Columbus Schools’ Innovative Partnership Programs Continue to Succeed

Written by Stacey Andell for Schools K-12

The Columbus Schools’ partnership programs will continue into the 2006-2007 school year. These programs are conducted jointly with Columbus Schools and local and state universities, colleges, academic organizations, community organizations and area volunteers. The programs are wide ranging and cover lots of different subjects and grade levels.

The Early Childhood Development Center at Columbus Schools’ Weinland Park Elementary School is a partnership conducted with the Ohio State College of Human Ecology. This center is planned to open in the 2006-2007 school year. The facility will be able to offer aid to around 90students and their families. The students accepted will be cared for by the Ohio State students, who will benefit from an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom. Columbus Schools’ Early Childhood Development Center at Weinland Park Elementary School will offer the use of student’s observation gallery, a creative arts studio, family advocacy offices, and an educational kitchen. While providing a valuable service, the center will also be used to conduct research and model practices developed at Ohio State.

The Time Dollar Store was created in May of 2005. This partnership program involves Columbus Schools’ Medary Elementary School, the PK-12 Project After School and Summer Youth Development Committee and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus. The Time Dollar Store focuses on parent and guardian interaction and involvement in the Columbus Schools. Parents can volunteer their time and skills and receive payment in Time Dollars, which can then be traded for household item and school supplies. The activities that parents can volunteer for include running a PTO meeting, helping create bulletin boards, distributing flyers or operating the Time Dollar Store. The Time Dollar Store was run at first by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus but is now run by parent volunteers. The program has created a chance for students and parents to share their experiences at the school.

All of the Columbus Schools are participating in a teacher development partnership program with the Ohio State Department of History and the Ohio Historical Society. The program is divided into two sections, History WORKS for middle and high school teachers and History WORKS II for elementary teachers. The original History WORKS program is an ongoing project funded by the federal Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Part of this project created a website that will benefit teachers and their students. The program has three parts: monthly seminars, summer workshops and the creation of the web based resource center. All the seminars were conducted by and held at Ohio State’s Department of History. The summer workshops were more intensive and held at area Columbus Schools. The History WORKS program focused on six themes: Faces and Places: American History
through Ohio Biography; Turning Points: The Constitution and American Democratic
Institutions; The United States in the World: American Foreign Relations; Migration
and Immigration: The Peopling of America; Common and Uncommon Cents: American
Economic History; and Differing Perspectives: Social Movements and Social Change.

The elementary teacher project History WORKS II is a newer project that has the same goals of teacher development. Over 100 teachers from the Columbus Schools are participating in this project. The project hopes to increase elementary school teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history through an intensive, ongoing professional development program. This program is a little different in its design than the History WORKS program. It is conducted with Ohio State graduate students who hold training, which included school-year seminars and a two-week summer institute. Their was also an ongoing lecture series featuring distinguished speakers and panel discussions brought middle and high school teacher participants from
History WORKS together with their elementary colleagues three times over the year to make American history a central focus of the Columbus Schools.