NYU Partnership School Program

Memorandum of Understanding - NYU Partnership School

Memorandum of Understanding

Joint Aims

  • To make a significant contribution to the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL professional community of practice, and thereby benefit the learning and achievement of PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL students.
  • To better prepare NYU students to teach well and become thoughtful and accountable members of a professional community of practice. To ensure that they are skillful in connecting diverse learners to deep content, skillful in convening and motivating groups of students, and respectful of the cultural and community assets that students bring to school.
  • To prepare NYU students with a clinically-rich experience for New York City public schools in terms of their knowledge of content, knowledge of teaching methods, cultural competence, and determination to help all students succeed.
  • To ensure that they know how to collaborate, understand the trajectory of teacher development, understand the qualities of a good school, and feel part of a network that will sustain their sense of purpose and satisfy their intellectual needs.

Overall Strategies

  • Pre-student teaching fieldwork that immerses each NYU student in the teaching and learning life of PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL as a Learning Partner, providing real support for student learning in the school, and helping the NYU students to become informed observers of the school’s professional community of practice. 1
  • On-site (at PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL) NYU coursework co-taught by NYU and PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL faculty, as well as faculty from nearby schools – coursework that takes advantage of the school and community settings.
  • Student teaching practice that draws on multiple sources of support within the school, affords rich experiences in differentiated instruction and classroom management, introduces student teachers to the practices and tools associated with the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL professional community of practice, and introduces them as well to curricula and practices common in other New York City schools.
  • Use of a standards-based continuum of teacher professional development to guide student teachers, cooperating teachers, and university supervisors – one that links with the standards in use in the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL.
  • PARTNERSHIP with NYU in affording graduating student teachers an opportunity to think early, explicitly, and in a mentored way about what their student teaching has taught them about teaching well in other places, and offering PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL a pipeline of well-prepared new teachers.
  • Participation of other NYU faculties and departments, in addition to the teacher-education departments in Steinhardt, including Arts and Science – to increase their knowledge of youth and school, and to contribute to PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL teaching and learning.

1. We use the term Learning Partner to refer to students in pre-student teaching field work experiences who are deployed by the school to assist in classes or other activities, who help individual students and come thereby to a deeper appreciation of how students learn. They also include students who are paid by NYU as part of the University’s America Reads/America Counts Program. The latter students must spend at least 6 hours a week in their school over the course of at least 2 days.

General Commitments

  • Foster communication. Appoint an NYU liaison to PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL, and a PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL liaison to NYU. Empower these liaisons with access to Deans and Principal. Empower them to surface problems, address them directly, and/or pass them quickly on to other leaders. Commit them to tend and broaden communication links between the institutions.
  • Recognize and serve each partner’s needs. For example, provide opportunities for PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL students to have University-based learning experiences, welcome NYU researchers to propose research projects to the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL community; welcome PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL to propose customized professional development opportunities to NYU and the Partnership; appoint PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL staff to serve as co-teachers of NYU courses.
  • Cultivate and serve mutual interests. Pursue joint funding opportunities, joint research activities, and joint teaching and learning opportunities.
  • Respect differences. Acknowledge differences associated with institutional cultures, provide interpreters between school and university, and build organizational overlap and common enterprise.
  • Spread the Partnership. Use best efforts to involve parents and community organizations. Network with other PARTNERSHIP SCHOOLS.
  • Continue to get closer, change course as needed, exit gracefully if necessary. 2

2. Several commitments listed are adapted from Pencil (2003), PARTNERSHIPs that Work (New York: McGraw-Hill).

Specific Commitments

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL Commitments                             NYU Commitments

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will discuss the opportunity, based on availability of accepting a complement of Learning Partners each semester, introducing them to the school, its values, and its community of practice; deploying them in ways that contribute to the School and its learners as well as their own learning; and supervise their activities on site in collaboration with NYU faculty and staff.

