Spotlight on service partnerships: Today's fresh start charter school

For the past few years, the Education Department at UC San Diego Extension has partnered with Today's Fresh Start Charter School to offer a unique cohort-based and contextually grounded clear credential program. We are fortunate to have been able to interview Dr. Jeanette Parker, Founder and Superintendent of the five-campus system, to gain insight into her experiences and perspectives on teacher education.

Please introduce yourself to the viewing (reading) public. What is your role with Today’s Fresh Start Charter School?

As Co-Founder-Superintendent of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School, this role requires the responsibility of complete oversight of all aspects of the school, program curriculum as well as financial with the help of a competent Board and staff of people.

Tell us a bit about Today’s Fresh Start Charter School.

Today’s Fresh Start Charter School (TFSCS) was started in 2003. It is a K-8 Elementary School with five campuses located in South Central Los Angeles, Compton and Inglewood. All campuses are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Please visit our website at www.todaysfreshstartcharterschool.org for more information.

How did you come to get involved with UC San Diego Extension’s Education Department and our clear credential program?

As Founder-Superintendent, I serve as the key responsible person in the daily posterity and pursuit of excellence for TFSCS. Dr. Steven Horowitz was brought on board as a Consultant to work with me in this regard. We collaborated in searching for an institution which would suit the needs of TFSCS.

As Founder/Superintendent, our mission is to further the education of our teaching staff toward the goal of educational excellence, which we rigorously pursue for each individual student at TFSCS. By assisting teachers to clear their credential, UCSD enhances teaching competency and therefore "begins" training into the TFSCS rigorous method of reaching each student individually in the environment of TFSCS. UC San Diego and TFSCS agree on collaborating in that mission through advancing our team of already highly qualified teachers in their teaching mission role to help clear their credential.

Finally, please describe some of the unique aspects of the UC San Diego/Today’s Fresh Start Charter School collaboration around the clear credential program—or those you find particularly compelling.

UC San Diego is approachable and receptive, forward thinking, values education and sensitive to the needs of TFSCS' inner city youth. This is critical to the needs of "our minority population today." All students deserve and need the best education that can be provided them. UC San Diego's and TFSCS' collaborative partnership provides critical components of pivotal importance in educating our youth for their future.

For more information about this article or the clear credential program available at UC San Diego Extension, please contact Morgan Appel, director of UC San Diego Extension's Education Department at mappel@ucsd.edu.



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