Four years ago, Stanford’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) and Sunnyvale School District (SSD) began their partnership in providing a high quality summer school experience for elementary and middle school students, Sunnyvale teachers, and STEP teacher candidates. As the next step in this growing partnership, SSD and STEP are excited to introduce the University Partnership Program, an academic year program to be housed at Columbia Middle School (CMS).
The goal of the University Partnership Program is to maximize student learning through enhanced teacher development and a model district-university partnership. In this program of choice, classrooms will be designed to create innovative learning communities where students explore, inquire, and investigate while teachers support, guide, and mentor. The program will build upon Stanford University’s scholarship and practice-based research as well as the District’s Strategic Plan and Correlates of Effective Schools. Teacher candidates from both STEP and other university programs will be placed strategically in classrooms to reduce the student/adult ratio.
Columbia Middle School and the University Partnership Program will become a destination school for the district as it fosters 21st century knowledge, skills, and expectations, expands student engagement and depth of learning, implements research-based curriculum and instructional practices, and creates a program of choice for 6-8th graders in SSD that can be observed and replicated across the school and district.
The University Partnership Program will be administered by CMS principal, Mary Beth Allmann, with support from existing staff. CMS Principal Allmann states, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Stanford University to bring this exciting program to the district and to the CMS campus. We know that through this partnership our students will be engaged in innovative research-based practices that will arm them with the 21st century skills they need for a successful future.” As a program of choice, The University Partnership Program can be expected to draw students from across the District. It will begin fall 2013 with initial participation expected to include sixty 6th graders (2 classrooms).
For more information regarding the University Partnership Program at Columbia Middle School please contact Mary Beth Allmann, CMS Principal, at (408) 522-8247.
Article by Deborah Dodge