Novel certificate program uses peer-team approach to help turn around state’s low-performing schools
(GAINESVILLE, FL) December 14, 2016 — The University of Florida (UF) today joined with Promethean, a global education technology company, in announcing their collaboration on a novel, peer-coaching program to provide leadership development training to educators of Priority Improvement/Turnaround schools in Colorado.
Promethean and the UF Lastinger Center for Learning, the research-and-development incubator for the university’s College of Education, were approved by the Colorado Department of Education as one of six providers in the state as part of the School Turnaround Leaders Development grant program. The grant program addresses the critical need to train qualified education leaders in low-performing schools and districts to dramatically improve student achievement. Participants will learn and practice coaching skills, grapple with challenges to student achievement, and build their capacities to lead in Priority Improvement/Turnaround Schools.
Dr. Mark Quintana, Promethean Senior Education Consultant and advisor on the Colorado effort said, “In a turnaround school environment, educators face unique challenges as they work to significantly improve student achievement. Training that results in a successful school or district transformation will address specific practices and strategies that support educators in meeting the needs of their student population.”
In the UF/Promethean program, a heightened emphasis is placed on emerging technology and interdisciplinary research that effectively prepares leaders to guide their staff and teaching faculty as they prepare students for their futures. When the program was implemented in Florida districts, research demonstrated substantive improvements in teacher retention and school performance.
Philip Poekert, Assistant Director of the UF Lastinger Center and project manager of the Colorado effort, said the school turnaround program is geared for instructional leaders who serve or aspire to serve as teacher leaders, instructional coaches, school administrators, district administrators, and charter school management staff in low-performing schools.
Participants will attend a four-day summer session as well as two full-day sessions and three half-day sessions throughout the school year, all led by instructors trained by UF and Promethean. Enrolled educators are expected to implement what they have learned, and at the end of the school year, will present their findings and improvements to earn a Promethean/UF Turnaround School Leaders Certificate. It is recommended that each participant serve his or her low-performing school for a minimum of two years.
“Our research-based program focuses on the most important thing that happens in schools: the quality of teaching,” Poekert said. “By increasing the capacity of instructional leaders to lead data-driven coaching conversations and integrate technology in more strategic ways, we can make a meaningful difference in outcomes for students and yield greater impact in a shorter amount of time.”
Districts and schools in the state of Colorado interested in learning more about the UF/Promethean program may learn more here.
Promethean is a global education company that improves learning productivity by developing, integrating, and implementing innovative 21st-century learning environments that help make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. Promethean’s main corporate offices are located in Blackburn, UK, and Atlanta, USA. Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft, Inc. (HKSE: 0777) group of companies. For more information, please visit PrometheanWorld.com.
About the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning
The UF Lastinger Center for Learning is the University of Florida College of Education’s research and development incubator. The center has become internationally recognized for partnering with school districts, philanthropies, governmental entities, and the private sector to research, design, build and field-test innovative learning systems that transform teaching, improve student achievement and promote healthy child development. The Lastinger Center’s reach extends to school systems across Florida, in other states, and recently in other nations. For more information, please visit LastingerCenter.com.
Christina Dela Cruz, Promethean
Dr. Phil Poekert, University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning