This year five schools partnered with us to provide this opportunity: Lincoln Elementary, Discovery Elementary, Kennedy Community School, Madison Elementary, and Talahi Community School. In both the urban immersion and the local experience, pre-teachers work in K-6 classrooms to provide assistance by working one-on-one and in small groups directly with the students.
Diversity Immersion for K-12 and 5-12 candidates (EDUC 213):
The Diversity Immersion experience is solidly in place with seven participating partner schools. This experience is required for all secondary and K-12 candidates. Thirty-six teacher candidates spent one week observing, assisting teachers and working directly with K-12 students. Roxanne Hand worked with the following schools from the Twin Cities area to provide this experience: Osseo Junior High, De LaSalle High School, Richfield High School, and Park Center High School, Cooper High School, and Brooklyn Junior High School, North View Junior High, all situated in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. These schools all have highly diverse student populations. All visits were supervised by Roxanne Hand. Roxanne meets with teachers and principals from each site.
Holdingford Elementary: A Science Partnership:
This year Holdingford Elementary school graciously hosted 28 students in the fall with 12 teachers and 20 students in the spring with 10 teachers to work with the science curriculum, Delta Scientific's FOSS kits at the first through sixth grades. There were two teachers that hosted for the first time in the spring, with great results (one is a St. John's university Alum). For the first time, the 334 students had an opportunity to all meet with their hosting teacher (a pair of students with one teacher) on a school workshop day during lunch, without any elementary students there. This was received with great enthusiasm, for it gave the EDUC 334 teacher candidates and teachers time to talk specifically about the elementary students, schedules for both the teacher and the teacher candidates, and the FOSS kit curriculum. The five hour pre-lesson visits to the classroom, incorporated last year, continued to be viewed as an overall positive. The teacher candidates felt it really help them get to know their students and the classroom before teaching, although a few had difficulty getting the hours in, due to schedules or transportation. Under the supervision of Karen Bengtson, course instructor, and the mentor Holdingford teachers, the teacher candidates had opportunities to observe, design lesson plans, receive feedback from host teachers on the lesson plans, and then teach the planned lesson. All practice teaching is done within the current curriculum of the classroom using FOSS Kits. In addition to course instructor and the cooperating teacher's evaluations of teaching, the students gave each other peer evaluations.
Intentional Environmental Experiences Community Partnerships: St John's Arboretum:
The EDUC 334 teacher candidates also worked on a field trip education project in conjunction with the Arboretum's K -12 field program. The 334 students used the existing volunteer process (weekly emails from the Arboretum notifying volunteers the dates, times, grades and subject matter of the next week's fieldtrips) to participate as a volunteer small group leader for a k-6 class, usually from District 742 (St. Cloud). The students analyze the organization and safety aspects of the field trip, as well as clues to ties back to the classroom curriculum while actively guiding the elementary students during the small group activities. This has been an ongoing and very successful partnership with the Arboretum, and some students volunteer to do more than one trip.
EDUC 335 Environmental Education Pedagogy will be offered in the fall of 2011 after a two year hiatus. As an education department elective, the credit assignment was made flexible to address students' full schedule to be able to offer it in the fall of 2011, and the Environmental Studies Department made some schedule changes as well, and there are 15 students now registered. Project coordination with St. John's Arboretum has already begun.
Kennedy Community School: A Neighborhood K-6 Partner:
Kennedy Community School, our closest neighbor public school, has a longstanding relationship with the Education Department. In this past year Kennedy participated at all tier experiential levels in providing mentor teachers and school site opportunities for teacher candidates. Kennedy School is a site for the Tier One service learning experiences, where one CSB/SJU students did tutoring service this year. Further, 13 students did service at the Kennedy Kidstop afterschool program. Kennedy is also a site for EDUC 212 Clinical Experience K-8: Diversity Immersion local practicum teacher assistant program opportunities, also a Tier One experiences. Six CSB/SJU students did the EDUC 212 local practicum at Kennedy this past year
There was significant activity at the tier-two level. Kennedy faculty hosted CSB/SJU teacher candidates from several Tier Two courses: one candidate in the fall section of EDUC 347 Reading, Writing, Language Growth K-6; three candidates from EDUC 325 Math Pedagogy observed and taught in classrooms; 47 candidates from EDUC 333 Music Pedagogy; 14 from EDUC 313 Teaching Physical Education K-6; six pre-teachers for EDUC 321 and 322 music pedagogy courses; and five candidates from EDUC 358 Literacy Pedagogy Math worked at Kennedy.
