Strengthen SEA’s Support of Districts and Schools


SECC will serve as a thought partner in developing structures and supports to provide ongoing technical assistance to schools and districts to meet requirements of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index. SECC will support implementation of the Indistar data management system in Priority, Focus, and other low-performing schools throughout the state to provide a monitoring and support system enabling continuous, targeted technical assistance leading to improved outcomes for students.

Formally known as the Georgia Low-Performing Schools Performance Management, Support, and Planning.

This project is in the following state: Georgia.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools
  • Identifying and scaling up innovative approaches to teaching and learning that significantly improve student outcomes
  • Using data-based decision-making to improve instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes

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Previous Work Updates

2016

October

On October 5, Georgia was notified it was selected to participate in Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy. Georgia was one of eight states and the District of Columbia selected for cohort I. Georgia confirmed selection of the district and team with whom it will partner with over the coming year. The first webinar for this academy will take place on November 1. On October 12, Will Rumbaugh at GaDOE participated in Making Connections: Transforming School Turnaround Leadership Policy & Practice along with SECC's Glenda Copeland and other SECC staff with the Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Chicago. Catherine Barbour and Matthew Clifford, from AIR's Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, presented workshops on hiring and recruitment and development and retention for the group.

September

On September 22, SECC's Glenda Copeland met with Will Rumbaugh at GaDOE to discuss an opportunity to participate in the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy and support the work of school improvement, teacher and leader effectiveness, and special education in ensuring equity and improving education across the state. Copeland also had a conversation with Matt Jones, chief of staff at GaDOE, and provided him with information about the opportunity and requirements for participation. Georgia is planning to submit an application to be among the 10 states that will be selected nationally. SECC is collaborating in the development of the application and commitment to provide support for their participation.

July

There was no activity this month.

June

Five members from Georgia participated in the Talent for Turnaround: Support for Systemic Change meeting held June 15-17 in Houston. Will Rumbaugh, director of School and District Effectiveness, GaDOE, was one of four panelists in the Initiating, Implementing, and Sustaining School Improvement Efforts at the State Level session. Also participating in the convening were School and District Effectiveness staff members, Deborah McLlendon and Lois Moran; Teacher and Leader Effectiveness staff, Karen Wylder; and Special Education staff, Susan Brozovic. During the team work sessions, the group planned to better coordinate the work of the various divisions in the SEA to more effectively support improvement and equity efforts across the state. In addition, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, and Rumbaugh participated in the Conversations with Innovators, League of Innovators discussions sponsored by the Center on Innovations in Learning in Philadelphia on June 22–23. The group heard presentations from six authors of the newly completed Handbook on Personalized Learning for States, Districts, and Schools, and were able to discuss ideas in their chapters with them. Topics included personal competencies, student voice and choice, and technologies to advance teaching and learning. This was the third convening of this group.

May

Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in a three-day training with GaDOE’s School and District Effectiveness group conducted by Balanced Leadership, from McREL International. Based on a meta-analysis conducted by McREL that identified leadership behaviors positively correlated with increased student learning, the training introduced a framework for building a purposeful community that shares agreed upon processes and goals to build collective efficacy. SECC work with this group will support staff in developing a purposeful community.

April

Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, received a request from Dr. Patty Rooks on April 28 to provide assistance in identifying exemplar comprehensive needs assessment guidebooks or toolkits that would support school districts or school in conducting a comprehensive needs assessment with fidelity. Resources are being identified.

March

Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, worked with staff from the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center, the South Central Comprehensive Center, and the California Comprehensive Center to plan and facilitate the sharing sessions in a peer-to-peer visit. On March 22, nine leaders from the Arkansas Department of Education responsible for supporting school improvement, federal programs, and special education met with Copeland and the leadership of GaDOE School and District Effectiveness, federal programs, and special education. The group met for an opening presentation by Barbara Lunsford, associate superintendent, to give an overview of Georgia’s work. The three focus groups then met in two breakout sessions, and the whole group convened for a reflection session to end the day. The morning of March 23, the Arkansas team met to debrief, plan for how this experience would impact their work, and ensure that the collaboration would be an ongoing effort. The team left with an outline of next steps and identified key members to be responsible for guiding the plan.

