A premier school district is a model for other districts.

Country Meadows teachers’ exceptional commitment to improving professional practice and increasing student achievement has been recognized by the National Staff Development Council (NSDC). One of only two schools in Illinois and 100 in the nation, Country Meadows has been selected to be included in the Learning School Alliance as a model school exemplifying collaborative professional practices to promote student learning.

One hundred individual schools from across the nation will make up the NSDC Learning School Alliance. The staff of these schools will collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the Alliance and benefit from examining their own practice in relation to that of others. They will learn not only in their own schools and districts, but also online through “webinars” and at NSDC conferences, discussing ideas, working together to resolve challenges, and sharing research and materials.

The benefits of collaboration have been documented. In 2002, the NSDC selected 12 school staffs to work together to develop professional development toolkits to equip New Jersey educators to meet No Child Left Behind goals. Their professional collaboration proved so effective, the NSDC and its external funders decided to extend the opportunity to 100 schools.

There is no doubt that students, teachers, and the community all gain from the professional partnering of collaborative, highly committed educators. Giving teachers the opportunity to learn from other professionals is an effective way to help them hone skills that serve students and extend their understanding of what is effective practice of their craft. Best of all, the ultimate beneficiaries are the students, as reflected by their increased academic success.