PDS At A Glance
What is a PDS?
A Professional Development
School (PDS) is a collaboratively planned and implemented
partnership for the academic and clinical preparation of
interns and the continuous professional development of both
school systems and university faculty. Future teacher
candidates take part in a year-long internship, arriving at
school in August at the same time as the teachers, and
participating throughout the year in all aspects of a
teacher’s life in the school.
Why establish a Professional Development School?
The focus of the PDS partnership is to improve student
performance through research-based teaching and learning.
Success for all learners is at the heart of a Professional
Development School. Its mission is lifelong learning by
providing a place where future teachers, practicing
teachers, and university faculties learn together along with
What are the benefits of a Professional Development School?
Professional Development Schools receive additional
resources in terms of the number of adults working with
children. Opportunities are provided for continued growth
and development for current teachers. Students enrolled in
Professional Development Schools benefit from being taught
by teachers who are focused on teaching excellence.
Principals benefit since new teachers and potential teacher
candidates are placed in their schools.
Who are the key players involved to make PDS a success?
- Coordinating Council. The coordinating council is
the collaborative governance vehicle that serves as the
organizing body for the development and implementation of
all aspects of the PDS. It is co-chaired by school/school
system and University personnel. The Coordinating Council
meets at least four times per year.
- Site Coordinator. The site coordinator assumes
the role of influencing smooth operation and success of the
PDS partnership, serves as a designated representative for
the school principal, and resolves many questions and
problems on behalf of the school administration.
- University Liaison. The University liaison is the
point person for the University in the PDS partnership.
Working collaboratively with the site coordinator, the
University liaison provides leadership to the PDS.
- University Supervisor. The University supervisor
is the University representative who is responsible for
collaborating with the mentor to provide individualized
support and guidance to the PDS intern. The University
supervisor and the mentors work together to provide
formative and summative assessment to the intern.
- Principal. The principal plays an integral role
in influencing the success or lack of success of the PDS and
must be committed to the identity of the school as a PDS.
The principal’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and coaching
establish and maintain the tone of the partnership.
Mentor. The mentor, also known as the cooperating teacher,
provides opportunities for interns to experience the
blending of theory and practice in learning to become
- Interns and Pre-Service Interns. The interns
(also known as student teachers) and the pre-service interns
are students in a teacher preparation program who
participate as part of a cohort in an extensive internship
in a PDS.
- School Systems Representative. The school system
representative is the designated PDS coordinator for the
local school system.
Source: Maryland State Department of Education
Current RPDS Network Partners:
Dorchester County Somerset County Wicomico County Worcester