February

SECC’s Glenda Copeland communicated with Will Rumbaugh, School and District Effectiveness Division director, to follow up on assistance requested for developing/identifying online learning modules that provide training in skills for effective leaders. No date for beginning this work with designated staff has been determined. SECC is collaborating with the School Turnaround Learning Community and the South Central Comprehensive Center to support visits by the Arkansas Department of Education leadership responsible for supporting school improvement and special education and the GaDOE School and District Effectiveness and special education leaders. The first cross-state visit will be held in Atlanta in March.

January

SECC Georgia State Liaison Glenda Copeland met with GaDOE staff Avis King, deputy superintendent, School Improvement; and Will Rumbaugh, division director; to discuss needed assistance for their work. Rumbaugh indicated that he has begun designing a webpage where districts could find online learning modules that provide training in skills for effective leaders. SECC has been asked to work with his planning team to develop a strategic plan for their work and to identify critical components and resources that can be used in developing an online mentorship program for districts.

2015

November

SECC’s Glenda Copeland met with Matt Jones, at GaDOE, on November 17 to discuss progress on projects identified in the Year 4 Work Plan. Among the needs that have evolved from that plan is a request to assist the school improvement group with developing and implementing a mentoring program for new principals in identified schools with experienced principals in similar contexts who have volunteered. SECC is connecting with the School Turnaround Learning Community (STLC) to partner on this work. Barbara Lunsford, associate superintendent at GaDOE, has also indicated an interest in meeting with another state that has implemented a successful regional support system to learn from its experiences. SECC is also working with STLC to facilitate this opportunity.

October

On October 28–29, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in a two-day training session for priority, focus, and potential opportunity schools and districts. Sessions provided information and strategies for improving schools and districts. Opening presentations for the group included Dr. Antonette Campbell and Paula Herrema, sharing the story of Indian Creek Elementary School, and Dr. Andre Touchard and Monica McDaniel from Carrollton Middle School. Both schools were successful at changing the culture and instruction at their schools and were removed from the priority and focus list.

September

On September 9–10, Glenda Copeland participated in a 2-day training and planning meeting for the members of eight regional teams that provide services to districts and identified schools in the coming school year. The group continued their review of data sources from the state, examined how they can better support their clients, and reviewed the use of an Indistar tool that now incorporates use of the Georgia School Performance Standards. On September 29, SECC’s Glenda Copeland and Dr. Sam Redding, of the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center, met with Dr. Will Rumbaugh, Dr. Sam Taylor, Dr. Patricia Rooks, and Area Program Manager Phillip Luck for a discussion of the use of the Indistar process tool to guide and manage school and district improvement.

July

On July 21–23, Glenda Copeland, SECC/AIR senior TA consultant, participated in a three-day training and planning meeting for the members of eight regional teams that will provide services to districts and identified schools in the coming school year. The group reviewed data sources from the state and did a deep-dive analysis of their schools within the region to identify commonalities in order to provide needed support.

June

On June 4, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, met with Dr. Will Rumbaugh, director of School and District Effectiveness at GaDOE, to identify support needed by the group in Year 4 by SECC. He identified development of an instructional framework and a plan for leadership development for staff. She also participated on June 7 in the work group developing an instructional framework to guide instructional improvement in a school and meetings of the School and District Effectiveness group.

May

On May 26, SECC staff member Glenda Copeland conferred with various staff of the Division of School and District Effectiveness about the changes in their organization and work. A planning meeting was set up with GaDOE staff member Will Rumbaugh for June 4 to identify support needed by the group in Year 4 by SECC.

April

On April 14–15, Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, participated in a professional learning meeting of the Division of School and District Effectiveness. The group participated in an overview of the training that will be provided for cohorts of schools that received School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding for sustainability of their improvement strategies.

March

On March 17–18, Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, participated in the professional learning meeting of the Division of School and District Effectiveness. The group heard details about Georgia’s State and Federal Flexibility and Accountability Waiver extension, security and privacy requirements, and a new staffing structure for providing services to schools and districts.

February

Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, sent a review of the revised web pages for the Division of School and District Effectiveness to Will Rumbaugh, director of School Improvement, which were completed by Magdalena Acuna, SEDL web applications associate. Rumbaugh reported that the review and suggestions were extremely helpful for their quality assurance process. In addition, a copy of an SECC resource, “Resources Regarding Implementing Intermediate Structures and Regional Service Centers,” was sent as requested by Rumbaugh.

