School of Education Offices
■ Leadership Team has developed organizational charts and job descriptions to reflect the structure of the initiative (attached). These were presented to the Steering Committee at the May 5th meeting.
■ The Steering Committee will reconvene in mid to late September. At that time the organizational structure will be re-visited. Also on the agenda is a discussion of the make-up of the Steering Committee. Some areas are over-represented at this time while others are not represented at all. Decisions regarding the composition of the committee will be reported in the next progress report.
■ The Federal Grant Performance Report has been completed and submitted to the program officer at the U.S. Department of Education.
■ Business cards and letterhead have been completed and distributed after being approved by the University Communications Office. á
■ The TQE web site is in the design phase and will be on-line by Fall semester 2004.
■ TQE Leader and Building Contact position descriptions have been finalized by the Steering Committee. TQE Leaders will hopefully be on board for each partner district by mid-October, 2004.
■ TQE representatives joined other College of Education representatives at the Pathwise annual conference in Philadelphia (June 25-30). This group will work over the summer months to revise the Teacher Candidate Assessment used throughout the college.
■ The St. Cloud State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) has received the TQE application and is in the process of review. A meeting is scheduled on August 2nd with IRB members to address concerns and answer questions.
■ Three courses were co-taught at St. Cloud State University during the Spring semester. Student feedback indicates that it has been a positive experience overall. 131 students were surveyed regarding their participation in a co-taught class. Students identified three primary benefits of university level co-teaching: having two perspectives on course content, the diversity of experiences shared by two professors, and experiencing two distinct instructional styles.
■ University co-teaching pairs were interviewed at the end of the semester regarding their experience. All co-teachers reported that the biggest benefit of the co-teaching experience was how much they learned. Respondents talked about learning about content material and instructional techniques from their co-teaching partner and the co-planning process, but that the most notable learning that occurred was reflection on their own practice. Co-teachers reported that the experience helped them to improve their practice by providing insights into strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and styles.
■ Applications for Fall (2004-2005) were screened by the inter-departmental Co-Teaching Specialists, and three university courses were selected for co-teaching. One of the courses has since been dropped due to faculty turn-over, but the other two courses will be co-taught in the fall semester.
■ Co-teaching specialists made two visits to each of the co-taught classrooms at the end of the Spring semester, providing helpful feedback to the co-teaching pairs.
■ Co-teaching workshops are being offered for any cooperating teacher (Preschool ľ Grade 12) that is interested in using this model with their teacher candidate. Sessions were held on June 7 and June 9, 2004. Fifty-six cooperating teachers were in-serviced on these dates. Additional sessions are scheduled for August. Feedback from the sessions indicates that the teachers value the content presented as well as the structure of the workshop, which gives them time to discuss strategies in small groups and share ideas with each other.
■ Presentations regarding undergraduate opportunities to co-teach were made to other departments that are involved in preparing future teachers. The Math department will be developing a co-teaching model in the Fall (2004-2005) which will utilize skills of faculty paired with upper-level undergraduates to co-teach the Math Skills Lab courses.
■ The TQE Data Advisory team received approval to use the Woodcock-Johnson III, Research Edition (math and reading) to better assess the academic gains of P-12 students in co-taught settings. The WJIII co-author (Dr. Kevin McGrew) and Dr. Fredrick Schrank have both been involved in discussions regarding our use of these assessment tools.
■ The leadership team focused on the professional development strategies during a partial-day retreat, May 7, 2004. Dr. Robin Hasslen presented findings from the literature as well as suggestions for how to move forward with professional development activities. The consensus was to develop a Professional Development Consortium, with expert representatives from our partner districts, to take one year to study professional learning communities and how they work. This group will meet monthly and will eventually be able to replicate the study group/professional learning community model within their school and/or district.
■ Dr. Hasslen will be leaving St. Cloud State University this summer. The project co-directors will decide who will assume leadership of the professional development activities in the Fall.
■ Dr. Gayla Holmgren will be heading up the mentoring portion of this initiative. Dr. Holmgren has been researching ôbest practiceö in supporting new teachers in their first three years and will be developing a Mentoring Consortium representing each of the partner districts in the Fall.
■ We have contacted the Minnesota Education Association regarding their new teacher e-mentoring program. We are beginning a dialogue with them regarding ways in which we can collaborate and meet the needs of new teachers in Central Minnesota, without re-inventing the wheel.
■ A needs assessment was agreed upon by the leadership team to get feedback from area teachers regarding both mentoring and professional development needs. The survey has been designed to be completed on-line, and will eventually be available on the TQE web site.
■ Dr. Teresa Heck has met with representatives from Media X and has successfully negotiated a contract that will allow our project to utilize web-based technology for teacher candidate assessments. This will assist in streamlining the data collection process across student teaching sites.