Maryville SOE Working with Roosevelt High School


ST. LOUIS — With the help of a $15,000 grant from The Boeing Co., Maryville University’s School of Education is assisting teachers and administrators at Roosevelt High School and its neighboring Ninth Grade Center in improving students’ academic performance. “Our goal is to assist Roosevelt High School and the Ninth Grade Center in establishing a culture of teachers as learners within a learning community,” said Sam Hausfather, Ph.D., dean of Maryville University’s School of Education. “We believe student achievement begins with teachers as professionals continually striving to be better.”

During the 2008 Spring Semester, Maryville SOE faculty member Cathy Bear, Ed.D., assistant professor of educational leadership, will assist Roosevelt teachers and administrators in developing curriculum and teaching strategies that will enhance their classroom skills, which, in turn, will have a positive impact on their students. “We plan to focus on some of the major components of building a strong professional learning community, including the development of a clear, shared sense of mission and vision for the school,” said Bear, who spent 26 years in the Francis Howell School District as a teacher and assistant superintendent. “I am energized by the opportunity to work with Roosevelt High School in this important endeavor.”

Hausfather said the timing is perfect for this Maryville-Roosevelt collaboration as approximately 75 percent of the high school’s faculty, as well as the principal, have joined the school within the last two years. Roosevelt had been reconstituted following the 2005-06 school year due to poor student performance and all teachers had to reapply for their positions. Since the reconstitution, the attendance rate has increased from 60 to 80 percent while the discipline rate has lowered.

“With the school under control, the focus can shift to academic achievement,” Hausfather said. “We have seen teachers more clearly focused on their students and achievement. They bring deep understanding and appreciation of the lives and challenges of their students.” Roosevelt administrators are thrilled to have the assistance of Maryville’s School of Education in planning their educational renaissance.

“I am humbled by the level of commitment that Maryville has shown to Roosevelt and urban students,” said Hollie Russell-West, assistant principal for curriculum and instruction. “The University’s non-judgmental approach has built a sense of trust and respect that is vital for the success of this partnership. With the University’s help, Roosevelt will be on the cutting-edge of what education can be for all comprehensive high schools.” Maryville’s partnership with Roosevelt through the Metropolitan St. Louis Consortium for Education Renewal began in 1993.

Maryville University is a private institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,422 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers. Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.