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UD, Christina School District partner to improve literacy, behavior at Stubbs

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Bahira Trask, Carol Vukelich, and Ralph Ferretti of the University of Delaware sign a partnership agreement with Robert Andrzejewski, Jeffers Brown, and Noreen LaSorsa of Christina School District.


Hoping to improve the quality of education in urban schools, University of Delaware is teaming up with Christina School District’s Stubbs Elementary to develop a system to better manage behavioral and educational challenges.

UD’s Ralph Ferretti, the director of the School of Education, said over the next five years of working with Stubbs, he hopes the partnership will find new ways to offer students and teachers the support needed at the high poverty school.

“We want to make it a place where great teachers want to go to work,” Ferretti said.

Some teachers avoid inner-city schools and gravitate toward suburban ones, Ferretti said. He believes placing UD students in classrooms at Stubbs will prepare them for the challenges of teaching in an urban setting.

“Working with suburban children – you know, relatively affluent upper middle class kids who are basically all alike in a fundamental way – is not the same as working with urban kids, maybe kids from a diverse profile…our teaching candidates need to be better prepared to do that,” Ferretti said.

The partnership will also focus on literacy instruction, educational technology and methods to reinforce positive behavior.

UD, district officials and the Stubbs staff will seek to identify what services are needed and how to improve the services already in place. Ferretti said he hopes to expand the partnership to other schools in the district and elsewhere in the state.

Both parties say there was no cost involved in the partnership, but they could seek out grants in the future.

On Dec. 19, UD’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) signed a partnership agreement with Christina School District to improve literacy instruction, integrate educational technology, develop positive behavior, and support community involvement at Stubbs Elementary School.

Over the next five years, a multidisciplinary team of faculty in the School of Education, Department of Human Development (HDFS), and other CEHD centers will develop muti-tiered programs to support teachers and students in a school that serves a high-needs and a high-poverty community. The agreement was developed based on needs identified by Stubbs’s teachers and leaders.

The partnership will also provide UD elementary teacher education students with the opportunity to gain field experiences and student teach at Stubbs Elementary. Ralph Ferretti, director of the School of Education, believes that it is critical to prepare UD teacher-candidates for the challenges of teaching in an urban, diverse community with varied needs.

Carol Vukelich, dean of CEHD, Ralph Ferretti, and Bahira Sherif Trask, chair of HDFS, signed the agreement on behalf of the University of Delaware. Robert Andrzejewski, acting superintendent, Noreen LaSorsa, interim superintendent/assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and Jeffers Brown, Stubbs Elementary School principal signed the agreement on behalf of the Christina School District.

For more on this partnership announcement, see Delaware Public Media’s “UD, Christina School District partner to improve literacy, behavior at Stubbs.”

This entry was posted in CEHD, Elementary education, NEWS, School of Ed.

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