Penn Manor School District is located in Millersville, PA. The school district has a total student population of 5403. 43.2% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch; 9.2% receive special education services and 4% are classified as English language learners. They have seven elementary schools in the district; one of the schools has a Title I designation. All elementary schools will be participating in the project. There are eighteen 4th grade teachers; ten of who teach science. The district has committed to integrating the Shared Waters project into the district’s professional development plans for all teachers of 4th grade science, thus assuring their involvement. There are currently 426 students in 4th grade.
Millersville University (MU) is geographically located in the Penn Manor SD, and both institutions share land, athletic facilities and municipal resources. MU is the state’s oldest normal school with over 150 years of proud heritage in the preparation of teachers. As the 2016 recipient of the National Association of Professional Development School’s Award for Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement, MU’s College of Education is nationally recognized for its University/School Partnerships. Harnessing this expertise, MU will enter into a new partnership with Penn Manor School District focused on MWEE implementation in the elementary classroom. The MWEE school/university partnership will be integrated into our elementary education program as a 4-week course project in EDFN320: Instructional Technology. In Year 1 of the project, MWEE training and MWEE implementation in the elementary classroom will be integrated into 1 section of the EDFN 320 in the fall of 2021 and 2 sections of EDFN 320 in the spring of 2022. Year two of the project will include the involvement of 2 sections in fall 2022 and 3 sections in the spring 2023. Year three of the project will see the integration of, MWEE training and MWEE implementation in the elementary classroom in all sections of EDFN 320 which is typically 4 sections in both fall and spring.
Watershed Education Training Institute (WETi). As a comprehensive university, MU has a strong commitment to protecting the local watershed. Dr. Dietrich is the co-director of MU’s Watershed Education Training Institute (WETi) who’s mission is to foster watershed stewardship and student/faculty research for the region through the development of innovative science-based programs, addressing the impacts of historically destructive land-use practices and policies across multiple watersheds, while training and educating people of all ages and backgrounds on watershed advocacy and research. WETi has a fully equipped field station that will be used for the project’s professional development and outdoor activities. The WETi field station abuts Penn Manor High school, and is located along a first order stream, adjacent to the Conestoga River.
Norfolk Collegiate School is a nonprofit independent school located in Norfolk, VA. The school has a total student population of 556. The Lower School (elementary ages) has a total population of 169. Over 40% of the school population receives need-based financial assistance. All intermediate grades (3rd, 4th, and 5th) will be participating in the project. There are two third grade teachers, two fourth grade teachers, two fifth grade teachers and one science teacher who will take part in this project. Administration has committed to integrating the Shared Waters project into the school’s professional development plans for all teachers in third, fourth, and fifth grade science, thus assuring their involvement. There are currently 90 students total in all three grades. In year one, the two, third grade teachers, the Lower School science teacher, and 2 administrators will participate in the summer institute and the monthly trainings. In year two of the project, the three teachers from year one will serve as mentor teachers assisting in the training of the 2 fourth grade teachers; this will include the summer institute and monthly meetings. In year 3, two fourth grade teachers will serve as mentors and the 2 remaining 5th grade teachers will participate in the summer institute and monthly meetings.
Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) and Norfolk Collegiate School are both a part of the Elizabeth River watershed and are located under 10 miles apart. VWU is becoming a leader in environmental education in coastal Virginia. In 2017, the opening of the Greer Environmental Science Center (GESC), a Leed Gold Certified building, has been a catalyst for several new and innovative environmental education and research projects that have benefited the surrounding community and our environment. Much of the learning activities related to this project will take place in this 44,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility which features sophisticated indoor and outdoor learning spaces that embody “science on display” and promote hands-on experiences and interactive learning. In year one of the project, MWEE instruction and a related classroom-based field experience will be integrated into one section of EDUC 366: Classroom Management and Teaching Strategies in the fall of 2021. Year two and year three of the project will include the involvement of one section of the course in fall and one section in the spring each year.
Shared Waters Project
The Shared Waters project embeds MWEEs into the district and school curriculum, trains a cohort of teachers to become experts in local watershed conditions and MWEE implementation, supports an upstream/downstream collaboration between schools in PA and VA, and institutionalizes MWEE instruction in teacher preparation programs.
51 Lyte Rd. Millersville, Pa 17551