PDS Governing Board Ball State University Alumni Center Tuesday, May 2, 2006 10:30 a.m. SUMMARY
Members present: Diana Badger, Rebecca Holmquist, Karen Jones (for Marlin Creasy), Jay McGee, John Merbler, Jill Miels, Judy Miller, Laurie Mullen, Brad Oliver, Leslie Power, Theresa Richardson, Ruth Swetnam, Roy Weaver, Nina Yssel Members absent: Carrie Bale, Judy Briganti, Janet Burrows, Libbie Conner, Tom Forkner, Larry John, Douglass Ann Kinkade, Chris Landon, Stephen McColley, Terry Thompson Guests: Jama Cashdollar, Tania Said, Dean Weaver opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions. Ruth Swetnam reported the highlights of the work during the 2005-2006 school year. This is the ninth year of the Ball State University Professional Development Schools (PDS) Network. Twenty-three PDS sites began the year as members of the Network, one less than the previous year due to the closing of Morrison-Mock Elementary School in Muncie. Six elementary PDSs were presented Four Star School awards this year: Cowan, Forest Dale, Mitchell, Orchard Park, Storer and Towne Meadow. The PDS Institute Meetings for the Advisory Council were held on December 1, April 18 and April 20. Site reviews were held at Broad Ripple High School; Orchard Park, Storer and Cowan elementary schools; and Wilson Middle School. All schools are meeting the NCATE Standards for Professional Development Schools. The written reports from the visits have been sent to the principals and are posted on the Network Web site. The schools hosting site reviews in 2006-2007 are Indianapolis Children's Museum, Towne Meadow Elementary School, Mitchell Elementary School, Shortridge Middle School and Southside High School. Board members were given a chart showing the location of the methods classes in the PDSs and the number of participants. Twenty-five percent of the 891 student teacher placements were in PDSs with an additional 804 students taking methods classes or practicums. They were also given a chart showing the PDSs that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress and the areas in which they did not pass. Dean Weaver suggested that a meeting should be scheduled to discuss how the university might be able to assist these schools. The Holmes Partnership annual conference was held in Chicago, February 24-26. Rhoades Elementary School and the Ball State PDS Network were awarded the Nancy Zimpher Award for Best Partnership. Dean Weaver indicated that while it was an honor to receive the award, the presentation ceremony and the overall conference were disappointing. The value of continuing Ball State's membership in the Holmes Partnership is being questioned and will be evaluated again at the end of this next year. Teachers College has also joined the new National PDS Conference. Jill Miels and Ruth Swetnam were involved in presentations at this conference in March 2006, and both praised the content and value for P-16 educators. Dean Weaver emphasized that while Teachers College has been forced to make significant budget cuts, the PDS is embedded in the university budget. He explained that although the Title II grant had supported many PDS activities and initiatives, the partnerships did not begin with a dependence on grant money and can be sustained. Because of the BSU professional development schools, Teachers College was invited to participate in a pilot program to help preschoolers make a successful transition to kindergarten. Two PDSs, Huffer Memorial Children's Center and Washington-Carver Elementary School have been working with the university faculty in early childhood education on a Ready School initiative. Brad Oliver said that the program has been so successful, Muncie hopes to replicate it in other schools. Brad also announced that through Title II B, Muncie has been successful in obtaining both a literacy and a math grant to support collaboration with the university. Laurie Mullen described a current technology project involving Burris, the Indiana Academy and university math faculty in the development of a prototype of math concepts in a play environment. The current area of concentration is Algebra. Ball State has established partnership schools in the school corporations of Mt. Vernon, Noblesville, Wayne Township, New Castle and Washington Township. The purpose is to follow the PDS model of placing cohorts of five or six student teachers in each school per semester with one university supervisor. The value of developing these relationships was realized in the spring when it became necessary to find a new location for the elementary Urban Semester Program. Stout Field and McClelland elementary schools in Wayne Township were already partnership schools and are happy to host the 30 BSU students registered for the fall semester. Dean Weaver explained that due to some current critical issues in IPS, it was necessary to move the program, but BSU would like to be able to return to IPS sometime in the future. Rebecca Holmquist of Minnetrista and Leslie Power of Indianapolis Children's Museum explained how they have successfully expanded their site councils to include university and school representatives. Indianapolis Children's Museum is focusing on developing experiential workshops that are more age specific. Jama Cashdollar from the Muncie Children's Museum told how they are addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged families with free admissions on Friday nights and one Saturday per month. Tania Said of the Ball State Museum of Art would like more educators engaged in discussions on how to tailor programs to meet the needs of the seven counties in East Central Indiana. Muncie Children's Museum, Minnetrista and the Museum of Art recently hosted a successful Educators' Open House. Jay McGee, invited educators from PDSs to visit Burris and engage in discussions around how Burris teachers work with the practicum students. He described how Burris is using interactive videos so university students can observe Burris classrooms and then interact with the teachers without being in the actual class. Tania Said introduced the concern that as more community-based partners have accepted the role of educators, how can they monitor how effective they are in impacting student achievement. What should museums focus on? One suggestion was to explore the research model Jerrell Cassady has been using to evaluate the Electronic Field Trips. Jay McGee described the after-school reading program at the BSU Art Museum in which students from Burris, Muncie Community Schools and MOM's program are using art to hook kids into reading. The gains in achievement are being evaluated. In reference to evaluation and research, Dean Weaver asked, "Have we reached the place in our PDS Network to approach research on a larger scale?" Dean Weaver thanked everyone for coming and adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.
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