Thursday, November 20, 2014

COE Formalizes Partnership With Hoover Math & Science Academy

Dean Philion and John Schmelzer, Principal, shake hands
after signing the agreement.
On Wednesday, November 19th, the College of Education and Hoover Math and Science Academy, in Schaumburg, IL, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize a partnership that has been in development over the past year.  This is the second MOU that the COE has signed with a District 54 elementary school this year.  The first was with another math and science academy, Nerge Elementary.

The goal of the agreement is to work together to prepare passionate and innovative elementary teachers who have expertise in math and science education.  Hoover teachers will help RU teacher candidates to teach to new standards and teacher evaluation models, and hopefully complete all of their field and clinical experiences at Hoover.  RU aims to better prepare its teacher candidates for the demands of 21st century teaching.  Together, Hoover and RU hope to create a pool of new teachers who can hit the ground running with respect to improving student learning in math and science education.

Hoover has been a very active partner with the College of Education over the last several years:
  • Currently, 3 full time teachers at Hoover are Roosevelt alumni.
  • Currently, 4 RU student teachers are teaching at Hoover.
  • Currently, 10 students are completing their pre-student teaching field experiences at Hoover
  • Currently, 5 undergraduate math methods students are observing at Hoover.
  • In total, Hoover is hosting 19 of Roosevelt’s elementary education students.  Many of these students are putting in additional hours at Hoover for some of their other classes at Roosevelt.
  • In Spring 2014, Hoover hosted 8 students who were completing their pre-student teaching field experiences, and John Schmelzer and Elizabeth Meadows presented on the value of community partnerships at RU's annual professional development conference, RUMCOT.
The COE's Elementary Education Program Director, Ken King, and the Principal at Hoover, John Schmelzer, are the chief architects of the agreement.  Over the next several years, they will explore ways in which RU and Hoover faculty might mutually support the professional development and learning goals at each institution.

The Hoover-COE partnership was facilitated by a $100,000 grant that the College of Education received last year from the Searle Funds of the Chicago Community Trust.  The main focus of the grant is the redesign of the elementary education program.  With significant input from John Schmelzer, but also two Hoover teachers and RU alumni--Dia Rizmani and George Schaupp--as well as other school partners, College of Arts and Sciences faculty, and other faculty in the College of Education, the elementary education faculty--Judy Gouwens, Ken King, Byoung Kim, and Elizabeth Meadows--have updated curricula and field experiences, and re-conceived the structure of the program.  Partnerships with high quality schools enrolling diverse student learners will be at the center of the new program.

Hoover Math and Science Academy is truly a high quality school, having recently placed in the top 20 elementary schools in Cook County according to performance on the 2013 ISAT exams.  It also is the top-performing school in District 54.

The start date for the new elementary education program is Fall 2015, pending approval from the Illinois State Board of Education.  The COE hopes to sign several other partnership agreements in the City of Chicago by the end of the current academic year.

No comments:

Post a Comment