The School Committee encourages partnerships with institutes of higher education for the preparation of future educators. Both undergraduate and graduate programs for educators require field experiences that provide candidates with an understanding of school processes and structures and provide practice with facilitating instruction. The School Committee recognizes the mutual benefits of these relationships but also understands the importance of ensuring that all pre-service educators are carefully matched with their supervising practitioners and that the number of pre-service teachers in each building is balanced.

Preferably, at any one time in any school there should be no more than one student teacher for approximately every 10 teachers. Each Smithfield teacher should supervise a student teacher no more than twice in a five-year period.

The criteria for Smithfield teachers or administrators serving as supervising practitioners include:

  • Interest by educator or administrator;

  • Three full years of experience under the appropriate initial or professional license for endorsement being sought by the candidate;

  • Summative performance rating of “Effective” or “Highly Effective” as defined by the evaluation process; and

  • Approval of building administrator and/or Assistant Superintendent.

The suitability of a cooperating teacher will depend upon their years of experience and their prior experiences with student placements, among other factors listed above.

Each March, teachers and administrators will be asked if they would be interested in serving as supervising practitioners during the following year. The building administrators and Assistant Superintendent will then consider the appropriateness of these potential supervising practitioners. In this way, possible supervising practitioners will be identified prior to requests so that such requests can be considered quickly.

The District will be given the privilege of accepting or rejecting individual candidates for student teaching and internships. Selection shall be made based upon educational background and academic promise. Whenever requests are made by colleges and universities directly to the educator, the educator will redirect the request to the building administrator or Assistant Superintendent.

College and universities are required to submit a letter or email to the Assistant Superintendent requesting placements for students and the associated requirements of the placement. Student transcripts for student teachers are also required. After considering school and subject-specific initiatives, the number of student teachers in the building, and the interest of a potential cooperating teacher, the placement may be considered. If a potential placement is available, interviews may be conducted by the Assistant Superintendent or the building administrator. The Assistant Superintendent will inform the candidate and the college/university of approval and placement or reason for denial. The college/university is responsible for ensuring that BCIs from accepted candidates are forwarded to the District.

ADOPTED: December 17, 2018