This paper describes a partnership between an alliance of nine urban Catholic schools and an urban university in San Francisco, California. The development of the partnership is described in part, but the details of the actual collaboration and involvement of university faculty with school leaders and teachers are the central foci. This collaboration is outlined to show how university community involvement can provide direct support to urban K-12 schools. Specifically, the development of professional learning communities (PLCs) is presented as a foundation upon which university-K-12 partnerships can be built. PLCs in schools are groups of teachers and staff members with a shared vision for improving student learning. PLC members work collaboratively and hold one another accountable for results at their school sites (DuFour, 2004). Research-based, core elements of PLCs provide the framework through which the partnership in this paper is described. Along with the development of the PLCs, core elements of Catholic and Jesuit education are highlighted to illuminate the context in which this partnership was developed. In the sections that follow, the practical and theoretical backgrounds to the partnership are outlined, the context is described, and existing research on the core elements of PLCs and their implementation is presented. Additionally, details of the PLCs and the professional development workshops from the partnership are described in relation to this research. In the final sections, the author discusses the central ideas expressed by teachers throughout their participation in the PLCs and reflects on his own learning as a university faculty participant.
Borrero, N. (2018). Urban School Connections: A University-K-8 Partnership. Journal of Catholic Education, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.1401042013