As the only senior college of the CUNY system located in the borough of the Bronx, Lehman is fortunate to have access to a wide range of diverse schools. The School of Education has developed what we refer to as a Professional Development Network (PDN) of schools that are partnering with the College in the preparation of educators. While the sites vary significantly, they were chosen because the teaching/learning that takes place at those schools embrace our conceptual framework and offer our students valuable professional development experiences. The School has identified two levels of school participation that are possible: Professional Development Schools (PDSs) and Partnership Sites.
PDSs are a small group of sites where all PDS goals are being met, all core characteristics are in evidence, and the two partners have committed all necessary human and material resources to ensure that the PDS is central to the culture of both institutions. The purpose of the PDS is to combine our resources and work together to improve results for Bronx students, novice teachers enrolled in Lehman College teacher education programs, and practicing teachers. A Lehman faculty member is assigned to each PDS site and is charged with supervising student teachers, providing staff development, consulting with administrators, and identifying funding streams where possible. Currently the following schools have been identified as PDS sites: Amalgamated Nursery School, PS 304, PS 291, and New World High School.
Partnership sites encompass a much larger number of institutions that share with us the goals of improving education for children, supporting teacher and counselor education preparation and professional development for teachers, counselors, and administrators, but are not engaged in inquiry as to the impact of the partnership relationship on student and teacher learning. Partnership sites may also share all the goals and core characteristics of a PDS but lack adequate resources for full PDS status. These sites have the potential for becoming PDSs.
The overall network is a dynamic one and schools interested in either joining the network or applying for PDS status are encouraged to do so. The co-chairs of the PDN Executive Council are Professor Sunyata Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Assistant Principal Mithat Gashi of New World High School (email@example.com), and you may direct your questions about the network to them. Elvani Pennil (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the director of field experiences and the Professional Development Network. If you are interested in having your school serve as a site for fieldwork students or student teachers, contact her.