Project BUILD: Building Upon Instructional Leaders' Discussions
Core Function: Professional Training, Research and Evaluation
Project BUILD will develop a partnership with classrooms in high-need schools across the age range in various school districts to prepare graduate students with a focus on special education. This project will contribute to the: (a) preparation of new teachers for learners with low-incidence disabilities in high need schools, (b) contribute to the professional development of in-service teachers, and (c) influence the induction and retention of teachers for special education.
A partnership with the Ackerly Partner Schools Network, a group of 24 elementary, middle and high schools that serve racially-diverse, poverty-impacted communities in the Puget Sound area, will provide our students with field experiences that will allow them to practice these strategies in the most challenging schools. In addition, professional learning communities or "consultancy groups" will be cultivated between graduate students in field sites, mentor teachers, providers, UW staff and faculty, and graduates of our program. These groups will provide powerful instructional models for students studying to be teachers, and support for new teachers in the field and those seen as experts. The sustainable impact of this model is likely to have long lasting and regenerating effects on the teacher education program and the teachers serving low-incidence disabilities in the highest-need schools in the Northwest.