2023 NAPDS Conference Jacksonville

Pre-Conference, Wednesday, March 22

University of North Florida PDS and Partnership Schools

We are excited to announce that the University of North Florida (UNF) will host our 2023 NAPDS pre-conference events. With the goal of Partnering to Make the World a Better Place, UNF’s College of Education and Human Services is committed to developing life-long learners who contribute to their communities and succeed in a changing world. With this focus in mind, UNF is eager to host an interactive pre-conference experience that will illustrate the potential for innovative PDS and partnership work.   This is a ticketed event.

Pre-Conference Day Events

During the pre-conference you will have the opportunity to visit a local PDS/Partnership site. Prior to traveling to one of the three highlighted partnerships, we will gather at the hotel to launch our day. While traveling to your selected school, information will be shared related to the site visits and each school’s individual context. We will spend approximately 2 hours on our school visit, learning from and with school-based teacher educators, teacher candidates, administrators, and other partnership stakeholders. Following the school visits, we will dine together for lunch on the UNF campus, while learning about the UNF Preschool – a Reggio-Inspired premiere example of an ideal preschool setting. Following lunch, a panel of various PDS and partnership representatives will share various partnership endeavors across the three UNF partnering districts. School, university, and district personnel will be available to provide insight, answer questions, and imagine the possibilities for school-university partnerships. At the conclusion of our time at UNF, participants will be transported back to the Hyatt hotel to enjoy the myriad of sights and activities located in Jacksonville. 

PDS Partnership Sites

River City Science Academy

River City Science Academy (RSCA) K-5 is one of six RCSA tuition-free public charter schools focused on applying innovative methods and interdisciplinary instruction with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As partners in teacher education alongside UNF, RCSA hosts varied clinical placements, supports final internships, and is home to a boundary-spanning Resident Clinical Faculty member. Additionally, RCSA collaborates to provide ongoing professional learning for mentor teachers. Recognized as a high performing charter school by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), RCSA was the first charter school in Duval County to earn an A grade. As an A+ school, they have won the Regional and State Science Olympiad and regularly participate in local and regional science fairs.


Kings Trail Elementary School

Kings Trail Elementary (KTE) is a Duval County Public School committed to challenging all learners to reach global standards. As a Title I Leadership Academy School dedicated to developing student leaders in every classroom, KTE has partnered with UNF for over 20 years. KTE has approximately 350 students representing various languages and cultures – creating a diverse school community with deep connections to family engagement. Through our UNF partnership, we work alongside university faculty to host teacher candidates for various clinical placements, design and implement professional learning experiences, and collaborate to enhance the educational opportunities for our learners. A highlight of our relationship is our partnership with UNF and the graduate students in the Jacksonville Teacher Residency (JTR). Through a full-year residency model that immerses JTR residents in the day-to-day life of teaching, we partner as teacher educators to create innovative learning spaces that prepare our residents to successfully transition into the classroom and beyond. 

Tiger Academy

At YMCA Tiger Academy, a free public charter school, we focus on rigorous academic standards, character development, personal and social responsibility, and strong family involvement. Our focus is to provide scholars and families on the Northside of Jacksonville (urban area), the foundation they need to be successful to grow in spirit, mind, and body through monthly family nights, licensed mental health counselors, PE lessons/STEM Lab lessons at the JW Johnson YMCA, a free YMCA membership, and clubs every Friday.  Although YMCA Tiger Academy ends in 5th grade, we never leave our families – supporting them to find the “right fit” middle school, tracking scholars through college, and hosting various alumni events. As a UNF PDS for 9 years, we host Teacher Candidates, have a Resident Clinical Faculty member, and a Faculty in Residence.  We take pride in providing our staff with professional development in conjunction with UNF professors and scholarships for a graduate degree. 

Main Conference, Thursday-Saturday, March 23-25

Keynote Luncheon featuring Dr. Ricki Gibbs (Thursday, March 23, 11-12:45) 
Come enjoy a meal together and get inspired!

