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The Professional Development School District Partnership involves all 21 Clarke County schools at different levels. Eleven schools are actively involved with a combination of professors-in-residence, on-site courses, and field placements.

Our partnership also includes professors-in-residence in schools and across the district; options for graduate students to hold meaningful roles in schools; and ongoing professional development for future teachers, mentor teachers, and UGA faculty.

Barrow Elementary School

Principal: Ellen Sabatini

On-site Learning

On-site Learning

Barrow is involved in the PDSD through clusters of teacher candidates, on-site courses and instructional technology support.

Gretchen Thomas in the department of career and information studies supervises small groups of UGA students who work on-site once a week as part of their instructional technology course. The course works with Media Specialist Mr. Plemmons in the media center to support makerspace and works with teachers to support STEAM-based activities in their classrooms.

Graduate students in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Education teach the course, "Children's Mathematical Thinking" (EMAT3400) on-site each semester.

Previous UGA courses taught at Barrow have included social studies methods courses, first-year courses focused on reading with children, an elementary art methods course, a special education course, and a service-learning course related to hunger issues.



The school was the site of a two-year study, led by Jennifer James, teacher researchers and principal Ellen Sabatini, that explored what it means to prepare students for civic participation in a 21st-century world. This research was published in the School-University Partnerships journal.

Mentor Teachers

Fowler Drive Elementary School

Principal: Dr. Anissa Johnson

Faculty Involvement

Faculty Involvement

Professor-in-residence Beth Tolley in the department of educational theory and practice supervises 15 student teachers and 25-30 field-experience students on-site each semester. She conducts informal and formal observations of the students in the classrooms and meets with them to provide feedback. She interacts informally with teachers to get a sense of how her students are progressing and to offer any help to them that they might request.

Tolley also collaborates almost daily with Principal Dr. Anissa Johnson about any issues or concerns that might arise and is part of the school's instructional leadership team. As a PIR, she is aware of the goals and focus of the school and adjusts her course requirements to include progress towards these goals. UGA students are actively involved in nearly every classroom, and Fowler Drive students benefit from individualized attention and small group work. Tolley's UGA students also participate in planning and professional learning together with teachers.

View a video about Fowler's PDS work.

On-site Learning

On-site Learning

Tolley also teaches an elementary methods course on-site, EDEC 4030 (Integrated Curriculum in the Early Childhood Classroom). Teachers at the school serve as guest lecturers in the on-site classes to offer insight to pre-service teachers on a variety of educational practices.

Other COE methods courses in mathematics and reading are also taught on-site for early childhood education majors most semesters.

A graduate student in the department of language and literacy education teaches Language and Literacy P-5 on-site with an emphasis on writing at Fowler Elementary.

Professional Learning

Professional Learning

UGA students conduct an instructional technology fair each semester for the teachers and staff of Fowler Drive. They also plan lessons collaboratively with teachers on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, which gives them continuity and a greater understanding of curriculum during the weeks that they are supporting instruction to Fowler Drive students.

Professional learning also includes a co-teaching pairs workshop for mentor teachers and teacher candidates each semester. UGA students also participate in professional learning on guided reading, the RTI process, and child abuse.

School-Based Events

UGA students participate in school-based activities, such as Math Night, Literacy Night, Science Night, and Fine Arts Night. Students assist teachers in creating activities that will strengthen the knowledge and learning for students, parents and community.

Special Honors

In 2015, the school was named the winner of the prestigious 2015 High Flying School award, which was presented at the 26th National Youth-At-Risk Conference in Savannah, GA. In 2014, Fowler Drive was honored by the Georgia Department of Education as a Reward School – that is, a school with the highest performance or the biggest academic gains by students in the last three years.


Dr. Jori Hall in the Department of Lifelong Learning, Administration, and Policy conducted a study at Fowler Drive Elementary and J. J. Harris Elementary, examining how various stakeholder groups (i.e., district/school administrators, teachers, students, UGA faculty and community members) advance Professional Development School (PDS) goals, such as improvement of teacher preparation and collaborative teaching/learning.

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Supervisors

H. B. Stroud Elementary School

Principal: Dr. Stacie Carson

Faculty Support

Faculty Support

Dr. Tarek Grantham and Dr. Meg Easom Hines, in the department of educational psychology, teach a UGA Freshmen Odyssey service learning course related to minority student talent development on-site some semesters.