NYU shall ensure Learning Partners are aware they may come in contact with confidential information, and are required to comply with federal, state, and NYCDOE policy, and the Chancellor’s regulations regarding such confidential information, including but not limited to personally identifiable pupil information and records.

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will discuss the opportunity to host guided visits of NYU students, arranging time to see classrooms and learn about the school.

NYU will ensure that all guided visits are accompanied by a faculty or staff from NYU. NYU will compensate the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL for each visit based on a sliding scale. 3

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will offer placements to a maximally feasible number of NYU student teachers each semester. It will also welcome potential NYU placements in Social Work, Counseling, Administration, Nutrition, Speech, and other internship areas. PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will work to ensure connection and collaboration among all its community partners.


NYU will work with PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL to plan for effective placement opportunities, and to experiment with placement practices in ways that suit PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL needs and contribute to the Partnership’s aims. For each student teacher placement, it will compensate the school with 3 credits redeemable for a course at NYU, a non-credit-bearing Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, or custom-tailored professional development depending on NYU faculty availability and expertise. 4 NYU will also work closely with other PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL partner organizations in order to meet most effectively the needs of PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL students and faculty.

NYU shall ensure that student teachers and other interns comply with the security clearance and fingerprinting requirements of the NYCDOE.

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will appoint a Liaison to NYU. This Liaison will take principal responsibility at PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL for communicating with NYU, and for helping to build and troubleshoot the relationship between the two institutions. The person appointed should have full access to the school administration, and be empowered to deal with partnership-related issues as needed. He or she will welcome and return NYU calls as needed. He or she will also attend occasional meetings at NYU or in other PARTNERSHIP SCHOOLS, or send a colleague instead.

NYU will appoint a Liaison to PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL, who will visit the school at least three times a semester. NYU will further ensure that the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL Liaison has full access to NYU administrators and others, and has all the information and clout he or she needs to serve effectively in the liaison role.

NYU will ensure that the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL Liaison to NYU is well informed about NYU programs and other opportunities that may benefit PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL students and faculty.

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will work with NYU to provide access and support to its cooperating teachers in use of the tools and standards of the assessment continuum.

NYU will provide support to the cooperating teachers to enhance their understanding of the tools and standards of the standards-based continuum, and on other practices of mentoring student teachers.

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will work with NYU to identify opportunities for locating teacher education coursework at the school and in the community, and for involving PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL staff in planning and teaching courses. It will also give full consideration to NYU requests for PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL participation in research activities, with actual participation contingent on NYCDOE approval.

NYU will work with PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL to identify ways in which the University can assist the School – by providing tailored staff development opportunities, technical assistance, or student services. It will also work to identify joint funding opportunities.

PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL will invite NYU and Partnership representatives at least once annually to meet the PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL Principal and faculty, and to discuss any issues of concern to both parties.

NYU will invite PARTNERSHIP SCHOOL representatives at least once annually to meet the Dean and faculty, and to discuss any issues of concern to both parties.

3 Compensation is based on the number of visits hosted: 1 visit = $200.00, 2 visits = $350.00, 3 visits = $650.00, 4 visits = $850.00.

4 Awards may be applied to tuition for matriculated students, or tuition plus fee for non-matriculated enrollment in credit-bearing courses. Courses may be taken at the Steinhardt School in MA-level classes, or at the School for Continuing and Professional Studies. Non-matriculated enrollment is subject to class availability and school and departmental policies. Awards may also be applied to fees for non-credit-bearing courses and workshops, including customized professional development, pending faculty availability and expertise. They do not cover the added cost of travel for summer or spring break courses or workshops. The credits are valid for one year, and can be used by any full-time member of the HOST SCHOOL staff upon the approval of the Principal and/or School Leadership Team and the filing of the back-up documentation.

In Witness Whereof, the parties have executed this MOU as of the day and date first written above.





Frank Pignatosi

Director of the Office of Clinical Studies










Beth Weitzman

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs