SUMMARY Ball State University PDS Network Advisory Council Institute Meeting #21 November 29, 2006 9:00 –12:30 Minnetrista
Dean Weaver opened the meeting by welcoming the 72 members and guests. He expressed appreciation for all of the work that each person does to continue to make professional development schools successful. He gave special recognition to Lennon Brown, former principal of Anderson Highland Senior High School, who is now assistant superintendent of Anderson Community Schools. This was followed by a tribute to Lennon from Cathy Siebert and Mark Finger's presentation of a gift from the Highland High School site council. Ann Leitze introduced the guests from Wayne Township: Robin Johnson and Eric Webb from McClelland Elementary School and Jennifer Rollins and Judy Stegemann from Stout Field Elementary School. These two schools are currently hosting the elementary urban semester students. Ruth Swetnam explained the planning process for the Institute meeting and the format for the morning. Representatives were asked to complete the "Profile of Professional Development Schools Resources" sheet with information about individual expertise, educational programs, and/or processes that would be of interest to schools or Ball State classes. This information will be posted on the PDS Web site. Judy Miller, director of the Office of Teacher Education Services, discussed whether GPA predicts success in student teaching. Some schools are rejecting applicants who have lower than 3.0. Her study of the past five semesters shows the average GPA of unsuccessful student teachers is 3.020. She recommended interviewing students to gain a better understanding of circumstances that caused the GPA of less than 3.0 before eliminating their applications. Ruth introduced Kathryn Rowe, principal of Daniel Webster Family Academy #46 in Indianapolis Public Schools. Daniel Webster Family Academy is a Title I funded school with over 80% of the students at or below poverty level and 40% are minority students; however, they have met Average Yearly Performance expectations since No Child Left Behind came into being. Kathryn's theme was "Poverty Is Not an Excuse." She described the school's efforts to welcome the whole family into the school community, their high expectations for students, their year-round schedule, their practice of providing as many field trip experiences as possible, their process of helping students develop a plan to work toward their career goals, and their long-standing partnership with Kroger that has supported many activities. Project managers Matt Stuve and Peggy Rice presented an overview of their two-year grant, EPIC (Evidence-based Professional and Instructional Change), involving Daniel Webster Family Academy, Broad Ripple High School, and Shortridge Middle School. The project is a collaboration among Ball State University, the Indiana Humanities Council, and Indianapolis Public Schools. Teachers are provided with opportunities to develop curricular resources, improve the quality of assessment, and collaborate with other educators utilizing a Web portal called SmartDESKTOP. Interested teachers within the PDS Network were encouraged to apply for participation as soon as possible. Cathy Purtlebaugh and Mary Ann Thiery described their funded Teachers College Alumni Board Innovative Education grants. The collaboration among Cowan, Wes-Del, and Washington-Carver elementary schools will support reading/writing projects that connect parents and students from the three school communities. A group from St. Mary School will be using literature to help children see math in their world and how it relates to real life experiences. Jama Cashdollar from Muncie Children's Museum, Chris Hannah from Minnetrista, and Jeanette Booth from Indianapolis Children's Museum described their educational resources. They invited everyone to view their tabletop exhibits. All were encouraged to tour the second story exhibits of Minnetrista. Early childhood educators met to share concerns regarding the accreditation process and expectations. In another area, museum educators discussed their challenge of meeting the needs of schools and attracting students and teachers. With the elementary and secondary representatives, Gail Ring, director of the Center for Technology in Education, focused on integrating technology into the curriculum. She provided Web addresses for teaching resources and demonstrated Web sites that provide simulations. The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
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