SC Developing SEA Support for Low-Performing Schools


The Office of School Leadership has been asked to add an additional layer to its Transformational Leaders Academy to support school turnaround from a district level. This project seeks to partner with the Center on School Turnaround and the University of Virginia to work with identified districts in a capacity building framework and to take lessons learned and the same approach with nonparticipating districts.

This project is in the following state: South Carolina.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Implementing college- and career-ready standards and aligned, high-quality assessments for all students
  • Building rigorous instructional pathways that support the successful transition of all students from Secondary education to college without the need for remediation, and careers
  • Identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining highly effective teachers and leaders
  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools
  • Ensuring the school readiness and success of preschool-age children and their successful transition to kindergarten
  • 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

Related work:
REL Southeast
Improving Low-Performing Schools

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Previous Work Updates

2016

October

For the month of October, SECC continued working with the Director of School Transformation, Dr. Latoya Dixon, and the RMC partner staff on reviewing the state's school improvement framework and the transformational coaches handbook. Outcomes of the work session highlighted the current status of the state's school improvement model and coaches handbook, noting that the current versions are working drafts and are planned to be finalized in the future. In the meantime, SECC will continue to partner with RMC for reviewing the draft documents: school improvement framework (due December 2016) and coaches handbook (due March 2017) for content and format. To better support the work with the transformational coaches, both parties agreed that the director will link the SECC liaison and the SCDE transformational coaches project leader for SECC to work directly with the person responsible for making the work materialize. The SCDE sought support from SECC to establish an evidenced-based database to post on the state's website.  The work session also focused on building the evidenced-based strategies catalog that the director envisioned. The director shared her initial ideas of which she had started to craft. SECC staff will collaborate with RMC staff to flesh out ideas for further development of the catalog for feedback before making the catalog available for the state's website.

September

SECC continues to work with the Director of School Transformation, Dr. Latoya Dixon, on the refinement of the state's school improvement model. A work session is planned for October with the intent of thoroughly reviewing and aligning with other key guiding documents in the agency. SCDE concluded the hiring process, and 25 former school and district administrators and curriculum leaders were hired to serve as transformational coaches supporting school administrators from the state's most critical of the lowest performing schools. Members from the Office of School Transformation conducted orientation for 18 instructional coaches in September. The final group of five transformational coaches will receive orientation in October. The director provided a draft transformational coach handbook to SECC for review and input. SECC will work with partners from RMC to review and provide feedback as requested. SCDE used the framework from Elena Aguilar (Art of Coaching) and Harrison, Killion Bryan, and Clifton (Coaching Matters) to craft the transformational coach handbook. SECC is continuing work with developing a bank of evidenced-based strategies. SCDE seeks support from SECC with establishing an evidenced-based database to post on its state website similar to that of a neighboring SEA. 

August

The new SECC South Carolina State Liaison, Dr. Ursula Hill, was introduced to the South Carolina Department of Education representative Dr. Jennifer Morrison. The SCDE has experienced some transition in that there are several new hires in director positions throughout the agency. The former Director of School Transformation, Dr. Jennifer Morrison, is currently the chief strategy officer, which is a new position. Her vacancy led to a new Director of School Transformation, Dr. Latoya Dixon. SECC staff members met with the chief strategy officer for a preliminary Year 5 planning meeting in which the Year 4 work plan was reviewed and the Year 5 key areas were identified. A follow-up Year 5 planning meeting was held with directors from SCDE. This collaboration resulted in requested support from SECC in the following areas: low- performing schools, SCDE internal systems, educator effectiveness, early childhood, and personalized learning. Various types of support will include training, consultations, collecting and analyzing data, scanning policies, and providing resources and materials. SECC also will provide support with onboarding newly hired school improvement coaches slated for an October implementation.

June

SECC staff have met with the new director of the Office of School Transformation to provide an introduction to the comprehensive center and to highlight projects on the Year 4 Work Plan. SECC staff continue to provide meeting space for the Office of School Transformation and serve as thought partners. Planning is underway for SIG grant recipients and Priority School TA sessions. SECC and the GTL Center will work with SCDE staff on the equity plan to assist SCDE with initial implementation of the plan. SECC staff will ensure that the Office of Educator Services participates fully with the state equity plan work group as the state is moving toward incorporating the state equity plan into the low-performing schools work.

May

SECC staff continue to support the Office of School Transformation by providing office space for meetings, serving as a thought partner, and planning for additional support for SIG and Priority Schools. SECC staff are supporting the state’s equity plan by serving as a thought partner, planning an upcoming meeting with the GTL Center, and working to build the agency’s ability to create management plans to support low-performing schools through the equity plan. SECC staff will work with the GTL Center to provide guidance and scaffolded support as the agency works to implement strategies in the equity plan.

April

SECC staff worked to copresent research based best practices for closing the achievement gap to federal Focus Schools and are working to plan the two-day retreat for teachers and administrators. SECC staff are also working to provide support and TA to the education associate for SIG schools by developing a monitoring system and comprehensive needs assessment for determining the root causes for low student achievement. SECC staff are working to develop additional templates and support for the state equity plan. Planning activities for the team to include a management plan with deliverables and timelines for implementation for the state plan will be discussed at a May meeting.