The tier-three level experiences consisted of three teacher candidates doing student teaching semester experiences.
Literacy Skills Partnerships:
In 2010-2011 Dr. Michael Borka collaborated with teachers at Avon Elementary School, Kennedy Community School, Madison Elementary School, Oak Hill, and the St. Joseph Catholic School for the EDUC 347 Reading Writing Language Growth course. Students worked with teachers for purposes of observing, lesson planning, teaching lesson, and receiving critical feedback.
Teacher candidates in EDUC 347 worked as volunteers for the Minnesota Reading Core through the existing volunteer structure in place at Madison Elementary School. For at least one hour per week for ten weeks, teacher candidates provided tutoring to students needing extra support in reading and writing.
Teachers working in partnership with EDUC 347 teacher candidates were invited to the annual writing conference, Writing Central: A Day for Literacy at CSB/SJU (see description below.)
Mathematics Middle Level Collaboration:
This year Shannon Essler-Petty continued partnership endeavors with middle schools to provide opportunities for EDUC 358 Mathematics Pedagogy 5-8 students to practice teach in middle level classrooms. Shannon Essler-Petty worked about 20 teachers in seven middle schools and one elementary school during the 2010/2011 year. In partnership development Essler-Petty individually sat down with each teacher to go over the expectations for the two-week practicum. Every middle level mathematics teacher candidate planned and engaged in a teaching practicum with the one of these host teachers in the middle level classrooms. Essler-Petty visited all schools, visited with teachers, and observed teacher candidates during the practica.
The following schools participated: South Junior High, North Junior High, Sartell Middle School, John XXIII, Monticello Middle School, Kennedy Community School, Sauk Rapids Middle School and St. John's Prep Middle School.
St. Boniface: A K-6 Partnership:
In 2010-2011 Shannon Essler-Petty continued efforts in the Mathematics Education partnership with St. Boniface School. Forty EDUC 325 Mathematics Pedagogy K-6 teacher candidates did practicum work at St. Boniface Elementary for a total of 240 actual visits to St. Boniface. St Boniface host teachers work with the teacher candidates for up to five weeks total over the year. Each teacher volunteers their classroom for those five weeks depending on how many students can work with their schedules. Essler-Petty visits the school classrooms as CSB/SJU students are teaching during their field experience, and she also meets with the faculty each semester to review the program and consider any proposed changes. Essler-Petty attends two meeting yearly with the St. Boniface faculty at large; she brings coffee and rolls to one staff meeting at the beginning of the school year to talk about goals/objective for the years' practicum, and she brings pizza at the end of the year to receive feedback and suggestions for changes in the practicum.
St. John's Preparatory School: An On-Campus Partner:
In addition to the Culture Day: Australia, as mentioned above, which involved 34 CSB/SJU teacher candidates and 57 St. John's Prep students, there were twelve methods CSB/SJU students from five different methods courses who did practicum work at St. John's Prep School: EDUC 319 ESL Pedagogy, EDUC 355 Social Studies Pedagogy 9-12, EDUC 355 Science 9-12, EDUC 358 Math Pedagogy 5-8, and EDUC 358 Science Pedagogy 5-8. St. John's Prep is one of three sites that participate in the Secondary Science Partnership, see below for further description.
In the fall of 2010, three EDUC 358 Middle Level Science Pedagogy teacher candidates worked with Bob Ellenbecker at St. John's Prep Middle School. They did observations as well as teaching at least one lesson twice in one day. Working in combined 7th and 8th grade classrooms, the CSB/SJU students, under the supervision of Karen Bengtson, had opportunities to observe, design lesson plans, receive feedback from host teachers on the lesson plans, and then teach the planned lessons. All practice teaching is done within the current curriculum of the classroom. The observation aspect of the experience was favorably received by the teacher candidates as a way to get to know the students before the practicum. In addition to Bengtson's and Ellenbecker' s evaluations of teaching, the students gave each other peer evaluations.
In addition, eighteen students did service learning for Tier One course work at the Prep School in 2010-2011.