January

Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in the School Improvement Professional Learning on December 16–17, 2014. The group assisted in a review of proposed changes to the web pages for the group, and SECC was asked to provide an external review of those pages following posting at the end of December. Dr. David Hill, director, Educator Preparation of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, presented information on the new guidelines for teacher and leader certification in Georgia. The group also met in work-alike and regional groupings.

2014

December

SECC Program Associate Glenda Copeland participated in the School Improvement Professional Learning on December 16–17. The group assisted in a review of proposed changes to the web pages for the group, and SECC was asked to provide an external review of those pages following their posting at the end of December 2014. Dr. David Hill, director, Educator Preparation of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, presented information on the new guidelines for teacher and leader certification in Georgia. The group also met in work-alike and regional groupings.

November

SECC Program Associate Glenda Copeland has consulted with Patty Rooks, SIG director, on the agency’s needs for summer training.

September

On September 12, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in the GaDOE Collaborative for School Improvement meeting for school improvement specialists and RESA staff. Work sessions focused on role-alike groups and a presentation and discussion of the Georgia Milestones assessment system by Melissa Fincher, deputy superintendent for Accountability.

August

On August 11 and August 26, SECC Program Associate Glenda Copeland met with the 18-member Instructional Resource Guide Revision Team. Copeland provided documents and current research to be used in the revision process of the resources that support each School Keys standard and participated in the review of guidance documents in development. Based on discussions with the group regarding copyright issues, Copeland shared the document that SECC had revised for sharing with SECC states on this important and relevant issue.

July

Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, and Sheryl Turner, RMC Research Corporation partner staff, presented the opening session on sustainability for the second Summer Summit 2014 for Priority, School Improvement Grant, Focus, and Alert Schools. On July 17, Copeland met with GaDOE staff Barbara Lunsford, associate superintendent, and Will Rumbaugh, director of School Improvement, to identify specific projects to include on the SECC Year 3 work plan. In addition, Copeland participated in the School Improvement Professional Learning meeting July 21–23. The group identified their shared purpose, received updates from various GaDOE divisions whose work impacts theirs, and planned for the coming school year. On July 29, Copeland met with the 18-member instructional resource guide revision team. This group has requested SECC assistance in identifying current research that supports each School Keys standard and for SECC review of completed guidance documents.

June

On June 24–25, SECC Program Associate Glenda Copeland participated in sessions for Priority, Alert, Focus, School Improvement Grant (SIG), and Race to the Top (RTT) Lowest-Achieving Schools at the 2014 Summer Summit. She presented a whole-group session with Sheryl Turner, RMC Research Corporation partner staff, on sustainability. On June 30, Copeland met with GaDOE staff Paulette Richmond, school performance program manager, and Wanda Oldfield, professional learning program manager, to review the outcomes from the June sessions and identify changes in the session design and schedule to better achieve the goals of the summit. SECC will also provide the sustainability session in the second Summer Summit that will be held in July.

May

On May 28 and 29, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in a meeting of the Georgia Indistar–SEA Leadership Team. The group reviewed the indicators being used by Priority, Focus, School Improvement Grant (SIG), and volunteer schools and discussed how to incorporate monitoring and information needs from special education and federal programs into the Indistar tool. Stephanie Benedict, Academic Development Institute, led the group through navigating the Indistar dashboard and identifying resources found on the site. It was decided that in the future, indicators for all schools will be aligned to the Georgia School Keys and reflect the language used in those standards.

April

On April 2 and 22, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, participated in professional learning sessions with school improvement and RESA school improvement specialists. There were sessions on family engagement, yearly wrap-up process for Indistar, and the TLE Electronic Platform. Small groups worked on identifying best practices and tools to work with schools and districts on data analysis, planning for increased achievement, strategic implementation, and monitoring for teacher and leader effectiveness. This information will be used in the coming summer summits.

