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Professional Development School Partnership with Lowndes County School District and Valdosta State University

Barbara J. Radcliffe
Department Head – Middle, Secondary, Reading and Deaf Education

The 2013-2014 academic year marked the premiere of a Valdosta State University – Lowndes County Schools partnership that designated Lowndes Middle School and Hahira Middle School as Professional Development Schools (PDS). The goal for the PDS partnership was and continues to be to positively impact student learning (grades 6-8) as well as enhance the professional preparation of middle school teachers.

During the 2013 spring semester, Mrs. Melody Fuller and Barbara Radcliffe from VSU’s Middle Grades and Secondary Education programs met with administrators and school leaders from several local middle and high schools to identify practices that were and were not working for the schools when the VSU students entered their buildings for student teaching. In the process, two local middle school administrators, Mrs. Janet Hendley of Hahira Middle School and Dr. Derald Jones of Lowndes Middle School, approached program faculty at VSU regarding the potential development of a Professional Development School partnership. After researching the benefits of engaging in a PDS relationship, attending a PDS conference, and visiting several PDS schools in the Athens area, faculty and administrators from the three institutions agreed to pursue the relationship.

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