The Westminster Schools

Atlanta, GA

With the Edward E. Ford Foundation's support, The Westminster Schools' Center for Teaching will launch a multi-school, two-year Faculty Cohort Program modeled after our current cohort program with the Drew Charter School in southeast Atlanta. Our successful and existing program is a professional learning community of ten teachers who exchange information, discuss current educational topics, interact with educational experts, collaborate on action research projects, and share their professional development experiences.

The Center plans to develop new partnerships among Westminster, local independent schools, and Atlanta Public Schools. The Center will design and implement four cohorts of public and independent school teachers over a two-year period. The cohorts will explore, research, and discuss topics geared towards improving teaching, content mastery, and skill development for education in the 21st century. In studying topics, cohort members will share teaching experiences, educational research, current thinking on new pedagogies, and new knowledge obtained through action research. Cohort members will meet throughout the year, maintaining contact through a virtual learning community.

Our four program goals are:

  1. To expand the knowledge base for becoming an effective 21st century teacher through participation in a professional learning community
  2. To develop faculty cohort members into teacher leaders and instructional experts
  3. To improve student learning through enhanced teacher performance
  4. To develop public-independent school partnerships that build bridges, share resources, and lead to collaborative collegial relationships.

We believe our Faculty Cohort Program will inspire teachers to increase their teaching effectiveness, thereby positively transforming each participating school. Drawing on the Center's professional development experiences with the Westminster and Drew Charter partnership, as well as commitments from Atlanta Public Schools and local independent schools, we firmly believe that our four program goals will be achieved through this unique project and that future public-independent school partnerships modeled after our work can be developed nationally.

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