Hines also works with Spectrum teacher, Leslie Brown, coaching the school's Community Problem Solving (CmPS) team. For the past two years, the CmPS team at Stroud has placed first in the Junior Division for the Georgia Future Problem Solving Bowl. This past June, the team took 2nd place internationally in the Environmental Concerns, Junior Division at the Future Problem Solving International Competition in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The team partnered with Watershed UGA on a project, creating a rain garden on their school campus. Hines and Brown have assembled a new team this fall to continue that environmental work with Watershed UGA with an extended project on the campus.

Community Problem Solving teams work together to solve a real-world problem in their school, community, state or country using the six-step problem solving process. Community Problem Solving is a component of Torrance's Future Problem Solving Program.

Additionally, in the spring semester, Grantham works with graduate students in his EPSY 4470: Educational Psychology of Race and Racism course, to carry out the Math Hall and Ball Program. Math Hall and Ball provides accelerated math instruction and mentorship in an after school setting to 5th grade students. Students work for 45 minutes with UGA students in technology-oriented accelerated math programs to enrich their understanding of mathematical concepts and 45 minutes of basketball time together in the gym.

On-site Courses

On-site Courses

During the spring semester Dr. Morgan Faison and Dr. Mary Guay are teaching on site courses and working with students in field placements. Dr. Faison is teaching EDEC 4020: Principles and Practices in Early Childhood Education and Dr. Guay is teaching LLED 3420: Reading Instruction and Assessment in the Elementary School. In Dr. Guay's course, students evaluate reading assessments and instruction and apply their understandings by tutoring the students during school hours. Together, they have 22 UGA teacher candidates on-site and have an additional 6 teacher candidates completing field placements with mentor teachers at Stroud.

J. J. Harris Elementary School

Principal: Dr. Beverly Harper

Faculty Support

Faculty Support

Professor-in-Residence Dr. Bob Capuozzo in the department of educational theory and practice, works closely with the administrators, including interim assistant principal Melissa Ellard, to develop professional learning activities. He also supervises student teachers each semester and works with school administrators to align the supervision of student teachers with coaching efforts. Capuozzo also participates in instructional leadership team meetings.

Multiple times a week, Dr. Capuozzo visits classrooms at J.J. Harris. During these visits, he leads the 4 and 5-year olds in movement and music activities. He also read the students books with a growth mindset theme. He incorporates the JJH Essentials as well as the JJH House Characteristics into group discussions. Some of the students from the Integrated Arts class complete a practicum in Pre-K classrooms at JJH. Dr. Capuozzo often co-teaches these music and movement experiences with the teacher candidates. Additionally, he serves as a resource and mentor for the Pre-K classroom teachers.

The UGA Women's Soccer Team visited J. J. Harris as part of the ͞Reading is a Kick͟ family event organized by Professor-in-Residence Dr. Bob Capuozzo. (September 24, 2015) View a short video of this event.

Read a profile on Bob Capuozzo in the Spring 2016 Office of School Engagement newsletter.

Student Involvement

Student Involvement

Approximately 25 UGA students spend two days per week in the school for their field placement, and approximately 20 students do their student teaching at the school each semester.



PIR Dr. Bob Capuozzo and Kindergarten teacher Brittany Herron are conducting a study entitled ͞"Focused Play Experiences and Expressive and Receptive Language Development." This study investigates how classroom teachers within a professional development school district utilized inquiry as a means to include more play-based activities in elementary classrooms. The study has its origins in a graduate level course on play which was paired with a four-week summer camp for elementary students. In this course and accompanying practicum, graduate students, many of whom were classroom teachers, worked with K-2 students to explore and experiment with different play pedagogies. The paper shares studies from classroom teachers that took up the charge of implementing these pedagogies to illustrate how a PDS might confront current issues and trends and advocate for public education by using inquiry to reconceptualize the role of play in the elementary school classroom.

Dr. Jori Hall in the department of lifelong learning, administration, and policy conducted a study at J. J. Harris Elementary and Fowler Drive Elementary, examining how various stakeholder groups (i.e., district/school administrators, teachers, students, UGA faculty and community members) advance Professional Development School (PDS) goals, such as improvement of teacher preparation and collaborative teaching/learning.


  • Dresden, J., Kittleson, J. M., & Wenner, J. A. (2014). Clinically rich practices: Review and recommendations. In J. Ferrara, J. Nath, & I. N. Guadarrama (Eds.), Creating Visions for University/School Partnerships: A Volume in Professional Development School Research. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
  • Kittleson, J., Dresden, J., & Wenner, J. (2013). Describing the ͞Supported Collaborative Teaching Model͟: A designed setting to enhance teacher education. School-University Partnerships, 6(2), 20-31.
  • Smith, R. A. & Ebron, B. (Fall 2015). Are You a Real Teacher? A Teacher and Graduate Student Exchange in a PDS. PDS Partners.

