Published in SEDL Letter Vol. XXI, Number 1, November 2009, Improving School Performance

New Offices

Expanded Offices
Metairie, Louisiana
Ridgeland, Mississippi

New Offices
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lutz, Florida

Existing Offices
Smyrna, Georgia
Elgin, South Carolina
Killen, Alabama
Austin, Texas

New Office Image

New Offices in the Southeast

SEDL recently expanded its offices in Metairie, Louisiana, and Ridgeland, Mississippi, and added offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Lutz, Florida. These improvements complement the current offices in Smyrna, Georgia; Elgin, South Carolina; and Killen, Alabama; and SEDL’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

“With the addition of new staff and an increased scope of work, adding offices and expanding other offices was necessary,” says SEDL program manager Robin Jarvis. “The work for the Southeast Comprehensive Center has increased along with work for SEDL’s Center for Professional Learning. Adding offices addressed the needs of our state departments of education and other educators,” explains Jarvis.

New Products

A Toolkit for Title I
Parental Involvement

A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement

Title I is a set of programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education to address the needs of schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families. Title I, Part A includes parental involvement provisions that stress shared accountability between schools and parents for high student achievement, local development of parental involvement plans, and parent education in improving their child’s academic achievement.

A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement is designed to help schools receiving Title I funds meet these parental involvement provisions. The toolkit was developed by SEDL’s National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools and includes resources for working with parents of English language learners and increasing their involvement in their students’ education.


Afterschool Research Briefs

Afterschool Research Brief

SEDL’s Afterschool Research Consortium (ARC) brought together SEDL researchers, key staff from afterschool research projects, and experts in the field to discuss and share accomplishments, challenges, and solutions that arose during completion of three randomized controlled trials SEDL was overseeing on the impact of specific afterschool curricula. The ARC developed papers and presentations documenting the lessons learned to advance the effective use of rigorous experimental research approaches in applied afterschool settings. Recently, the ARC released a three-part series of research briefs on randomized controlled trials in afterschool settings:

  • Implementing Randomized Controlled Trial Studies in Afterschool Settings: The State of the Field
  • Key Issues and Strategies for Recruitment and Implementation in Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial Studies in Afterschool Settings
  • The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning Randomized Controlled Trial Studies of Promising Afterschool Programs: Summary of Findings

New Projects

Autism Partnership

SEDL’s Disability Research to Practice (DRP) work group has formed a partnership with the University of Central Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UCF-CARD). The partnership is focusing on research investigating effective strategies to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in obtaining and maintaining employment. The research will identify best-practice examples from effective local providers of employment-related services for persons with ASD. Statewide vocational rehabilitation service systems are key audiences for the research findings, which will enable them to more effectively serve persons with ASD. The research will also inform personal and employer supports and accommodations that facilitate successful employment for people with ASD. Ultimately, the research may inform family members and other advocates about effective services and contact people for helping individuals with ASD find employment.

SEDL and UCF-CARD staff will conduct two systematic reviews; implement a rigorous process of identifying and validating vocational rehabilitation best practices; study the university-based statewide network of CARD centers in Florida; and conduct case studies of individuals with ASD, their families, and employers. As the research progresses, SEDL staff will disseminate the findings through Web-based resources, webcasts, and subscriber e-lists.

Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer

The Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT), located at the State University of New York at Buffalo, strives to increase technology transfer results to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. The Center on KT4TT and SEDL are participating in a project that will focus on three key outcomes: improved understanding of the barriers preventing successful knowledge translation for technology transfer and ways to overcome the barriers; advanced knowledge of best models, methods, and measures of knowledge translation and technology transfer for achieving outcomes; and increased utilization of these validated best practices by technology-oriented grantees (funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research). SEDL’s DRP work group is serving in an advisory capacity and supporting dissemination efforts through webcasts, technical briefs, and a community of practice.

MyMoon Program Evaluation

In partnership with the Lunar Planetary Institute, SEDL’s Research and Evaluation work group is evaluating a new educational portal, MyMoon: The Public’s Portal to Lunar Science Exploration Through New Media. The portal will provide science and lunar content, media exhibits, and opportunities for the public to interact with lunar scientists and experts. The work is funded through the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences-2008 (ROSES-2008) program at NASA’s Education & Public Outreach for Earth & Space Science.

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