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Partnership News

Paradigm Shift, an initiative helping Black and Latinx para-educators to become licensed K-12 teachers, has received a third year of funding from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts' Innovation Fund. With leadership by the Five College Partnership Programs and the Diverse Teacher Workforce Coalition of Western Massachusetts, the program has grown to 33 participants including three graduates. The initiative collaborates with principals and other administrators in partner school districts to create institutional changes that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse teacher workforce. The important work of Paradigm Shift was recently highlighted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and on New England Public Radio.

The Five College Partnership Program continues in its second year of collaboration on the four-year UMass Amherst-Springfield Public Schools Research-Practice Partnership (RPP): Computer Science for All Springfield, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Building on two years of planning under a 2016-2018 NSF EAGER grant, the goal of the partnership is to design, assess, and implement lessons integrating computational thinking standards into subject matter teaching in grades K-5. The 2018-2019 year saw the development and piloting of lessons for grades K and 3, now being implemented by over 50 grade K and 3 teachers. This year, grades 1 and 4 lessons are being developed and piloted, to be followed next year by grades 2 and 5. Director of Partnership Programs Marla Solomon served as the founding RPP Coordinator, but we are delighted that Annie Leonard assumed this role in February 2020.


Are you a para-educator of color in Springfield, Holyoke, or Amherst? Looking for guidance on how to become a licensed teacher?

Paradigm Shift is here to help you. We're excited to announce the Diverse Teacher Workforce Coalition's initiative to help Black and Latinx para-educators to become teachers. Check out our Paradigm Shift website designed to guide you through the process.

For more information, contact Danielle Phillips, Paradigm Shift Program Coordinator.