Professional Development Schools
The Bluefield Consortium of Professional Development Schools provides opportunities for clinical experiences within the context of the public school environment. Multiple teachers from each partner school serve as mentors and cooperating teachers and work collaboratively with college faculty to provide quality clinical experiences for teacher candidates and to support the academic growth of K-9 students. The teacher candidates from the college and in-service school teachers participate in professional development opportunities hosted by partner sites and by the county school district.
The BSC partnership has developed a common shared professional vision of teaching and learning grounded in research and practitioner knowledge. Teachers at partner sites continue to implement standards-based programs as part of the curriculum in order to encourage critical thinking and to expand opportunities for the development of individualized strategies by K – 9 students within the context of the learning experience.
In addition, the partnership operates as an extended learning community. The Bluefield Consortium of Professional Development Schools is comprised of seven public schools of various configurations (Whitethorn Primary; grades K–2, Princeton Primary; grades K-2, Bluewell Elementary; grades K-5, Montcalm Elementary; grades K–5, Bluefield Intermediate; grades 3–5, Montcalm High, grade 9, Bluefield Middle; grades 6-8, and Bluefield State College. Each partner school has diverse student populations with racial, ethnic, gender, and low SES subgroups. BSC’s teacher candidates are immersed in the community at these PDS sites through participation in partner schools’ Faculty-Senate meetings, professional development sessions, and assigned committee work. The partnership meets quarterly to share successes and concerns regarding partnership activities.