The collaboration between Simmons College and the Boston Teachers Union School is a “deep partnership” involving faculty, teachers and students working together. The model is closely related to that of the Professional Development Schools (PDS), in which a university and a P-12 school collaborate, with the goal of providing opportunities for teachers from both the school and the college for self-reflective practice. This partnership serves to create a school environment that enhances students learning, teacher learning, research and practice.
This partnership draws on the interdisciplinary strengths and expertise of Simmons College with its strong tradition of working with students, teachers, administrators, social workers, librarians, and nurses. Involvement includes pre-service and in-service training for undergraduate and graduate student teachers, internships for graduate social work students, school library internships for graduate students in the Graduate School of Information and Library Science, and nurse practitioners from the Graduate School of Health Sciences. The partnership will include but not be limited to collaboration in the following areas:
Faculty from Simmons with expertise in leadership development provided support to the school community in building a shared leadership model, including a decision-making system, alternative performance evaluation processes and year end surveys of teachers and parents. Monthly meeting with co-teacher leaders continue to provide on going support throughout for the inclusion of new BTU teachers and professional development.
A Simmons faculty member coordinates the efforts of different Simmons faculty and students, attends the BTU weekly faculty meeting and provides general and specific support to faculty.
Two representatives from Simmons serve on the Governing Board: the Partnership Coordinator from the Education Department and another faculty member of the Education Department or from the School of Social Work.
Designated faculty from the Education Department assist with curriculum development and provide support in various disciplines as indentified by the teachers at the school.