March

On March 11, Jason LaTurner, SEDL research associate, and Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, conducted a one-hour webinar for the RESA school improvement specialists working with Focus Schools requested by Paulette Richmond, program manager for School Improvement. The focus of the webinar was the participants’ role as a coach in utilizing the Indistar tool to manage school improvement efforts. On March 24 and 25, Copeland participated with the Georgia team at the annual Indistar Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Participants from School Improvement were Barbara Lunsford, associate superintendent Federal Programs; Celeta Thomas, Professional Learning; Paulette Richmond, program manager; and Bari Geeslin, Dan DeWolf, and Diana Forbes, school improvement specialists. From Special Education Services and Supports were Debbie Gay, director; Zelphine Dixon Smith, assistant director; and Kachelle White, program manager, Compliance.

February

The SECC is responding to a request from Paulette Richmond, program manager for School Improvement, to provide a webinar for RESA staff who work with Focus Schools. Jason LaTurner and Erin McCann, SECC research associates, are working with Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, to prepare a webinar focusing on the role of coaching in utilizing the Indistar tool to manage school improvement efforts. The webinar will be conducted on March 11.

January

On January 8, Glenda Copeland , SECC Georgia state liaison, worked with Patty Rooks, Turnaround Program Specialist, to design a presentation for a breakout session on working with external providers for potential applicants for the fourth round of School Improvement Grants (SIG). On January 15, SECC sponsored RMC partner staff member Sheryl Turner’s keynote presentation on sustaining school improvement innovations for the SIG Technical Assistance Workshop. Turner also provided three breakout sessions for potential applicants of the fourth round of SIG grants. The SECC also provided handouts and copies of our partner’s (AIR) resource, Guide to Working with External Providers, which was the basis for three breakout sessions by Patty Rooks, Georgia staff member, and SECC’s Copeland.

2013

December

On December 16, SECC program associate Glenda Copeland and Sheryl Turner, RMC partner staff, met with Sam Taylor, District Effectiveness, and Patty Rooks, turnaround program specialist, of the School Improvement division, to discuss content for a presentation on sustaining school improvement innovations for the SIG Technical Assistance Workshop to be held on January 15, 2014. SECC will support Turner’s delivery of the session and three breakouts at that meeting for potential applicants of the fourth round of SIG grants. SECC Director Beth Howard-Brown and Copeland provided Taylor and Rooks with resources on working with external providers. Copeland is working with them on designing a short presentation for the breakout sessions to be included with an introduction to Indistar use. Partner staff from AIR provided a resource, Guide to Working with External Providers, which will be used as the basis for this presentation.

November

Five GaDOE staff, Sam Taylor, Wanda Oldfield, Teri Gasperik, Dianna Forbes, and Deborah McLendon, participated in the Supporting Sustainability Efforts in School Turnaround conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 6–7, 2013. They all reported that they had shared their knowledge and experiences from the conference with their colleagues and that the meeting was of great benefit for their work. The SECC was contacted to provide a session on sustainability for applicants of the fourth round of School Improvement Grants (SIG) grants. Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, participated in the school improvement (SI) training and staff meeting on November 19. The group delved deeper into the use of Indistar as a tool for managing improvement in the SI department as well as in the schools. This marked the departure of Dr. Cayanna Good as the director of the school improvement work.

October

Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, participated in the District Summit for identified Priority and Focus schools on October 1, and the Instructional Coaching Training for Focus schools on October 7. In a conversation with Windy Gray, Indistar implementation specialist, it was determined that SECC assistance would be requested with the ramping up of additional schools and districts to the process. Five GaDOE participants have been identified for the Supporting Sustainability Efforts in School Turnaround institute on November 6 and 7.

September

Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, discussed identified projects with Dr. Cayanna Good, state director of school improvement, and staff on September 17. Further talks with the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center were held by Beth Howard-Brown, SECC director, to engage GaDOE with the work of the center. Dr. Howard-Brown also led in discussions with Good and Barbara Lunsford, associate superintendent, school improvement, at the U.S. Department of Education conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on September 24–25.

April

SECC Program Associate Glenda Copeland participated with the Georgia Department of Education team in the Indistar 2013 Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia. The team was led by Dr. Cayanna Good, Director of School Improvement, and included eight staff members who support implementation of the management system. All priority and focus schools will be implementing use of Indistar in the fall. SIG and Race to the Top schools began using the system in the 2011–2012 school year.