School of Education formalizes school partnerships

School of Education administrators with partners from two local schools
School of Education administrators with partners from two local schools

June 19, 2012 - Quinnipiac formalized a partnership with the Fair Haven School in New Haven and Side by Side Charter School in Norwalk to offer better educational opportunities to students and faculty.

Educators from the elementary schools signed a Collaborative Partnership Memorandum of Understanding, which lays the groundwork for professional preparation of candidates, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice and enhanced student learning.

Representatives from each school made a formal commitment to provide the most effective teaching and learning for students of all ages. By combining resources and working together, the Quinnipiac University School of Education, Fair Haven School and Side by Side Charter School will share the objective of preparing effective teachers who can provide the best educational experiences for students learning at all levels and in all disciplines.

"The Quinnipiac University School of Education is excited about establishing formal relationships with the two outstanding urban schools," said Gary Alger, interim dean of the School of Education at Quinnipiac. "These professional development schools will ensure that our graduate students receive high quality, field-based training to become exceptional classroom teachers who will be sought out by school principals after they graduate from Quinnipiac."

The partnership is beneficial to everyone, said Margaret Mary Gethings, principal of Fair Haven School. Gethings said she expects to welcome 45 Quinnipiac students to her school each year to work with students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

"It affords our students the opportunity to have small group instruction," she said. "Quinnipiac students are able to take in the school culture, climate and environment."

Jennifer Walsh, an instructional literacy coach at Fair Haven School, said she and her colleagues are excited about working with Quinnipiac.

"The teachers are thrilled to have Quinnipiac students in the classroom," Walsh said. Several Quinnipiac alumni have gone on to teach at the Fair Haven School, she said.

Matthew Nittoly, director of Side by Side Charter School, said he is looking forward to the partnership. "It's a win-win for everyone," he said of the agreement. "Our teachers will have the opportunity to learn from the Quinnipiac faculty and we will take on interns from the University to work in our classrooms."

"The collaborative synergy between the School of Education faculty and the administrators and teachers at these public schools will enable our candidates to learn first-hand from the finest educators; professionals who are successfully meeting the challenges of urban education every day," Alger said.