St. Joseph Catholic School: An Art and Literacy Partnership:
Partnership activities at Tier One, Two and Three levels took place at the St. Joseph Catholic School. In the tier-one level there were 29 CSB/SJU students who did service learning and one student who did a thirty-hour teacher shadow. At the tier-two level in the 2010-2011 academic year 47 CSB/SJU teacher candidates in EDUC 315 Art Pedagogy K-6 did field experience work at St. Joseph Catholic School, including observation and practice teaching. Eleven students from EDUC 347 Reading, Writing Language Growth observed and taught there. In addition, there were also many America Reads student workers from CSB/SJU who provided tutoring to K-3 students. At the Tier Three level, there were 3 student teachers at St. Joseph Catholic School.
The art partnership with the St. Joseph Catholic School has been a long-term valuable partnership. The teachers are experienced, treat art as a serious academic discipline, and do a very good job mentoring teacher candidates. The faculty person most involved in the partnership, Sandy Bot-Miller, has been very active in communication with teachers and the principal. She has been sensitive to the needs of school teachers, respected their schedules, been responsive to preferences when at all possible, done staff development, met regularly with teachers, and been very involved in observation and evaluation. Retiring this year, Bot-Miller laid the groundwork for the incoming faculty person to enter into this partnership in a smooth manner. The Education Department has notified the school principal of our interest in continuing the partnership in the midst of the faculty turnover.
St. Mary Help of Christians School: Social Studies:
Dr. Terry Johnson continued the Social Studies partnership with St. Mary Help of Christians School. The students in EDUC 318 Social Studies Pedagogy K-6 had the opportunity to observe students in their daily classes, work with teachers, create lesson plans, get feedback on lesson plans, and teach the lessons to the elementary students. In the 2010/2011 academic year, 46 EDUC 318 students observed and taught at St. Mary Help of Christians. Also, 2 students at the Tier Three Level did student teaching at St. Mary Help of Christians.
Secondary Science Partnership: Cathedral High School, Rocori High School and St. John's Prep:
In the spring of 2011, five EDUC 355 science pedagogy teacher candidates did practica at Cathedral High School, Rocori High School, and St. John's Preparatory School. Two teachers from Cathedral High School, two from ROCORI High School, and one teacher from St. John's Prep each hosted one student in their biology based classrooms. The 355 students did pre-teaching observations and wrote up lesson plans for and taught a minimum of two lessons, often to more than one class.
Mr. Erik Ellingboe, an alum of CSB/SJU's Education Department, collaborated with the five 355 students on a physical science project for the first time this year. Erik provided the assignment handouts and slides that he uses with his students to assess their understanding on heat energy. The week the high school students worked on the assignment, my students analyzed it and provided suggestions for improving it. Those suggestions were sent back to Erik, who then provided feedback on those suggestions (several of which he will now use in the future). We ended the project by visiting Erik and one of his colleagues at Rocori High School the day the high school students brought their completed assignment in (Solar Cookers) to be assessed. The teacher candidates had the chance to interview the high school students in small groups, on their understanding of the assignment and of heat. It was very informative for all involved and we intend to continue this relationship.
South Africa Inquiry:
In June 2011, the Education Department Advisor met with Sister Theodora Ntuli OSB, prioress of Twasana Convent and school principal in Natal/Zulu, South Africa. Ntuli inquired about possibilities of having one or two of her monastic members
Learn techniques of education in the CSB/SJU program so they can teach in their community schools. They run a pre-school, an elementary school, and a high school and they feed and board children who lived too far away to walk to school.
The chair of the Education Department, Janet Grochowski, also met in a phone conversation with Sr. Ntuli to inquire into South Africa as a possible site for the International Teaching Externship program. This is a post student teaching experience abroad that offers on-site intercultural teaching experience.
South Junior High: A Middle School Partnership:
In addition to the Australian Culture Day when approximately 64 students from South Junior High came to the CSB campus to participate in interdisciplinary activities, described above, there were 79 placements on site at South Junior High. Of the 51 placements, 72 were Tier Two methods level placements, and seven were Tier Three student teaching level placements. Tier Two placements included students from EDUC 358 Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, and Social Studies Pedagogy 5-8 courses, EDUC 354 Middle Level Literacy, EDUC 341/356 World Language Methods, EDUC 319 ESL Methods, and EDUC 322 Music Pedagogy 7-12.
