SOE News

Research Triangle Schools Partnership provides framework for collaboration with neighboring schools

The Research Triangle Schools Partnership (RTSP) provides a framework for School of Education faculty and students to collaborate with neighboring public school districts to work toward improving schools and enhancing learning opportunities for all children. Established more than a decade ago at the School of Education, RTSP was recently re-conceptualized in an effort to address the current needs of neighboring school districts in a systemic way.

“Our hope is to link faculty interests and expertise with identified needs initially in one district,” said Jocelyn Glazier, assistant professor in the School of Education and faculty coordinator of RTSP.

A current focus of the Partnership is to strengthen a district-wide collaboration with Orange County Schools (OCS).  Initiatives include supporting systemic change to enhance student learning, providing closer collaboration in preparing future teachers and offering in-service teacher professional development on mutually identified needs. 

“The idea is to link a number of collaborative efforts across the county so that they work in concert with one another in a comprehensive and systemic way,” Glazier said. 

As part of the Partnership, School of Education faculty are collaborating with OCS teachers, administrators and parents to conduct a range of school-based research initiatives and develop model programs to improve practice and student learning. Last spring, RTSP research initiatives began to investigate reform-based K-3 mathematics, the use of science notebooks to enhance science literacy, parent support to improve school readiness among Head Start children, the impact of teacher study groups on teaching literacy to English Language Learners and effective means to build stronger school-family/community partnerships. 

Many of these projects are ongoing, as the Partnership is currently identifying new and continuing priorities for this school year.

RTSP also houses a service-learning initiative. Its goals are to enhance the education of pre-service teachers and to increase the academic achievement of children at risk of school failure.

To address these goals, School of Education students engage in a range of service-learning activities to help children in the local community. The activities, woven into various education courses, have included serving as tutors through the AVID program at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Orange County and the Freedom School summer enrichment program hosted by North Carolina Central University in Durham. Additionally, elementary education students have provided support to socio-culturally diverse families in their homes, communities and schools.

In addition to the Orange County Schools Initiative, the School of Education places students in schools in Orange County and other nearby public school districts where the students gain professional experiences that are required for licensure. As with other RTSP initiatives, these efforts support pre-service teacher development and ultimately enhance learning among children in pre-kindergarten through high school.