Partners: Rosa Parks and Mills College

A 2-year $28,000 grant awarded to Rosa Parks teachers means teachers get more time together to study their students’ reading process and understand their learning needs.  Working together and with scholar teachers from Mills College, Rosa Parks teachers are able to analyze and make changes in their teaching practices that align with what their students need.

Principal Paco Furlan is excited about the growing relationship between Rosa Parks teachers and the Mills Teacher Scholars program that these grant monies afford. “It is amazing to be able to collaborate with Mills College and infuse their expertise with ours.  I am sure this will help our teachers understand their own teaching practice better and our students be more successful.”

Here’s how it came to be: In 2009-2010, Mills Teacher Scholars (MTS) supported Rosa Parks Kindergarten teacher, Tracey Iglehart to conduct a study on selected students through the MTS Scholars Group that met monthly on the Mills Campus. In 2010-2011, Iglehart invited two other colleagues—ELD coach Kathleen Gadway and first grade teacher Michelle Contreras—to join her in conducting a study of their students’ learning. In the winter of 2011, with the hopes of inspiring more of their Rosa Parks colleagues, the team applied for a Pacific Coast Teacher Innovation Network Grant (PacTIN). The grant monies were awarded to Rosa Parks in the spring of 2011 and allow for year-long professional development with Mills Teacher Scholars.

Rosa Parks teachers meet monthly with Mills Teacher Scholars staff  during early-release Wednesdays to analyze selected student work, video data, audio data and teacher reflections. This collaboration deepens their understanding both of their individual students’ learning and of their own conceptual understanding of reading comprehension. Hats off to Rosa Parks teachers, who are taking the extra steps to more intimately understand the needs of their students and provide them with the tools and support to become exceptional readers.