With only three students in the EDUC 334 Mid-level Science Pedagogy course, Ms. Shara Stone at South Junior High volunteered to take the whole class for the mid-level observations and newly incorporated science literacy project (to meet the new Reading SEPs). Each teacher candidate did observational work on mid-level students and aspects of the class and school. They then were involved (with some teaching, one lesson) with analyzing a lesson that used the science text book, looking at and incorporating literacy strategies such as those that increase vocabulary comprehension and literacy assessment. Ms. Stone then provided feedback on the strategies used and analysis.
During the 2010-2011 academic year, students pursuing certification in mid-level Language Arts and Social Studies (EDUC 358) spent 15-20 hours working with struggling readers at South Middle School in Saint Cloud. Practicum students from CSB/SJU worked with individual or small groups of students learning English as an additional language or students whose reading level was significantly below grade level.
This practicum was facilitated through a partnership designed to meet the needs of South Middle School and fulfill state licensure requirements. Conversations with South's guidance counselors, principal, and assistant principal revealed a need for ongoing academic support of students struggling to pass Minnesota's Comprehensive Assessments. At the same time, the Education Department at CSB/SJU was responding to new state licensure requirements that significantly increased attention to preparing all content area teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to support adolescents' diverse literacy needs.
At the end of the fall semester, we surveyed South's teachers to assess overall satisfaction with the partnerships. Respondents indicated that they were very pleased with the experience and other than the need to provide some clarification of expectations for CSB/SJU students no suggestions for improvement were offered. As with all practicum experiences, feedback from CSB/SJU student was mixed. Some students found the experience to be extremely rewarding and learning-filled. These students appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the complex and diverse learning needs of mid-level students, as well as appropriate strategies for meeting those needs. While others, particularly in social studies, felt the experience did not adequately prepare them for their future. Conversations about the best way to meet the needs of social studies pre-service teachers are ongoing.
Writing Central: A Day for Literacy at CSB/SJU:
On November 12, 2010 the Education Department sponsored Writing Central: A Day for Literacy at the College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University featuring author Debra Frasier as the keynote speaker. Additionally nine breakout sessions were also offered, for example, Celebrating Primary Writers, The DNA of Science Writing, Mastering the Mini-lesson, Unpacking the New, Common Core Writing Standards 6-12, and Math + Science + Social Studies = Poetry. The conference was open to community people, CSB/SJU faculty and staff, and CSB/SJU students and is offered as a staff development opportunity to all participating partnership K-12 schools. Approximately 81 teachers from partner schools attended the conference as well as many CSB/SJU students and faculty.
Resource Training and Solutions:
Resource Training and Solutions is a local organization providing resource and professional development to P-12 schools. In addition to partnering with this organization to sponsor the Young Artist/Young Authors Conference (see below), the Education Department supports endeavors of Resource Training and Solutions in an effort to build and support connections with administrators, principals, teachers and local community people.
Resource Training and Solutions, through a MN Department of Education grant, is co-hosting a summer workshop for teachers with several science professors at CSBSJU and Education faculty member Karen Bengtson. The workshop will focus on science and engineering, common core literacy standards, as well as lesson study. Current discussion is to collaborate with the teams of teachers sent by individual schools to work with science pedagogy students in the coming year (and beyond).
Young Authors/Young Artists (YAYA) Conference: May 18, 2010:
The Education Department sponsored the sixth annual YAYA Conference. The conference was "Celebrate Minnesota: Write From Home." This event was held on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict. Several departments assisted with the event including Events, Gorecki Conference and Dining Center, and the Education Department.
The conference this year welcomed 942 grade 3-6 students, 92 adult chaperones, 22 Red Shirt Volunteers, and approximately 26 presenters. The total number of participants was 1082.
Based on the huge success of the past six conferences, a seventh annual conference, theme to be determined, is being planned for local students for May 16, 2012. Considering the strong community response and attendance, an additional day may be added if facility arrangements can be made. (Furthermore, an eighth annual conference is tentatively arranged for May 15 and 16, 2013.
See Attachment A for a description of Tier Levels and Related activities by Tier.
Partnership Update Report prepared by Jeanne Cofell, June 2011.