A classroom within the classroom. That is how some may perceive Learning Centers in Baltimore County Public Schools. In fact, they have become much more than that. The centers have become catalysts for disseminating new knowledge for the school district. In the words of William Burke, Chief of Organizational Effectiveness, they are “models of excellence”.
Every year, nearly 600 interns work within the Baltimore County Public School Community. When considering the scale, scope and number of internships, it is highly beneficial for schools to be prepared to receive them and help them adapt through best practices shared by the entire staff of each school. One of the many benefits realized through a Learning Center is the professional development supporting internship training.
The Learning Centers work to provide a mindset of continual learning not only for interns, but also for mentor teachers and university professors. These centers also provide a platform for universities to interact, have a presence, understand the culture and collaborate within BCPS to produce future educators who can easily acclimate to their new career. The exchange of ideas is not limited to instruction, but extends to observation and development of student curriculum for both the university professor and mentor teachers, filling the needs of everyone’s practice to educate their students more effectively. This evolution of authentic learning is impressive as it opens doors toward the ability to redesign curriculum and engaging pedagogies.
The Learning Center platform began through a partnership between Towson University and Halstead Academy initiated by Ms. Deborah Piper, Coordinator and Dr. Clare Kruft, Resource Teacher of the Office of Organizational Development. The success of this center paved the way for additional Learning Centers throughout BCPS. In total, there are seven (7) centers within the BCPS community located in three (3) Elementary Schools, two (2) middle schools and two (2) high schools.
The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Schools is happy to report a grant award to the Overlea High School/Loyola University Learning Center. It is the first Learning Center that will be supported through a grant award partnership between Loyola University, School of Education and Overlea High School, facilitated through the Office of Organizational Development. The grant award presentation takes place Monday, April 30, 2018.
The significance of this partnership contributes to the recognized value of the growing collaboration between Baltimore County Public Schools and the university community, towards the development of future educators and continuous learning for all involved.
Congratulations Overlea High School and thank you Loyola University, School of Education. On behalf of The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, we look forward to following the success of the Learning Centers in Baltimore County Public Schools.