Signature Partnership Initiative

Harrie Buecker

Dr. Harrie Buecker, Liaison for School and District Partnerships and the Director of the Office of Educator Development and Clinical Practice, coordinates the Signature Partnership Initiative (SPI), and the establishment of the clinical model of teacher preparation at partner schools for the CEHD. SPI is a University-wide initiative, which focuses on enhancing the quality of life and economic opportunities for residents of West Louisville.To learn more about University-wide efforts, visit the University's Signature Partnership Initiative web site.

Dr. Buecker has served on the Community Engagement Committee over the past three years and was recently appointed to serve on the Community Engagement Steering Committee. The charge of this committee is to address the quality of life issues affecting the community. She oversees grants and funding sources which support the SPI schools.

Clinical Model Partnerships

The Clinical Model of Teacher Preparation in an integral part of the CEHD's work through SPI. Funds from the Mary K. Oxley Foundation helped establish the first CEHD clinical model site at J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. In this model, CEHD faculty members teach content methods courses on-site in a designated University of Louisville classroom. They assist with K-12 teacher professional development at the school and collaborate with the teacher candidates' experiences in their classrooms.

The Oxley Foundation funds support the expansion of the clinical model to Cochran Elementary School during the 2015-16 school year and will continue to support the clinical model at Atkinson Academy. Efforts are underway to begin a clinical model at Portland Elementary in the near future.

In 2013, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) awarded to the CEHD a $500,000 grant to launch the clinical model at Westport Middle School (WMS). Funds from the CPE grant supported summer programs for the WMS students, and funding for this model will continue through the 2016-17 school year.

Prior to the start of the 2015-16 school year, UofL was awarded an additional grant from CPE, which will be used to build a clinical model at the high school level. The leadership in Jefferson County Public Schools requested that the CEHD locate this model at Seneca High School. CEHD faculty will continue to develop and refine the model during the 2015-16 school year.

In 2014, the Mary K. Oxley Foundation followed their original gift of $1 million to the CEHD with a new donation of $5 million (the UofL Foundation provided an additional $2.5 million endowment to match the Oxley gift). The new funds will assist with an expansion of support for our SPI schools as well as Cochran Elementary School.

A significant addition from thew new funds included financial support for the Summer Boost and Summer Flight programs, which are held in the SPI partner schools.

dynamic classroom

Summer Boost and Summer Flight

The Summer Boost program got its start at J.B. Atkinson Academy and has expanded to Westport Middle School, (Summer Flight), and Cochran Elementary. The program was created to reduce the 'summer dip' that many students experience during the summer months, especially those living in economically depressed areas. This past summer, a record number of students participated in Summer Boost at J.B. Atkinson Academy.

The Dynamic Classroom

The Dynamic Classroom professional learning conference introduced teachers to the philosophy and practices we believe will engage and challenge students to achieve at high levels. The first conference was held at Westport Middle School this year and teachers utilized work plans and menus, a professional library, and technology to investigate four modules: The Dynamic Mindset, The Dynamic Learner, The Dynamic Environment, and The Dynamic Teacher. The conference was structured to simulate what a student should experience in a dynamic classroom--choice, higher order thinking, differentiation, use of technology, and feedback and reflection.

Senate Bill 1 Grant

In 2010, the University of Louisville received $200,000 through a Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) grant from the Council on Postsecondary Education to fund the implementation of the components of SB 1. Dr. Buecker is the director of this grant and chairs a Steering Committee comprised of faculty from the CEHD and the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S;).

Over the years, the grant provided support for Faculty Learning Communities to review and discuss the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS). These groups were comprised of faculty members from CEHD, A&S;, and the Jefferson County Public Schools. The funds have most recently been utilized for stipends for CEHD faculty members, university supervisors, and teacher educators who completed mandated KCAS training modules, Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (TPGES) training, and the updated Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) training.

Currently, the CEHD and A&S; science and chemistry faculty are collaborating on developing engaging instructional strategies to support high levels of learning in beginning chemistry classes. Funds from SB 1 grant will provide stipends to faculty members for planning, observing, and implementing engaged learning in these classes. In addition, stipends from the grant will be paid to faculty participants in the Kentucky Department of Education and OVEC Content and Leadership Networks during 2015-16.