The Professional Development School (PDS) Partnership at Fairmont State University was established in 2007-08 based on a strong call nationally for educational change at all levels. The citizens of West Virginia recognize that they must have a system of public education that is meeting the needs of children who in turn must meet the opportunities of the 21st century. All stakeholders in the Partnership realize that our current and future teachers must be second to none. Our school-university Partnership is one of the state’s most promising practices in preparing and supporting high quality educators. Teacher quality and improved student achievement through enhanced instruction are the fundamental purpose of the PDS model, not only during initial teacher preparation, but throughout a teacher’s career. The Fairmont State University Partnership strives to continually focus on this endeavor.
Although the main purpose of our PDS network is to provide a unique setting for the education of students and the preparation of new teachers, the PDS environment has so much more to offer. It allows for the development of innovative teaching practices as university faculty and classroom teachers collaborate on new methods and approaches to instruction. It provides university faculty with an opportunity to conduct research, and field test and disseminate educational innovations. Working together the Fairmont State University Partnership faculty along with public school colleagues has forged these working professional relationships in a valuable and meaningful way.