PDS Governing Board Meeting Friday, November 12, 2004 Ball State University Alumni Center 9:00 a.m. SUMMARY
Members present: Janet Burrows, Larry John, Judy Miller, Rebecca Holmquist, Douglass Ann Kinkade, Marlin Creasy, Brad Oliver, Mark Heinig, Leslie Power, Ruth Swetnam, Judy Briganti, Tom Forkner, Roy Weaver, Larry Smith, Jill Miels, Theresa Richardson Members absent: Libbie Conner, Chris Landon, Stephen McColley, Terry Thompson, Phyllis Land Usher, John Merbler Dean Weaver opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions. Ruth Swetnam reported on the current status of this eighth year of the PDS Network. The Network has 24 PDSs, and Apple Tree Child Development Center is anticipated to become a member of the Network at the December 1st Institute Meeting. Muncie Boys and Girls Club has been a planning partner during the past year; however, after several discussions and a review of the work they do with Ball State, Larry Smith and Theresa Richardson reported that it would be very difficult for them to meet the NCATE Standards for Professional Development Schools. They will continue as a community partnership site. Larry John and Marlin Creasy described the Electronic Field Trip opportunities in which Central High School participated last year and Cowan Elementary and Mitchell Elementary are actively involved during 2004-2005. Cowan and Mitchell are also participating in the BSU Digital Middletown and United Streaming Project. A list of the PDSs and the date they submitted a formal proposal to the Network was in the members' packets. Ruth pointed out that this list was distributed to show when a PDS could expect a site review that is conducted three years after a proposal is accepted. Muncie Central High School had its site review on October 27, and Rhoades Elementary School will have a site review visit on March 24, 2005. Among the highlights of the Central review were the character education program and The Bearcat New Teacher group. Both of these initiatives are a direct result of Central staff members attending the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council under the sponsorship of Ball State's Title II grant. The character education program has been taken to Southside High School by the new principal Becky Thompson, formerly assistant principal of Muncie Central. Lennon Brown, principal of Anderson Highland High School, served on the site review team and plans to take the character education program to Highland. Also in the members' packets was a description of the requirements for schools to be awarded the four-star status by Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Mitchell Elementary School of Muncie Community Schools and Towne Meadow Elementary School of Carmel Clay Schools recently received this award. Board members received a chart comparing the two years of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for all public schools in the Network as reported by IDOE. Several members commented that Indiana's model for demonstrating achievement under PL 221 gives a much better picture, and they agreed that the PDS relationship has had a significant impact on student achievement. Dean Weaver indicated that a focus for the partnership might be working together to address the areas of deficiency in these PDSs. Ruth reported that the PDS Network is receiving national recognition in many different ways. Board members were given a list of publications about work in the Ball State PDSs and a list of national and state conference presentations by individuals in the Network. Prior to the 2004 Holmes Partnership annual conference, Ruth and Cathy Siebert were invited to participate in pre-conference training with the Kettering Foundation on conducting deliberative forums around the theme of "involving the public in our schools." Ruth also received an invitation from the Kettering Foundation to represent the Holmes Partnership PDS members in one of their Civic Engagement workshops during summer 2004. At the request of Marsha Levine, senior consultant for NCATE, Ruth, Dean Weaver and Jackie Stillisano have written a chapter for a monograph to be released in February on the how the NCATE Standards for Professional Development Schools are being used. Marsha has also invited Ruth to participate on a panel at the 2005 American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) conference discussing how the standards are being used. The Learning Assessment Model Project is a finalist for an award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the elementary Urban Semester Program received the AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Diversity in February 2004. Dean Weaver inquired how the various PDSs are using student teachers as substitute teachers. Some schools are using them as substitutes for teachers who are participating in professional development activities within the building. The high schools in Anderson use the student teachers to free select teachers to supervise student teachers in other secondary education buildings in the corporation. Muncie Community Schools is not using student teachers as substitutes. Board members are concerned about how well the BSU teacher candidates are being prepared to differentiate instruction for the variety of students' needs, including the gifted and talented. They suggested that a report on what is being done in this area could be given to the Governing Board at another meeting. Other concerns were the lack of information students have about how to analyze student data and how unfamiliar they seem to be with the licensing regulations. Marlin Creasy expressed appreciation for the improvement in communication between BSU and central administration about PDS activities. Brad Oliver described the grants that central office administrators in Muncie are working on in partnership with BSU. He indicated that PDSs should be encouraged to communicate their needs to central office so grants could be written to match these needs. Dean Weaver entertained a discussion about possible funding sources to support PDSs now that Title II is gone. He reminded members that the $1,000 given to schools in the Network was given before Title II and continued this year. He suggested BSU alumni could give donations directly to the PDS Network through the Alumni Association. Larry Smith shared that one school has questioned why they should continue as a PDS if there isn't money to support new initiatives and travel to conferences. BSU intends to apply for another Title II grant this year, but the focus has not been identified. Teachers College is currently working to develop partnership schools in which cohorts of BSU teacher candidates can practice teach. These would not be PDSs. The primary focus would be student teaching. The intent is to discontinue "supervision by convenience," as Larry Smith describes the practice in remote areas of the state, or, as others call "the circuit rider approach." Larry Smith explained how BSU is trying to pull student teachers back within a 75 mile radius of Muncie. There have been conversations about partnership schools with Wayne Township, Anderson Community Schools, Mt.Vernon School Corporation, and Washington Township. A meeting is scheduled with Fort Wayne Community Schools. The meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.
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