The gift from the Mary K. Oxley Foundation targets two Jefferson County Public Schools — J.B. Atkinson Elementary and The Academy at Shawnee. It later may be expanded to other schools.

This gift goes to the heart of our college’s vision by targeting at-risk students in our city’s urban schools, said Blake Haselton, interim dean at UofL’s College of Education and Human Development.

Haselton said he believes the plan will become a model for other school districts and that it provides a big boost to the university’s Signature Partnership Initiative, a program launched in 2007 to improve the quality of life for residents in west Louisville.

Part of the gift will be used to recruit high potential teachers and provide those teachers with resources to pursue certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The certification, which takes from one to three years to achieve, indicates that a teacher meets the highest standards for effective teaching.

The gift also funds:

  • An intensive professional development program in which teachers and administrators partner with UofL faculty to adopt best practices, create extended learning communities, access outside expertise and explore new ways to enhance student achievement
  • A clinical fellows post in which graduate students will coordinate and advance the University’s Signature Partnership Initiative goals. Fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 and three hours of college credit per semester
  • A Teacher in Residence post filled by someone with expertise in the needs of urban schools