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Supervisors

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School

Principal: Scarlett Dunne

Faculty Support

Faculty Support

Dr. Lou Tolosa-Casadont in the department of language and literacy education is the Professor-in-Residence at Oglethorpe Avenue and was charged with supporting the launch and implementation of the dual language immersion at the pre-K and Kindergarten levels during the 2016-17 academic year and the addition of first grade in 2017-18. Additionally, Dr. Tolosa-Casadont provides job-embedded professional development to all DLI teachers, models teaching strategies in the classrooms, and works directly with DLI students in all three grade levels, and teaches an on-site methods course.

On-Site Courses

On-Site Courses

Dr. Elizabeth Saylor in the department of educational theory and practice teaches an early childhood integrated curricular practice course on-site, and a graduate student in the department of language and literacy education teaches a reading instruction and assessment course on-site.

Mentor Teachers

Mentor Teachers

UGA Instructors

Clarke Middle School

Principal: Tad MacMillan

PDSD Activities

PDSD Activities

Principal Tad MacMillan, board member of the National Association for Professional Development Schools, is a passionate advocate for PDS work. He recently shared his thoughts on the PDSD with teacher candidates in the Middle Grades Program: "You being here has so many positive aspects. To be a good teacher, we should always reflect and learn. Having people of different levels of expertise learning together just makes sense. The PDS makes me more aware of what research says and helps me think about where we're going as a school. The PDSD has transformed my school." Clarke Middle School's varied levels of engagement with UGA demonstrates its commitment to the PDS partnership.


Clarke Middle School welcomed Dr. Amy Murphy as a Professor-in-Residence in Fall 2017. A clinical assistant professor in the Middle Grades Program, Dr. Murphy brings her interests in culturally responsive classroom management, literacy practices across the content areas, and curriculum design to her work with Clarke Middle School teachers. She also supervises practicum students and student teachers from the Middle Grades Program at CMS.

Clinical Field Experiences

Clarke Middle School believes that having more UGA students in the school gives them a ready supply of academic role models, tutors, and interns. To that end, each semester CMS mentor teachers host over 50 practicum students and student teachers in Physical Education, Art Education, social studies Education, Special Education, Middle Grades Education, Math Education, School Counseling, English Education, and Science Education.


The PDSD partnership supports Clarke Middle School's sustainability mission. Faculty and students from the UGA College of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, and College of Arts and Sciences actively support the school's garden and agricultural education. In coordination with the UGA Office of Service-Learning, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer serves as the school garden coordinator. CMS sustainability initiatives include a weekly market featuring UGArden produce and artisan products; a monthly Garden Bar in which CMS-grown vegetables are served in the school cafeteria during lunch; and a 3-tier cafeteria waste separation system of recovering whole, uneaten food for redistribution and cooking demos, composting food scraps and recycling.

Additionally, thanks to the CMS partnership with UGA, raised beds were created so students will mobility issues could be a part of the gardening effort.

Camp Dive

For the month of June 2016, Clarke Middle School hosted Camp DIVE (Discover, Inquire, Voice, and Explore), a partnership between the Clarke County School District (CCSD), the UGA College of Education, and the Athens-Clarke County community. The purpose of Camp DIVE is to provide an engaging and enriching summer experience for CCSD students in grades K-8 in order to prevent or diminish the well-known 'summer slide' phenomenon. To meet the needs of students most at-risk for this summer learning loss, the program was provided free of charge to 80 students. Camp DIVE will take place again at Clarke Middle School in Summer 2018.

On-Site Teaching and Learning

On-Site Teaching and Learning

As a Professional Development School, CMS works with UGA to develop future teachers and is proud to host many UGA courses on-site in the red and black Bulldawg room:

Each of the Middle Grades undergraduate courses are offered on-site at Clarke Middle School (EDMG 5010, 5020, 5030, 5040). On-site instructors for these classes include Clarke Middle School's professor-in-residence, Dr. Amy Murphy, associate professor Dr. Hilary Hughes, and doctoral candidate Mr. Matt Moulton. Through these courses Middle Grades teacher candidates work with CMS students, observe in classrooms, and learn about community contexts, curriculum design, and other topics from CMS faculty.

