Saint Mary's and Elkhart Community Schools Announce Partnership

Gwen O’Brien 
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579

June 13, 2013 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Saint Mary's College is proud to announce a partnership with Elkhart Community Schools (ECS) to help create a dynamic and sustained Laboratory School Network for the summer months. The three-year partnership is made possible through a grant provided by the Elkhart County Community Foundation. IU-South Bend has entered into a similar partnership with Elkhart Community Schools. The mission of the Laboratory School Network is to simultaneously support learning for ECS students and the professional development for teacher candidates from Saint Mary’s College and IU-South Bend.

Saint Mary’s is operating its lab school at Cleveland Elementary School in Elkhart. This year’s six-week lab began on Monday, June 10. An ECS school principal oversees the program at Cleveland and two ECS teachers, who are Saint Mary’s education alumnae, serve as the mentor teachers. Ten rising seniors in the Saint Mary’s education program or recent alumnae serve as teachers in the lab. About 150 ECS students are enrolled in the program at Cleveland Elementary.

“This is an exciting opportunity for both the children who are participating in the program as well as for our Saint Mary’s teachers and teacher candidates. Children will engage in learning experiences designed to reduce or eliminate summer learning loss. The teachers will gain valuable experience as they integrate reading, writing, and math instruction with hands-on science activities based on assessment data,” said professor Mary Ann Traxler, chair of the Department of Education at Saint Mary's College. Traxler also noted the unique opportunity for beginning teachers to work with mentor teachers who are Saint Mary’s alumnae. 

During the course of the summer, the ECS students will make a field trip to Saint Mary's College to develop college and career awareness. In addition to a summer stipend, the recent Saint Mary’s graduates will have the opportunity to be interviewed for teaching positions within the Elkhart school system. 

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2013 published by U.S. News. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.