Membership Meeting (Thursday, March 23, 4:45-6)
Catch up on the important information regarding the business of the association, and receive a ticket for a drink on us at the Welcome Reception!!

Welcome Reception (Thursday, March 23, 6-7:30)
Finish the first day with a welcome reception and enjoy visiting colleagues both old and new!  All are invited to mingle on the beautiful Riverside deck, enjoy sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar.

Awards Luncheon featuring Dr. Jonathan Eckert (Friday, March 24, 11-12:45)
Public celebration of our successes is a part of our 9 Essentials.  You won’t want to miss this time of honoring exemplary partnerships, an outstanding dissertation, and the Jason Kinsey Friend of NAPDS. And, your conference registration includes membership in the Association.  This luncheon will give you the opportunity to meet your elected and appointed leaders as well as to learn more about the Association’s strategic plan, member benefits, financial position, and planned initiatives.

Coffee with the Authors (Saturday, March 25, 8-9)
Meet with the authors of various NAPDS-endorsed books:

  1. The Impact of PDS Partnerships in Challenging Times
  2. A Pathway to PDS Partnership: Using the PDSEA Protocol
  3. (re)Designing Programs
  4. Clinically Based Teacher Education in Action
  5. PDS and Community Schools: The Nexus of Practice
  6. Doing PDS: Stories and Strategies from Successful Clinically Rich Practice
  7. Visions from Professional Development School Partners: : Connecting Professional Development and Clinical Practice

About Dr. Gibbs

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change; I am changing the things I cannot accept,” Angela  Davis. 

This quote has been the driving force behind Dr. Gibbs’ passion to change lives through the  power of a great education. Dr. Ricki Gibbs earned his B.S. in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in  Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University. He then went on to earn a Doctor of  Education degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University. He  started his career teaching 3rd grade at Paragon Mills Elementary in Nashville, TN for four years. He  served as an assistant principal and principal in Metro Nashville Public Schools and now has the honor of  currently leading the transformation work as principal of Warner Arts Magnet Elementary. In 2020, Dr.  Gibbs was named Elementary Principal of the Year for Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

Dr. Ricki Gibbs’ work was featured in season 2 of The Promise, a podcast produced by Nashville Public  Radio that received the Peabody Award for most compelling and empowering stories released in  broadcasting and streaming media in 2020. Under Dr. Gibbs’ leadership, Warner transformed from one  of the lowest performing schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools to being the first and only Metro  Nashville Public School to be recognized as a Blue Ribbon Beacon School in 2021.  

Dr. Gibbs attributes much of the schools’ success to their adoption of trauma-informed practices for  classroom management with their non-profit partner, BeWell. At Warner, teachers utilize mindfulness,  movement, and breathing to help students develop emotional self-regulation strategies. His passion for  student centered discipline is personal: as a child growing up in an inner-city Miami community similar  to the East Nashville community where the majority of Warner’s students live, Gibbs struggled with  anger management and was often suspended from school for fighting. He credits mentors and educators for making the difference in his life, and seeks to “pay it forward” for the students he serves at Warner.

About Dr. Eckert

Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D., is the Lynda and Robert Copple Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. He taught outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he served at the U.S. Department of Education in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. He has won multiple teaching awards in higher education and is the author of Just teaching (forthcoming), Leading together, The novice advantage, and numerous articles. He has written and presented white papers on Capitol Hill and the National Press Club and has been invited to present all over the U.S. and as far away as Muscat, Oman at a G8-Broader Middle East Summit for education ministers.

Antiracism Summit, Saturday, March 25

NAPDS and ATE are excited to host the 2023 Anti-racism Summit to assemble university faculty, mentor teachers, educators, administrators, and community leaders to examine our roles and responsibilities in promoting anti-racism within our schools, communities, and society. Participants will interact with experts to interrogate what it means to be anti-racist across P-20 educational spaces. Prepare to engage in critical conversations, collective reflection, and differentiated action groups – leaving you empowered to become change agents in local schools, communities, and institutions of higher education. #AntiracistEdThis is a ticketed event.