The NH Educator Effectiveness for Student Success (NHEESS) initiative has awarded a grant to Saint Anselm College to gather data that will provide a snapshot of regional school partnerships between educator preparation programs (EPPs) and K-12 schools in two regions of New Hampshire. The 18-month project will focus on schools in Southern New Hampshire and will help build out a tool that could serve the entire state.
The effort is being led by Dr. Laura Wasielewski, an associate professor and the director of Teacher Education Programs in the Department of Education at Saint Anselm College. Her scholarly interests include clinical practice and partnerships in educator preparation, postsecondary education for students with disabilities and post-secondary inclusion and resources for individuals with disabilities. She will be partnering with a colleague from another Educator Preparation Program.
“One of the things that we're really excited about is piloting and using this new tool, ‘Working Better Together: A Continuum Rubric for Self-Assessing and Strengthening Partnerships.’ We are going to use it to interview our partner schools in both regions and assess and evaluate what we're doing well in our educator preparation programs (EPPs) and what we need to continue to work on. It’s a great opportunity to learn from our peers and determine how this tool could be used statewide,” said Dr. Wasielewski.
NHEESS has been able to make three grants this fall that align with its mission and two core goals for the near term. Those goals are to develop leadership capacity in teachers to provide authentic opportunities to influence change in our schools and support the building of regional partnerships between local educations associations and educator preparation programs.
“This is an exciting project that could be beneficial to school districts across our state who are looking to build or enhance their partnerships with local colleges and universities that have education preparation programs. It aligns very well with the focus identified by the NHEESS initiative to focus on opportunities for continuous improvement by building partnership structures for the P-12 community and the NH Institutions of Higher Education (NH IHE) Network,” said Andra Hall, member of the NHEESS senior leadership team and special education coordinator at John Stark Regional High School.
Through the grant, the two IHEs will select 10 partner schools each. Data will be collected through interviews with P-12 school administrators. The purpose of the interviews will be to obtain partners’ critical perspectives about school - EPP partnerships. The interviews will be held via a video conference tool, Zoom, with unstructured questions. The grant covers costs for hiring a student research assistant for one academic year to support the project.
“What makes this unique is that we will be evaluating the partnerships that have been cultivated by the school and EPP in two regions of the state. We expect that this approach will uncover some findings and best practices that could be shared and used elsewhere,” said Dr. Wasielewski.
Dr. Wasielewski was a part of a national team that developed that continuum rubric a few years ago through the work of Network for the Transformation of Educator Preparation and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The grant project period runs through December 31, 2021.