Professional Organizations & Collaborations

During our 49-year history, Benchmark has hosted educators from all over the U.S. and indeed the world who are interested in seeing Benchmark in action in order to share our methodologies with their colleagues and students. In addition, we are privileged to work with dozens of outstanding professionals and researchers from fields such as reading education, psychology, diversity education, math, design thinking, and science who routinely collaborate with our staff and faculty and share their expertise with us. Here is a partial listing of the professionals with whom we have been privileged to work.   

Collaborations within the United States

(Partial List)

2018

January 18, 2019

Gabrielle Russomagno led a workshop for faculty designed to assist us in implementing the design thinking process across the curriculum  which is the foundation for the creative work in the Benchmark Innovation Lab. Russomagno holds a BA in Fine Arts from Smith College, an MFA from Yale, and is currently on the BFA faculty at the The School of Visual Arts in New York City.

October & November, 2018

Dr. Ali Michael of the Penn Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education presented workshops for and faculty on helping teachers talk about race honestly and effectively in their classrooms. Dr, Michael is the author of Raising Race Questions.

February 6-7, 2018

Visitors from the Springer School and Center in Cincinnati, Ohio observed in middle school classrooms and met with middle school teachers. Benchmark and Springer have an ongoing collaboration as we share issues that are important to both schools, as well as instructional practices. Springer is the only school in the Cincinnati region devoted exclusively to children who learn differently. 

January 2, 2018

Dr. Howard Stevenson, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education and Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, presented a full-day professional development workshop to the faculty on journaling and reflecting upon questions of personal experiences with racial diversity and conflict.

November 27, 2017

Dr. Howard Stevenson, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education and Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, presented a full-day professional development workshop to the faculty on "Addressing Racial Elephants in Schooling Relationships:Racial Literacy for Teachers, Parents, and Students."

September 2, 2018  

John Spencer, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Co-author of  "Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student," presented a full-day workshop to faculty.

2017

April 2017

Dr. Nell Duke,  Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, presented to the faculty on "Developing Infotext Reading and Writing Through a Project-Based Approach."

April 2017

Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer, Associate Professor, School of Education at Virginia Tech -  "STEM and Literacy Education."

February 2017

Dr. Richard Anderson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Education Psychology, University of Illinois, presented to the faculty on "The Social Construction of Causal Reasoning."

2016

December 2016 

Visiting Scholars Dr. Rachel Karchmer-Klein, Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and Board Member of the International Literacy Association and Dr. Julie Coiro, Associate Professor in Reading Education at the University of Rhode Island presented to the  faculty.

September 2016 to June 2017

Jenny Mills, a former teacher at Benchmark and founder of Roots & Wings, is leading Benchmark staff in a systematic, year-long training program related to mindfulness practice. Roots & Wings's mission is to make mindfulness accessible to teachers, youth, and families. The training will focus on the core concepts of mindfulness as well as how to apply mindfulness practices with students in the classroom. Given the proven value of mindfulness, we believe that by incorporating it into our program, it will help our students manage stress, reduce anxiety, increase focus, improve communications, and facilitate clarity.

February 2016 

Visiting Scholar Dr. Rachel Karchmer-Klein, Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and Board Member of the International Literacy Association presented to Benchmark faculty: "What Does It Actually Look Like?: Applying Knowledge Processes to Technology-Based Instructional Design."

2015

December 2015

Benchmark hosted two leaders in the literacy and technology field for three days. Julie Coiro, Associate Professor of Reading in the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island, and Jill Castek, Research Assistant Professor at Portland State University with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group, observed in classrooms and met with teachers. Their goal was to help teachers plan units of instruction that will focus on an inquiry process of learning and that will effectively use technology as one tool to help students learn. 

November 2015

Visiting scholar Dr. Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, presented to the faculty on the topic "Using Digital Tools for Providing Feedback To Foster Students' Self-Reflection."

October 2015 

Educators from EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning), Casey Shultz , of Baltimore, and Jean Hurst, of New York, visited Benchmark to observe reading and Word Detectives instruction in our 1st/2nd grade classroom. They also discussed Benchmark's literacy instruction with faculty members.

October 2015

Dr. Julie Coiro, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island, presented to  the faculty on the topics of personal inquiry and online research.  Dr. Coiro also spoke to a group of area educators on October 3 at a workshop co-sponsored by Benchmark School and the Delaware Valley Reading Association at Abington Friends School.       

May 2015

Middle School Head Dr. Eleanor Gensemer and Lower School Supervisor Colleen O'Hara visited  Springer School in Cincinnati, Ohio to observe in classrooms and interact with the staff. In a similar way, teachers and administrators at Springer School visited Benchmark on two recent occasions. Springer School is the only school in the Cincinnati region devoted exclusively to children who learn differently. Like Benchmark, Springer School teaches tools and strategies to help their students become successful in school and life. 

