On July 23rd, a group of twenty-three Richardson Independent School District (RISD) teacher residents from Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR) joined in celebration as the faculty and staff from each of the RISD Accelerated Campus Excellence (ACE) campuses kicked off their back-to-school professional development. School for students begins on August 20th, however, teaching staff at ACE campuses reported back to work nearly a month before students in preparation for the new school year and new initiative focused on increasing student academic achievement.
Those in attendance heard directly from RISD Superintendent Stone as well as other key senior district leaders about how their transformational work with students would be Game Changing.
In addition, each ACE campus principal delivered a unifying message articulating the importance of the work at hand. At the end of the celebration, the group of teacher residents from DTR were recognized in front of the entire room. The DTR teacher resident integration and participation in staff development prior to the beginning of the school year is one of several unique components of the educator preparation program.
Announced in May, this newly established partnership between DTR and RISD will directly support the Accelerated Campus Excellence (ACE) plan the district announced in March. The ACE plan prioritizes, identifies, and aims to place its highest performing teachers and principals at its lowest-performing elementary schools which also enroll some of RISD’s most impoverished students. These schools include the following in Far North Dallas – Carolyn Bukhair and RISD Academy, as well as the Lake Highlands schools – Forest Lane Academy and Thurgood Marshall.
According to Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum, this new partnership is directly aligned with RISD’s strategy of: “identifying top talent to teach in RISD, developing that talent in a way that supports new teachers from Day-1 in RISD, and finally, supporting not only new talent, but all teachers so that they are growing as professional educators and staying in RISD.”
During their residency year, DTR residents will spend an entire academic year in a teaching apprenticeship at an RISD ACE campus while also taking graduate coursework to earn their Texas teaching license and Masters in Arts of Teaching Degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce. This year of training occurs prior to pre-service teachers taking over a classroom on their own and is aimed at better preparing beginning teachers.