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The College of Education is leading the development of a new collaborative community, the Tucson Regional Educator Collaborative (TREC), to support professional learning opportunities for the region’s birth through 12th-grade educators. TREC is accomplishing this through leveraging the region’s existing resources and creating new opportunities.
To cultivate a thriving teaching profession, we are collaborating with nine regional school districts, several charter schools, and more than 20 community organizations and governmental agencies. Based on a 10-month assessment and planning phase, we identified key efforts, such as developing a website to connect educators to the region’s resources, supporting teacher-leaders, and offering social-emotional learning professional development.
Ahead of TREC’s official launch in July, we received funding from several local funders: Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Lester L. and Roberta D. Smith Endowed Chair for Prevention and Education, and American Association of University Women, Tucson Branch. Added to this is a $300,000, 2.5-year community-investment grant from the Helios Education Foundation to help TREC bring together additional resources and partners to support these efforts.
“No single entity can do it all,” says TREC Director Jen Kinser-Traut. “This is why we have built the collaborative to support innovative ideas that go beyond individual district or school professional learning efforts.”
The grant from Helios allows TREC to expand its focus and emphasis on early childhood education, as TREC works to improve access to and the quality of professional learning for these educators. Kinser-Traut adds, “Ultimately, we want to increase teacher retention in the region. These grants give us the opportunity to work toward this.”
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