May 2015 

Dr. Patricia Alexander presented to the faculty on the topic "Relational Reasoning in Figure and in Word: Why Does It Matter and What Can We Do About It?" Dr. Alexander was recently named one of the most influential and productive educational psychologists of the past decade. She is the Jean Mullen Professor of Literacy and Distinguished Scholar/Teacher Educational Psychology Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. 

April 2015

Visiting scholar Dr. Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, presented to the faculty his research on "Using Digital Tools to Support Self-Reflection and Assessment."

March 2015

Dr. Richard Anderson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois and Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Reading presented to the faculty his research on the teacher's influence on peer collaboration.

February  2015

Dr. Rachel Karchmer-Klein, University of Delaware presented to the faculty on the topic "Interacting with Digital Text: An Opportunity to Explore the Possibilities."
 

January 2015

Dr. Denise Johnson, College of William and Mary, presented to the faculty on "Blogging in the Classroom."

2014

November 2014

Dr. Julie Coiro, University of Rhode Island, presented to the  faculty on "Exploring and Unpacking Benchmark's Technology Integration Framework - Part 2."

October 2014

Claudia Koocheck, Had of the Charles Armstrong School in Belmont California, visited Benchmark to learn about our instructional program. Benchmark hopes to establish a partnership with the Charles Armstrong School moving into the future.

October 2014

Dr. Jill Castek,  Portland State University, presented to the faculty on  "Exploring and Unpacking Benchmark's Technology Integration Framework - Part 1."

May 2014

Dr. Patricia Alexander, University of Maryland, presented to the faculty on the topic "Critical Analytic Thinking: Making It Happen at Benchmark."

Spring 2014

West Chester University taught a practicum course at Benchmark for middle grades certification candidates. Candidates observed in content area classrooms and worked with teachers in the  those classrooms.

2011-2013

December 2013

Educators from Hillside School in Reading, PA were hosted by Dr. Eleanor Gensemer, Head of the Middle School, to discuss how we incorporate executive functioning instruction into the middle school curriculum.

2011-2013

Consultation and Math Research project at Benchmark led by Kristie Jones Newton, PhD., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Temple University.

February 2013

Seven teachers and administrators from the Springer School and Center returned for a second time for two-day visit to learn from Benchmark teachers. Benchmark is formalizing a partnership with them and will visit the Springer School and Center in the spring of 2015.

2011-2012

Partnerships with Widener University and West Chester University - Professors from their literacy departments participated in Benchmark professional development workshops.

International Collaborations

(Partial List)

1993-2011

2011

Sue Dymock, Ph.D., Professor, Author, Literacy Leader, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

2011

Psychologists and Teachers from all curriculum areas and levels from Norway, under the direction of Professor Kristine Ulven.

2009

Reading Specialists and Psychologists from Colegio Antares, Peru.

2007

Educators from Russia visited Benchmark as part of their "Best U.S. Schools Tour."

1993

Hosted a seminar for over 100 educators from schools and universities both national and international who were interested in learning about Benchmark's methodology.

Professional Associations

(Partial List)

Our faculty and staff belong to a number of professional associations including:

A-G

  • Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS)
  • American Library Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Associates of Springfield | Psychological (ADHD and Executive Control issues)
  • Association of Middle Level Education
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Council of Mathematics Education Research Group
  • Delaware Valley Reading Association

H-N

  • International Dyslexia Association
  • International Reading Association
  • International Literacy Association Global Network Task Force
  • International Literacy Association US Network Task Force
  • International Society for Technology in Education
  • Keystone State Reading Association
  • Literacy Research Association
  • Mosaic Society of Philadelphia
  • National Art Educators Association 
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • National Association for School Psychologists
  • National Council of Supervisors of  Mathematics
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

O-Z

  • Pennsylvania Association of Middle Level Education
  • Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
  • Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Pennsylvania Music Educators' Association
  • Pennsylvania School Librarians Association
  • Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work
  • Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project
  • Philadelphia Area Group Psychotherapy Society 
  • Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association Children and Adolescents Interest Group
  • Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA)

Benchmark School Staff Visiting Springer School

Benchmark School is a one-of-a-kind place – not only because of its mission, but because of the way it goes about pursuing it. Instead of relying on an endless arsenal of carrots and sticks, Benchmark taps students’ innate desire to learn, which helps them develop persistence, creativity, and other capacities crucial to their future success.

Daniel H. Pink
New York Times Best-Selling Author

Head of School Messages

What Matters Most: Are You Living It? March 1 2019 READ MORE