Baylor Education Faculty Member Helps Lead Revision of National Standards for Professional Development Schools

September 14, 2021

Krys Goree, Ph.D., served as a primary author of NAPDS “Nine Essentials” for partnerships between universities and P-12 schools to prepare teachers

Media Contact: Meg Cullar, School of Education, 254-710-6435
Follow SOE on Twitter at @BaylorSOE
Follow Baylor Media & Public Relations on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Sept. 14, 2021) – When the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) decided to update its foundational “essentials” document, the national organization included representation from the Baylor University School of Education (SOE) to help lead those efforts.

Baylor was one of the first universities to fully implement the Professional Development Schools (PDS) model, a clinically based educator preparation program in partnership with local schools to train preservice teachers.

Krys Goree, Ph.D., clinical faculty and director of the SOE’s Office of Professional Practice, served on the NAPDS committee that spearheaded the three-year effort to update What it Means to Be a Professional Development School (PDS): The Nine Essentials. Originally written in 2008, the Nine Essentials provide guidance for school-university partnerships and PDS campuses who work together to prepare teachers.

Baylor SOE has nine Professional Development School campuses in Midway ISD and Waco ISD. Those, partnerships were honored with NAPDS’s prestigious Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

As part of the eight-person group of NAPDS members, Goree helped lead focus-group input sessions at two national conferences to collect data on how the Nine Essentials were being used in the field and what revisions, if any, needed to be made. As a primary author, Goree said the resulting document remains grounded in concepts key to PDS work and educational research: supporting excellence in partnerships between and among institutions of higher education and their public school partners to train the best teachers to enter and contribute to the field of education.

“I consider the revised document to be an important update,” Goree said. “A focus on critical attributes such as clinical experiences and the importance of shared decision-making and governance will always be essential in school-university partnerships. But the new version provides more specific guidance for reaching the essentials while not dictating a particular pathway.

“NAPDS recognizes the uniqueness of each partnership. Through shared decision-making, each partnership should decide how to reach its goals. This publication provides the framework and the guidance,” she said.

Communities of practice

NAPDS is dedicated to the support of collaboration between higher education and P-12 schools to prepare outstanding educators, and its members include higher education professionals as well as administrators, teachers and pre-service teachers from P-12 schools and districts. The organization’s members come from across the U.S. and several other countries.

The professional development school model for training teachers grew out of the work of the Holmes Group, a consortium of universities that promoted a return to a highly clinical based model for teacher preparation. Baylor was very involved in the Holmes Group and, from that model, launched Hillcrest Professional Development School in 1993, as a magnet school in partnership with Waco ISD.

The model is based on the medical school model in which those who aspire to be professionals in the field learn through modeling of excellence and working alongside master educators in schools — communities of practice — in combination with content methods and pedagogy instruction, feedback, and reflection with expert faculty at the university.

To learn more about Professional Development Schools nationally, visit

About Baylor’s Award-Winning PDS Partnerships

The nine PDS campuses host Baylor teacher education students at various levels of preparation. Baylor teacher candidates begin their field work in area schools during the freshman year and spend progressively more time on school campuses with onsite support and guidance from Baylor faculty. During the junior year, teacher candidates serve on PDS campuses as Teaching Associates, teaching small-group and whole-class lessons four mornings a week. As seniors, Baylor’s undergraduate teacher-education majors are in schools full-time on a daily basis for a full academic year to observe, assist, practice, and teach.

Each Baylor PDS campus has a university liaison, who is a Baylor School of Education faculty member, along with a site coordinator employed jointly by Baylor and the district, to work with Baylor teacher candidates on site. Baylor content faculty support candidates both in the field and through coursework that focuses on content, pedagogy and research-based practices. Mentor teachers and clinical instructors, who are experienced classroom teachers, receive training through Baylor that focuses on the TEA guidelines and trainings that are mutually agreed upon by PDS partners.

“In the Baylor educator preparation program, mentor teachers truly share their classrooms with Baylor candidates, working alongside them as they co-teach and learn together,” Goree said. “Baylor could not prepare teachers the way we do in our award-winning program without our outstanding community school district partners. It is truly a partnership effort.”

Baylor Professional Development Schools


Middle Grades:

Secondary Level:

*Hewitt Elementary is the PDS for first-year experience.
**Hillcrest PDS is the SOE’s original PDS campus.


For more than 100 years, Baylor educators have carried the mission and practices of the School of Education to classrooms and beyond as teachers, leaders in K12 and higher education, psychologists, professors, researchers, and more. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice. Visit to learn more.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.