The Gray's Woods family is pleased to have student interns from the Pennsylvania State University. The interns are part of the Professional Development School (DS) program at PSU in partnership with the State College Area School district (SCASD). The PDS partnership has three goals:
    1. to Enhance the learning experiences of all children;
    2. to Ensure high quality induction into the profession for new teachers; and
    3. to Engage in furthering university faculty and mentor teachers' professional development as teachers and teacher educators.
    The program is available to senior undergraduates who are completing their methods block of courses in the fall semester and student teaching in the spring.
    The prospective interns go through a pretty intensive selection process. They complete a written application that is rated by at least 7 people - one university faculty member and 6 State College teachers/principals. On the basis of the written application rankings, a certain number of prospective interns are selected for interviews. A team of 7 people made up of the same combination - one university faculty member and 6 teachers/principals conducts the interview. The interview team rates each applicant, and then a group made up of 2 teachers from each participating school and 2 university faculty members make the final selection based on the written scores and interview scores.
    Each intern has a university supervisor called a Professional Development Associate (PDA) and a mentor teacher who work with him/her. They observe the intern's teaching and provide ongoing feedback and support. There are goal setting and evaluation conferences at four different points throughout the year where the PDA, mentor, and intern sit down together and do a formal assessment of the intern's strengths and weaknesses and set goals for improvement.
    The idea of the program is to have multiple teachers working with children as often as possible. At the beginning of the year, the mentor teacher does the planning, and the intern helps to implement those plans. As the year progresses, the intern takes on more planning responsibility supported by the mentor. By the end of the year, the intern is doing the vast majority of planning under the supervision of the mentor, and the mentor assists in implementing those plans. In this way, more individual attention and support for children is provided.
    The interns take methods courses during the fall semester, which are jointly planned and taught by university faculty and mentor teachers. In doing so, program planners feel that they blend theory and practice quite well and also learn a great deal from each other. During the spring all interns and many mentors also engage in teacher inquiry projects in their classroom.
    At the end of the school year, the interns are then eligible for a teaching certificate. Program planners believe that spending the entire year in the classroom gives the interns a real advantage when they begin teaching on their own.
    The 1998/1999 school year was the pilot year for the internship, the first year that interns were placed in schools within the State College Area School District. The planning for the program was done jointly by university faculty and teachers and took place over several years. Dr. Nancy Dana led the planning process from the university and Mrs. Linda Colangelo, led the process for the school district. There have been four elementary schools participating in the program since that pilot year: Ferguson, Matternville, Park Forest and Radio Park. Upon the closure to Matternville Elementary School in June, 2002, the PDS program moved to Gray's Woods, a new elementary school that opened in September, 2002. In the 2003-2004 school year the program expanded to include Corl Street Elementary School and Panorama/Boalsburg Elementary Schools and 2006-07 SCASD becomes a PDS District with the remaining elementary schools, Houserville, Lemont, and Easterly Parkway Elementary Schools joining as professional development schools.
    By all accounts the PDS intern program is a success in SCASD and we look forward to many more collaborative and fulfilling years to come.
    Gray's Woods interns for this school year are:

    Intern Grade
    Mentor Teacher
    Gavin Calgaro

    Jess Jeffries
    Mary Bridget Kearney

    Lynn Fritz
    Jessica Riben

    Jill Corkery
    Lucy Ruzzini

    Colleen Sheehan
    Olivia Guthoff
    First  Jennifer Lawerence 
    Christopher Lutz

    Tara Kauffman
    Shelby Wright

    Shari Dillon
     Amanda Chobany
    Cathy Klein 


    For more information on the Professional Development School program, check out PSU's College of Education PDS Web site at http://www.ed.psu.edu/pds
Last Modified on June 22, 2016