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The Prince George’s Partnership is a combined task force of Prince George’s County Public School System (PGCPS) leadership personnel and UM College of Education key faculty and administrators dedicated to reducing the minority achievement gap and improving the quality of learning for all students. The Partnership is co-chaired by the Dean of Education and the Chief Executive Officer of PGCPS and quarterly meetings focus on strategies to bring our knowledge and resources together and to confront the challenges faced in educating all children. The Partnership has developed a collaborative process of defining mutually agreed upon goals, jointly planning stages of research, development and implementation, and establishing a process of regular meetings and follow-up activities to help move toward meeting our goals.

Projects within this partnership include:

I. The Bladensburg Project, focusing on improving student achievement in mathematics and literacy through intense professional development for teachers, leadership development for school personnel, and implementation of student focused activities in a feeder pattern of high poverty, low performing schools.

II. The Region II Expansion, an extension of the Bladensburg Project, focusing on teacher professional development and leadership skill building in all of Region II of PGCPS. The Region II Expansion is an extension of the Bladensburg Project, sharing similar goals of improving student achievement through intense professional development for teachers, leadership development for school personnel and implementation of student and community focused activities. Presently the Expansion is co-chaired by the Acting Region II Superintendent, Oretha Bridgewater, and the K-16 PDC Director, Dr. James D. Greenberg. The Expansion also employs a collaborative process of defining mutual goals, and implementing activities to meet the needs of students, teachers, leaders and broader community.

Several initiatives have emerged in response to needs identified by the Expansion partners. These include:

IIa. Leadership Retreats: These retreats are geared towards building leadership capacity within each school in Region II. Administrators and teacher leaders are brought together off-site to participate in training sessions and work-shops run by university faculty and county staff and external consultants. Participants use the training and information received to develop school-wide plans that address their specific student and teacher needs. Two leadership retreats were held this summer, 2006, at the University of Maryland.

IIb. Latino Initiative: These activities address the needs that have emerged as a result of the changes in the community demographics. The Initiative uses a holistic approach to address the needs of the Latino student. Projects include cultural awareness workshops for teachers, administrators and community members, professional development for regular education teachers, professional development for ESOL teachers, and research aimed at understanding attendance issues. Family Math Nights also continue to take place during the 2006-2007 school year with Bladensburg Elementary School joining this initiative this year. The "Parent Involvement Connection" is also continuing to expand with the purpose of increasing parental involvement in students' school attendance and achievement. In addition, the project is also being extended to the Middle School Level with a professional development mathematics course for teachers. The mathematics course will begin in the Spring of 2007.

IIIc. Spanish Classes for Educators: A new School-Based Leadership initiative began the Fall of 2006. A "Spanish for Educators" class was developed for teachers at Bladensburg High School and William Wirt Middle School. Classes at William Wirt will begin Spring 2007. Currently two classes are being taught at Bladensburg - Ana Acedo, from the Spanish Department at Maryland holds one class and Janet Simpson, Spanish teacher at Bladensburg teachs the other class - and 45 staff members are enrolled in the classes. Veronica Munoz, from the Spanish department at the University of Maryland, continued teaching Spanish classes for teachers during the Spring of 2008.

IIId. Alpha Scholar Program: This program started off to a great start again this school year, 2006-2007, at Bladensburg High School. A new principal has been appionted as a school facilitator. The program helps junior and senior high school students with the college application process. Educational Talent Search (ETS) at the University of Maryland is helping to coordinate this program at Bladensburg and Central.

III. Central High School Initiative: this school year, 2006-2007, focuses on two major programs this year, the "Ninth Grade Academy" and the "9th and 10th Grade English Initiative." The focus of the Enlgish Initiative is making the Reading and Writing Connection. Specific areas for embedded and on-going professional development are the English Curriculum Frameworks and Interative Reading Materials. A mentoring structure has been put into place with an on-site "master teacher" and former Teacher Coordinator as the mentor who will work throughout the year with 7 new English teachers. A retreat for this initiative took place on August 7th and 8th at the University of Maryland. Please see above (IIa) for information on the retreats.

IV. The Teachers Integrating Mathematics and Engineering (TIME) Project,
funded by General Electric, works with middle and high school teachers. Summer engineering institutes are held for educators and they learn how mathematics and science concepts relate to the field of engineering. The educators take back engineering modules to their classrooms so they have an opportunity to integrate the lessons and laboratories into mathematics and science curricula during the school year. Dr. Richard McCuen, professor of civil engineering in school of Engineering, leads the institutes every summer. Currently we are working with 5 Middle School teachers in Prince Georges County.