D'Ippolito School enters into PDS partnership with Rowan University

D’Ippolito Elementary School and Rowan University announced their new partnership on Tuesday during the unveiling of a banner promoting D’Ippolito’s status as a Professional Development School.

The ceremony opened with words from D’Ippolito Assistant Principal Daisy Mercado, welcoming the students and honored guests to the program. The Pledge of Allegiance and the D’Ippolito Student Pledge followed, led the by the D’Ippolito Student Ambassadors under the direction of Roxanne DeRenzis. Following the pledge, the D’Ippolito Choir, led by Lucia Marone, performed the song “Unsung Heroes” for the group.

Speaking first was Dr. Gaetane Jean-Marie, Dean of the Rowan University College of Education, who highlighted many of the ways the new partnership will be able to benefit the school.

“It is truly a win-win opportunity for all of us, but most especially the children of D’Ippolito Elementary School,” Jean-Marie said. “Together, we’ll work to ensure positive outcomes for all learners.”

Dr. Stacey Leftwich, Executive Director of the Rowan University Office of Educator Support and Partnerships, spoke next. She expanded on Dr. Jean-Marie’s words, explaining how the partnership would not only help develop the school’s research agenda, provide additional professional development opportunities for teachers and staff, and providing interns to teach and learn in the classrooms.

Following Dr. Leftwich was Dr. Mary Gruccio, Superintendent of Vineland Public Schools, who noted that the district previously had a partnership with Rowan through Johnstone School, but after redistricting a few years ago and teachers moving to other schools, the partnership ended.

“We’re very excited to have a partnership again with Rowan University,” Gruccio said. “It will provide a lot of support for our teachers and give them the resources they need.”

Speaking last was Justin Adams, first grade teacher at D’Ippolito and PDS Steering Committee Liaison, who introduced the other members of the committee and expressed how much the entire staff is looking forward to the opportunity to work with Rowan.

Rounding out the ceremony was a performance entitled “Books” by Eloise Greenfield, given by students in Kimberly DeNovellis and Stephanie Donaghy’s second-grade class. Following the performance, a brand new banner was unveiled by students, teachers and honored guests. In addition to the mention speakers, also in attendance were Principal Sylvia Morano, Assistant Superintendents Nathan Frey and Dr. Danielle Sneathen, and Robert Eisberg, Rowan University Professor in Residence.

Johnstone has been a part of Rowan’s school-university partnership program since 2000. According to the Rowan University website, Professional Development Schools (PDS) are “innovative institutions formed through partnerships between colleges of schools of education and P-12 schools. Their mission is professional preparation of teacher candidates, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student learning. These schools are more than sites for field placements for teacher candidates. A PDS is an environment in which university students, faculty liaisons, classroom teachers, and students in the schools can engage in long-term, on-going research-based initiatives that benefit all members in the learning community.”

Click the following link for a gallery of photos from the event: http://bit.ly/2p783Sf