Dr. Gayle Andrews teaches Young Adolescents and Schools (EDMG 9030), a doctoral seminar at CMS in which students design their own service-learning projects to connect their interests in young adolescents and middle grades education to needs related to improvement efforts within the UGA/Clarke County Professional Development School District partnership.

Dr. Lynn Sanders-Bustle, Chair and Associate Professor of Art Education (Lamar Dodd School of Art) teaches her secondary art education class (ARED 3360/6360) on-site at Clarke Middle School in coordination with art teacher Jordan Perry. The class convenes weekly at CMS where students teach art, learn about school culture and talk with faculty and administration.

Clarke Middle offers innovative professional development in social studies, with increasing numbers of social studies teachers becoming mentors to teacher candidates. Dr. Sonia Janis teaches courses on-site every fall semester.

Mentor Teachers

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Field Instructors

  • Marianne Causey, Middle Grades Education, Department of Educational Theory and Practice
  • Dr. Sonia Janis, social studies Education, Department of Educational Theory and Practice
  • Jeremy Kilpatrick, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Education
  • Dr. Amy Murphy, Middle Grades Education, Department of Educational Theory and Practice
  • Margaret Robbins, Department of Language and Literacy Education

Hilsman Middle School

Principal: Utevia Tolbert

Faculty and Student Support

Faculty and Student Support

Professor-in-Residence Dr. Kathy Thompson in the department of educational theory and practice teaches on-site courses, supervises interns and student teachers, and collaborates with Hilsman teachers in a variety of ways. She provides opportunities for UGA students to observe many different styles of teaching and assist Hilsman students with their schoolwork. She also serves on the School Improvement Leadership Team and Instructional Support Team and works with teachers through ongoing professional learning.

UGA teacher candidates have volunteered between 60-430 hours per semester to assist with the schools' needs outside of the classroom. Examples of volunteer activities and events include Fright Fest, Moonlight Madness, curriculum nights, school dances, school book fair, MathCounts, tutoring, and various clubs and sports.

In collaboration with HMS Instructional Coach, Jamie Hogan, Thompson established a Literacy Mentoring Program in which UGA teacher candidates meet weekly to read and write with HMS 6th graders. Thompson facilitates professional learning at HMS. Examples of professional learning activities include, book studies, mini-conference sessions, grade-level professional learning sessions, grant-writing assistance, state and national presentations about the PDS work, and co-authorship on publications. Thompson also involves teacher candidates in HMS professional learning in which teacher candidates demonstrate their learning to HMS faculty about a variety of topics and share resources they have developed as a result.

Over the past six years, Thompson has co-presented at 30+ national, state, and local conferences with numerous Hilsman faculty members, including current faculty members Utevia Tolbert, Nick Hussain, Meganne Skinner, Conor Naughton, and David Forker.

On-Site Teaching and Learning

On-Site Teaching and Learning

Thompson teaches middle school methods courses to 15-25 UGA students on-site each semester.

In 2014, Thompson and Dr. Gayle Andrews co-taught a doctoral course on-site. Students in the course connected their research interests to Hilsman's Dream School Initiative by completed 12 service-learning projects benefiting Hilsman. A sampling of project topics included fifth-to-sixth-grade transitions, teacher-action research, literacy in the content areas and online parent resources. One service-learning project, developed by Grace Staniszewski (a doctoral student in Educational Administration and Policy and a teacher at Fowler Drive Elementary School) resulted in the implementation of International Baccalaureate (IB) Enrichment Academies for Hilsman students.

Graduate students in another on-site course developed an IB Google site for Hilsman faculty to connect content across subjects, relating content to local and global issues, and involving Hilsman students in service-learning to address those issues.

Many programs from across UGA also are involved with Hilsman, including a hands-on science program, an aquaponics lab and a Shakespeare class.

Dr. David Jackson in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Education teaches a physical science methods course on-site every fall semester.

Dr. Sujata Iyengar, professor from the UGA English Department, teaches Shakespeare in the Classroom (ENGL 4030/6030S) on-site every fall semester.


