In 2019, the Maryland State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1030, components of which established principles of the Blueprint for Maryland’s future (statewide PreK- 12 education transformation) and the Teacher Collaborative Grant Program. The MSDE-funded Teacher Collaborative Grant Program aims to support collaborative projects between at least one IHE, LEA, and employee representative that focus on redesigning and implementing at least two of the following: 1) a practicum for teacher candidates; 2) a professional development program for practicing teachers; or 3) a peer assistance and review program for new and existing teachers. In fulfillment of these guidelines, our project – entitled the Maryland PDS 2025 Project - focuses on components of Maryland Professional Development Schools (PDS) to support the evolution of Maryland PDS to more vibrant hubs of professional learning for prospective, new, and experienced teachers. The Maryland PDS 2025 Project is a collaborative effort between Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS, Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), and Prince George’s County Education Association (PGCEA). The Maryland PDS 2025 Project will be implemented at four ‘innovation site’ Professional Development Schools in MCPS and PGCPS (MCPS: Olney Elementary School Farquhar Middle School; PGCPS: Buck Lodge Middle School and High Point High School). The Maryland PDS Project is scheduled to span a three-year period beginning in June 2020.
Project components include a Mentor Teacher Academy for current and future mentor teachers, Instructional Improvement Projects and Professional Learning Courses for current Maryland teachers, and the introduction of new professional roles organized in a Teacher Career Ladder designed to provide Maryland teachers with opportunities to serve as teacher leaders, researchers, and university faculty members. The Maryland PDS 2025 Project also reimagines the internship model for Maryland teacher candidates, with a particular focus on developing a Yearlong Teacher Residency for prospective teachers in undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs..