2018 News

USF Teacher Leadership Academy model expands to eight schools through partnership with Pasco County Schools

USF Partners with Pasco County Schools to Expand Teacher Leader Academy to Eight New Schools

The USF College of Education and Pasco County Schools hosted a kick-off celebration for the newest cohort of the expanded Teacher Leadership Academy on Wednesday at Wesley Chapel High School.

TAMPA, Fla. (August 22, 2018) – The award-winning University of South Florida (USF) Teacher Leadership Academy is expanding to eight schools in the Pasco County school district through a partnership between Pasco County Schools and USF’s College of Education and David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Teacher Leadership Academy is a one-of-a-kind program that takes USF’s Teacher Leadership for Student Learning graduate certificate program and tailors the curriculum directly to teachers participating in the program. Courses are taught on-site by USF professors and school-district leaders in a format that allows for close collaboration, team building and the discussion of issues teachers face in their schools on a daily basis.

Each customized Teacher Leader Academy is collaboratively designed with the participating school district in order to develop high-quality teachers through the principles of teacher leadership. Together, they prepares educators to meet the National Teacher Leader Model Standards and the Standards for Professional Learning.

“The Teacher Leadership Academy is a logical first step in this initiative as it will support schools to build teacher leader capacity, a critical factor for cultivating a school culture focused on continuous improvement directly tied to advancing student outcomes,” said David Allsopp, PhD, Assistant Dean for Education and Partnerships and Director of the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching. “This particular initiative allows USF and Pasco County Schools to leverage our collective talents and resources to positively impact learning outcomes for students across the elementary, middle and high school levels. The College of Education and David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching are excited to continue our longstanding partnership efforts with Pasco County Schools as we embark on this innovative school-university collaborative initiative.”

The expansion of USF’s Teacher Leader Academy to Pasco County Schools is part of the Pasco Professional Development School Innovation Network (PDS iNetwork), a clustering of elementary, middle and high schools within a geographic feeder pattern to develop a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with the university. This structure allows for joint responsibility in preparing a talented teacher and leader pipeline to support student success.

The USF College of Education and Pasco County Schools have partnered previously to provide professional development training to educators within the school district. Over the past decade, Pasco County Schools and the USF College of Education have worked collaboratively to prepare more than 500 teachers for employment in Pasco County Schools.

In addition, the Gulf Coast Partnership, a program designed to prepare school administrators, has helped more than 60 administrators earn their school principal certification. The expansion of the Teacher Leadership Academy model will help strengthen this partnership and continue to grow and cultivate high quality educators for Pasco County Schools’ students.

“Our partnership with USF has prepared a substantial number of our teachers and administrators to serve and lead our schools with high quality,” said Jennifer Rinck, supervisor of professional development for Pasco County Schools. “We are very excited about the possibilities and opportunities the Teacher Leader Academy will provide to further develop our teachers and strengthen our partnership. This academy will serve as a catalyst in promoting the development of high quality teacher leaders that will in turn develop our future teachers who serve our students.”

The Teacher Leadership Academy program will launch this fall in eight schools throughout the Pasco County Schools area: Veterans Elementary, New River Elementary, Double Branch Elementary, John Long Middle School, Weightman Middle School, Cypress Creek, Wiregrass Ranch High School and Wesley Chapel High School.

To learn more about USF’s Teacher Leadership for Student Learning graduate certificate program, visit www.usf.edu/teacher-leadership.