Friday, March 1, 2002

Washington College Joins With Regional Public Schools To Form K-16 Council

Initial Project To Focus On Mathematics And Science Education

School superintendents from Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Partnership at Chesapeake College. Also signing the agreement were Dr. John Toll, president of Washington College, and the presidents of Chesapeake College, Cecil Community College, University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, Salisbury University and Wor-Wic Community College.Wye Mills, MD, March 1, 2002 — Representatives from the Eastern Shore public school systems and area colleges met at Chesapeake College Thursday, February 28, 2002, to form the Eastern Shore Regional K-16 Council. The organization will work to establish seamless educational transitions for students from kindergarten through college.
The primary goal of the council is to ensure quality education for all citizens on the Eastern Shore. To achieve this goal, the member institutions will recruit, prepare, and retain high quality teachers and other school personnel. According to the agreement, each institution will put a high priority on teacher education. The members will provide top quality clinical experiences for pre-service teachers and meaningful professional development for in-service teachers.
The council plans to create a seamless learning community through collaborative projects and other initiatives. The members will use the council to share the best information about teaching learning and instructional technology.
This new organization is an extension of the State of Maryland K-16 Council. The regional council, one of the first in the state, will participate in the national pilot project "The Bridge Project: Strengthening K-16 Transition Policies."
"This partnership is a good example of the cooperation we have among educators on the Eastern Shore. Students at all educational levels on the Shore will benefit from the collaboration of our member institutions," said President Toll, who will chair the council. "This agreement formalizes and extends already existing partnerships under which we combine our strengths and share our innovations to ease the transition of students from one level of education to the next."
Chesapeake College President Dr. Stuart Bounds added, "The segments of the Shore's educational systems have always worked collaboratively; with this new regional council, we expect to make that collaboration routine and to significantly improve the transition from high school to higher education."
The initial project, if funded, will bring teachers together to find ways to help students prepare for college coursework in mathematics and science. Educators and administrators from local schools will meet in a yearlong series of workshops at Chesapeake College beginning this spring. The participants will identify curriculum gaps, and develop ways to improve both learning and teaching in Maryland.
"The instructional and curricular implications of this effort are extraordinary," said Dr. Allan Gorsuch, director of the Eastern Shore of Maryland Educational Consortium. "School systems are raising the expectations for what students will be required to know and be able to do before they graduate from high school. Through this project participants will work collaboratively to assure that the transition from high school to college is seamless in the areas of mathematics and science."
The local project—Closing Hidden Gaps: Creating Regional Partnerships for Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning—is funded by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development Grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

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