NAPDS will be the leading organization to support and advocate for professional development schools.
NAPDS advances the education profession by providing leadership, advocacy and support to sustain professional development schools as learning communities that improve student learning, prepare educators through clinical practice, provide reciprocal professional development, and conduct shared inquiry.
The NAPDS logo brims with symbolism. The red, white, and blue color scheme signifies the national reach of NAPDS, with the letters PDS in red for emphasis. The two overlapping squares signify school-university partnerships and the third space that such partnerships create through ongoing collaborations. The logo’s tagline is a constant reminder of the four core practices of professional development schools (teacher preparation, professional development, research and inquiry, and student learning), first conceptualized by the Holmes Group (1986, 1990) and an integral part of the NAPDS vision and mission.
The Professional Development School (PDS) movement was initially supported by the Holmes Partnership (Holmes Group), but as their attentions were drawn to other endeavors, those involved in PDS work looked to create an environment that supported the vision of universities and PK-12 schools working together mutually. This led to the gathering of like-minded committed PDS professionals, initially at a small conference held by the University of South Carolina in 2002. The national organization was created in 2005, and exploded into the vibrant organization that exists today. The University of South Carolina carried the torch, bringing PDS activities together, leading to the present day NAPDS.
Throughout, those involved have held true to the mission of PDS. In annual conferences through the years, participants have flooded in from around the country seeking support, guidance and confirmation of their work and beliefs. The annual conferences are heralded as events that uniquely provided (1) a near-equal balance of university and PK-12 educators and (2) an exclusive focus on issues relevant to Professional Development Schools. Nowhere else, participants have noted, have they found the opportunity to share ideas with such a wide breadth of P-20 educators and been able to focus solely on PDS concerns unencumbered by other admittedly important, yet non-PDS specific, educational issues. As the movement has grown nationwide, conferences, once an east coast phenomena, are now rotating around the country to draw from the expertise of PDS professionals nationwide.