A partnership between the University of Washington College of Education, a network of local schools, and the Ginger and Barry Ackerley Foundation.
Together, we work to share our best practices and refine our work in ways that will benefit the K-12 school population by better bridging the gap between Universities and Public Schools.
Serves K-12 pupils who face the greatest challenges.
Prepares educators to be successful with K-12 pupils in the most challenging circumstances.
Is shaped by K-12 school realities.
Is designed, delivered, & evaluated by a collaborative team of university faculty & K-12 educators.
Is informed by data from program graduates’ experiences & effects in K-12 classrooms.
To create and support the collaboration of K-12 and university educators to improve teaching and learning in public schools & universities in ways that respond to the needs of students who face the greatest challenges.
Increasingly, the UW College of Education Teacher Education Program places teacher candidates in Ackerley partner schools for their yearlong practicum. Partner schools are not simply locations for Teacher Education Program candidates to try out teaching practices, rather they offer systematic mentoring and modeling of best practices. The partnership combines on-site teacher education with access to cutting-edge, school-based research. For example, half of the elementary Teacher Education Program courses are taught in the schools utilizing classrooms for practice and demonstrations while UW faculty and practicing teachers negotiate curriculum that will best serve the K-12 students. The experience gives UW teacher candidates on-site practice as they learn concepts, helps the UW faculty stay informed about the current work in our schools, gives the K-6 faculty access to UW current methods, and gives K-6 students greater access to individualized academic attention.
Connecting Partner Schools to Increase Opportunities
Partner schools with 'high-need students' have a significant number of students speaking English as a second language and are at or near the poverty level (as defined by the free and reduced price lunch figures) with several between the 70-95% range. The partnership works to have an impact on recruiting, educating and supporting teacher candidates for service with these school populations. Simultaneously schools are given resources to engage in research that will provide documentation of our success as partners in education and improved k-12 learning.
The University of Washington is a resource for the Ackerley Partner Schools, providing support for youth learning such as undergraduate tutors, teacher candidates, graduate assistants, and University faculty mentoring. This relationship also provides opportunities for K-12 educators to undertake new roles, from co-teaching alongside teacher candidates, to collaborating with teachers from other schools, to engaging in inquiry projects focused on addressing particular challenges. Partner school teachers and principals work directly with UW Teacher Education Program faculty and staff to focus on improving the learning opportunities available to students. University faculty and graduate assistants connect with current teachers, with the goal of enhancing the preparation of future teachers, as well as the learning of K-12 students.
Principal Preparation and Professional Development Opportunities for Principals
Principals of Ackerley Partner schools meet monthly to discuss problems of practice and to learn from one another. Sharing real-life examples from their schools, they use problem framing and discussion protocols to find solutions for complex issues. Each month, the principals identify school based dilemmas, discuss the issues, and work together to create solutions to improve access and to ensure a high quality education for each student. Every year, they choose a guiding book as a foundation for these discussions of school renewal.
The UW Danforth Program for principal preparation consists of a cohort of approximately 30 students each year. Students are admitted annually for one intensive year of study and concurrent administrative internship. As one of its core tenets, Danforth is committed to equity and excellence in education. This concept is central to the curriculum and the real world experience offered through the internship provides one of the most important opportunities for students to explore the many facets of equity in the schools. As a result, the Ackerley Partner Schools are ideal locations for Danforth students to engage in issues of equity and excellence.
Professional Development and Support for Teachers
The Ackerley Partnership offers numerous professional development and collaboration opportunities. Teacher liaisons meet monthly to discuss inquiry projects, dialogue with University faculty about teacher education, and network. Funds are available to improve teaching and learning within the schools, such as requests for curriculum materials or for professional development courses/workshops. Most teachers use the funds to enhance their skills with working with a population of students. Current teachers and school leaders benefit from support and networking, resulting in rich opportunities for improved teaching and learning. For example, as a result of professional development connections, Madison Middle School and Aki Kurose Middle School partnered up to improve student learning in classrooms with a co-teaching model of instruction aimed at helping students develop academic and social skills.
College of Education, University of Washington
Box 353600 Seattle, WA 98195-3600