  • Andrews, G., Thompson, K. F., Naughton, C., & Waters, M. (2017) Genius hour inquiry initiative: Ongoing, innovative, reciprocal, professional learning for teachers and teacher candidates. School-University Partnerships, 10(4), 83-94.
  • Moulton, M., Andrews, G., & Thompson, K. F. (2017). (In press). Other duties as assigned: The evolution of middle grades teacher candidates' beliefs about teaching. In P. Howell, S.A., Faulkner, J. P. Jones, & J. Carpenter (Eds.). Preparing middle level educators for 21st century schools: Enduring beliefs, changing times, evolving practices. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Andrews, G., & Thompson, K.F. (2016). Relationships and context matter: Tales from a middle school/university partnership. In P. Howell, J. Carpenter, & J. Jones (Eds.), Clinical preparation at the middle level: Practices and possibilities. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Blankenship, S., Nix, M., Andrews, G., & Thompson, K. (2015). It takes a village: Rethinking how we engage families. AMLE Magazine, 3(4)
Mentor Teachers

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Supervisors

  • Marianne Causey, Middle Grades Education Program, Department of Educational Theory and Practice
  • Jemelleh Coes, Middle Grades Education Program, Department of Educational Theory and Practice
  • Susan Minkiewicz, Middle Grades Education Program, Department of Educational Theory and Practice

W. R. Coile Middle School

Principal: Dr. Marsha Thomas

Coile Middle School

On-Site Learning

Coile Middle offers innovative professional development in social studies, with increasing numbers of social studies teachers becoming mentors to teacher candidates.

Dr. Sonia Janis teaches Pedagogy, Practice and Theory in Clinical Spaces (ESOC 4455/4450L) on-site every fall semester.

Dr. Ruth Harman of the department of language and literacy education teaches a graduate-level class on-site (LLED 7053) which focuses on content-based instruction in ESOL in the spring semester. UGA students observe Coile teachers, support teachers in disciplinary literacy activities and share curricular modules that they develop with teachers at the end of the semester.

Harman also coordinates ARTS!YOUTH, an after-school program that incorporates the languages and dialects of all students in generating knowledge and literacy in a collective way.

In prior years, Harman, graduate students, and Coile literacy coaches conducted workshops for teachers on literacy and supported teachers' use of genre-based instruction in content areas.

Mentor Teachers

Cedar Shoals High School

Principal: Derrick Maxwell

PDSD Activities

PDSD Activities

Cedar Shoals High School offers innovative professional development in social studies, with increasing numbers of social studies teachers becoming mentors to teacher candidates. Dr. Sonia Janis, in the department of educational theory and practice, teaches Pedagogy, Practice and Theory in Clinical Spaces (ESOC 4455, 4450L, and 4/6370) on-site every fall semester.

Published Articles and Presentations

Published Articles and Presentations

Mentor Teachers

Mentor Teachers

Clarke Central High School

Principal: Dr. Swade Huff

Clarke Central High School

PDSD Activities

Clarke Central High offers innovative professional development in social studies, with increasing numbers of social studies teachers becoming mentors to teacher candidates. Currently, Dr. Sonia Janis teaches Pedagogy, Practice and Theory in Clinical Spaces (ESOC 4455, 4450L and 4/6370) on-site every fall semester. Additionally, a math education pedagogy course is offered on-site most semesters.

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Supervisors

Early Learning Center

Director: Karen Higginbotham

UGA Faculty Activities

UGA Faculty Activities

Dr. Cindy Vail, department head in the communication sciences and special education department, provides professional learning on Positive Behaviors and Supports (PBIS), collaboration, and social emotional skills.

Dr. Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, associate dean for academic programs, provides assistance with grant writing, program assessment, and classroom assessment data collection and analysis.

Dr. Diane Bales, faculty in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, conducts professional learning on Better Brains for Babies with the Early Head Start faculty and staff.

Dr. Bob Capuozzo, faculty in the department of educational theory and practice, supervises "Arts in Early Childhood Education" teacher candidates.

Dr. Rebecca Lieberman-Betz, faculty in the communication sciences & special education department, supervises Birth-5 teacher candidates.

The Early Learning Center also partners with the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

Professional Learning

Professional Learning

Early Learning Center professional learning includes Positive Behaviors and Supports, Social Emotional Skills for young children, the collaborative planning and data teams process, RTI and family engagement. OEL-wide professional learning centers around the Office Improvement Plan, including goals focusing on early mathematical skills, early literacy skills, social emotional skills, and family engagement activities.


Drs. Cindy Vail, Rebecca Lieberman-Betz and Jennifer Brown, all from department of Communication Sciences & Special Education, work with the Early Head Start teachers using peer coaching to improve the quality of responsive care giving with infants and toddlers.

Dr. Diane Bales and Dr. Caree Cotwright, both in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, are also conducting Healthy Child Care Georgia research.

Mentor Teachers

UGA Teacher Candidate Supervisors