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An important part of Lesley's work is our collaboration and partnerships with schools and districts throughout Massachusetts. They inform our teaching and learning, and provide opportunities for growth, as well as for placements for our practicum students.

Collaboratively Designed Programs

Below, discover examples of collaboratively designed programs, created based on identified needs of the PreK-12 community as well as to provide opportunities for faculty to work in schools/districts.

  • Creativity Commons

    The Creativity Commons offers a space for faculty, graduate students, and community partners to foster new programs and projects. Examples include:

    • The Cambridge Creativity Commons, which offers programs to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration in the Cambridge Public School District
    • Sidewalk Math, an interactive art installation (Cambridge and Worcester)
    • The School/Family Engagement Project in Cambridge Public Schools
    • Integrative Arts Learning, where faculty in the Creative Arts and Expressive Therapies programs work with Cambridge Public Schools on arts-related learning
  • Elementary Education Urban Initiative (EEUI)

    Elementary Education Urban Initiative (EEUI) is a collaborative teacher residency partnership with the Somerville, Malden, Waltham, Newton, Arlington, and Watertown Public School Districts. This M.Ed. program prepares Lesley students for careers in elementary classrooms in urban settings that have large numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

  • Summer Compass Program

    For more than 30 years, Lesley University and the Cambridge Public Schools have collaboratively offered a program in Cambridge that provides a six-week summer program for children in grades PreK–6 that extends and reinforces children's learning during the school year. It satisfies the practicum requirement for Lesley students in the Specialist Teacher of Reading program, and half of the field practicum requirement for those in the early childhood, elementary, moderate disabilities, and instructional technology programs.

  • Boston Public Schools

    Faculty members of the Early Childhood program are involved in supporting teachers and children's learning in the Boston Public Schools (BPS), including teaching a course to teachers new to teaching in preschool and kindergarten and providing early childhood coaching and supervision of teachers in the Boston Teacher Residency program. One faculty member works closely with BPS, and has helped to develop and train teachers for a storytelling/story acting approach for the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten curriculum. This faculty member also began co-writing the new BPS kindergarten curriculum that is being implemented in 250 Boston kindergartens.

  • Somerville Public Schools

    During the 2014-15 year, the early childhood division has helped the Somerville Public Schools early childhood programs move forward in equity, diversity, and anti-bias education with a series of workshops on anti-bias and consulting on a professional development strategic plan with Somerville's new director of early education.

  • Center for Inclusive and Special Education

    The Center for Inclusive and Special Education, in partnership with the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, the Oak Foundation, and Harvard Law School, has developed a training program that supports school personnel to become knowledgeable about childhood trauma and its effect on learning, and has given training in Boston, Brockton, New Bedford, Newburyport, Reading, Salem, Webster, and Plymouth. They have developed a four-course sequence designed for school-based professionals to understand how trauma manifests in schools and how schools can become trauma-sensitive environments.

  • Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative 

    The Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative provides training to teachers throughout the Commonwealth and United States, offering literacy courses and professional development offerings in districts across Massachusetts, the US, and internationally. Since its inception, the CRRLC has worked with over 280 literacy coaches in fifteen school districts in Massachusetts. Its current affiliations include Boston, Cambridge, Dennis-Yarmouth, Haverhill, Sandwich, and South Hadley, as well as districts in other states. In Massachusetts during the 2013-14 school year, 182 Reading Recovery teachers in 117 schools served 1,317 Reading Recovery students, and 4,800 other students in small group interventions or classrooms in 37 school districts. As a sub-awardee for one of the largest federal education grants ever awarded (i3), Lesley has provided the financial resources to ten Boston schools and three in Dennis-Yarmouth to support a literacy coach, an interventionist, and professional development for leadership.

Field-Based Experiences

In-depth/year-long field based experiences; opportunities for exemplary educators to teach in preparation programs and collaboration in identifying and selecting candidates for programs who meet local needs

  • Field-Based Internships

    For decades, Lesley University's Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences have had year-long field-based internships in both public and private schools across the Commonwealth. In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Division of Counseling and Psychology had 25 students in yearlong internships in Massachusetts public schools (Boston, Lexington, Brookline, Cambridge, Haverhill, Arlington, Somerville, Everett, Wellesley, Westwood, Waltham, Cambridge, and Newton) to meet the requirements for either school guidance or school adjustment counseling.

  • Collaborative Internship Program

    Partnering with four public and seven independent schools, the program offers a residency model wherein graduate students spend a year in a school while completing their degree. Schools are located in Massachusetts in Belmont, Cambridge, Lincoln, Needham, Newton, Westwood, Beverly, Andover, and in South Berwick, Maine. Graduates of the Collaborative Internship Program are highly marketable and find employment in schools regionally and nationally.

  • Yearlong Internships in Schools/Districts

    Through our yearlong internships in schools/districts, qualified students can spend a full academic year as interns in Cambridge, Boston, and Newton public schools. Yearlong interns are able to complete all of their required field experiences for the initial license while earning a stipend and gaining valuable classroom experience. Each year approximately 20-25 candidates complete these internships.

Design of Preparation Programs

District/school leaders serve on advisory boards/committees in the design of preparation programs.

  • Lawrence Public Schools Partnership

    In 2013, the Graduate School of Education and Lawrence Public Schools entered into a partnership agreement to structure ongoing support for the achievement of students in that district.

  • Wakefield Public Schools Partnership

    Lesley's Graduate School of Education has partnered with the Wakefield Public Schools. Elements of the partnership include:

    • Working with the district to provide district-specific professional development
    • Having Wakefield as a regional site for programs of study
    • Developing internship opportunities for initial educator licensure candidates and
    • Developing practicum placement sites

Opportunities for Faculty & Exemplary Educators

We offer opportunities for preparation program faculty to work in schools and districts, as well as for for exemplary educators to teach in preparation programs.

  • Faculty Opportunities

    Examples of faculty working in school districts include:

    • Faculty project to analyze enrollment, outcomes, and excellent schools for black and Latino male students in the Boston Public Schools
    • Faculty partnership with The Education Cooperative to provide a summer institute on the best practices related to assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning
    • Faculty member who was appointed Boston's Poet Laureate helping to bring teaching artists into schools
    • Faculty helping schools with staff development goals
    • Faculty bringing counseling students to Boston Latin Academy to have conversations with K-12 students
    • Faculty collaboration with the Federation for Children with Special Needs
    • Faculty providing leadership on the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education
  • Educator Opportunities

    Lesley University has engaged educators in research and professional development. This includes:

    • PhD students in continuing roles in PreK-12 schools in Massachusetts and beyond
    • Faculty working in Concord and Boxborough to identify technology-integrated literacy instruction
    • Partnership with faculty and an urban high school (Medford) history teacher
    • Adjunct faculty working in schools and districts
Direct School District Partnerships in Massachusetts
We have direct partnerships with 60 Massachusetts school districts. Our pre-practicum, field-based work within courses, practicum, and internship placements extend far beyond these cities and towns.