March

SECC continues to support the Office of School Transformation with the planning for an April TA session for federal Focus Schools. SECC staff is continuing to serve as a thought partner for additional TA sessions for Focus Schools and will continue to plan for codeveloping of a monitoring instrument for Focus Schools. The two-day leadership retreat is in the final planning stages, and results from the needs assessment survey will be woven into workshop activities. SECC staff are working with the state equity plan through the Office of School Transformation. The GTL Center worked with SECC staff to develop a communications plan template for the team from SCDE working on the state equity plan. SECC staff worked with the communications plan team lead to outline activities in the communications plan in a capacity building approach so that the team lead could go back and lead the planning for the state communication plan with his team. SECC staff are planning to work with the GTL Center to provide onsite TA to the state team working on the equity plan. The planning activities will take place with all team leads so that the implementation of the state equity plan will go according to the timelines developed by the communication team lead.

February

SECC continues to work with the Office of School Transformation on the development of an integrated approach to school improvement. SECC staff are awaiting input from senior staff on the draft school improvement model document. Once that has been completed, SECC staff will serve as a thought partner assisting the agency with determining levels of intervention. SECC staff has worked with the Office of Research and Data Analysis and the education associate for Focus Schools to plan the first TA session, which will include a root cause analysis and strategy planning session on research-based best practices. SECC staff have reached out to AIR colleagues to assist with planning and developing a monitoring instrument for Focus Schools. In addition, SECC staff are working with the education associate for Focus Schools to plan for a two-day leadership retreat. SECC staff assisted with the development of a needs assessment survey that was sent out to all Focus School leaders.

January

SECC staff continue to work with the director of the Office of School Transformation to finalize the input and resources needed for her to submit the school improvement model to the state superintendent and state board. Tools from the GTL Center will be provided to the director as she incorporates strategies from the state equity plan into the school improvement model. SECC staff have been building the capacity of the education associate for Focus Schools and the School Improvement Grant programs respectively. SECC staff have worked with each associate on developing a work plan using elements from Microsoft Project. Additionally, SECC staff have planned five TA sessions to assist Focus Schools with identifying root causes for achievement gaps and resources to increase the achievement of subgroups identified as low performing. This includes preplanning for a two-day convening. A monitoring tool is being developed with SCDE to assist in providing additional support based on visits to Focus Schools. Two sessions have been planned for SIG schools that address common issues from the SIG applications received. A needs assessment and monitoring tool are also being developed to use with SIG schools. Leadership coaching continues to be an area in which SCDE needs assistance, and with the hiring of a lead transformation coach, SECC staff will plan to assist the lead coach with the development of training for staff that will work with Priority Schools.

2015

December

SECC assisted the director of the Office of School Transformation with the creation of the final draft of the school improvement model for the state. SECC will hold a meeting with the director next month to serve as a critical friend and assist with additional revisions to the state improvement model. Part of the revisions will include further refinement of the levels of improvement status and corresponding intervention levels that will meet the requirements of ESSA. SECC will also assist SCDE with how to include federal priority and focus schools into the improvement model. Additionally, elements from the state equity plan will be integrated into the state improvement model.

November

SECC will meet this month to work with the SCDE director of the Office of School Transformation to discuss recommendations and suggested changes to the school improvement model that has been created for low-performing schools in the state. SECC staff provided a critical review as practitioners, researchers, and evaluators in an effort to make suggestions that would enable SCDE to support low-performing schools in a sustainable way. A revised rubric was added along with strategies and suggestions for the various levels of intervention SCDE will offer to low-performing schools. The tiered intervention model seeks to provide differentiated support to low-performing schools based on predetermined need from a needs assessment. SECC is working to incorporate the needs-assessment protocol to assist with the refinement of the current support document. Resources, Information Requests, and research on root cause analysis tools are also being provided to the director of the Office of School Transformation as SECC staff plan to work to build the capacity of coaches to assist with identifying causes for decreased student achievement and assisting with developing support.

October

SECC staff are currently planning and working with an SCDE director to provide feedback and resources on the draft school improvement model, identifying and refining levels of intervention for low-performing schools, the corresponding rubric, and identified interventions for schools and districts. A conference call was held with the director to ensure that the work of the team was meeting the needs of the office and intent of the superintendent to support low-performing schools. SECC staff will also work with SCDE staff to incorporate a needs assessment protocol into the model to assist with identifying root causes of achievement gaps and low student achievement and also provide support to coaches and leadership development at the school and district level. SCDE is also currently working with SCDE staff to develop the innovative and choice options project.

September

SECC staff are working with the Office of School Transformation (OST) by planning with the director to refine the logic model, rubric, levels of intervention, and process to identify schools and the associated levels of intervention needed to improve low-performing schools. SECC staff plan to finalize support for this project in time for a December presentation to the state school board. SECC staff have met with the OST and are continuing to plan and support the building up of state resources, expertise, and options to expand innovative and choice options for districts.

August

SECC staff are currently planning with the Office of School Transformation for upcoming support for low-performing schools. Currently, SCDE staff are reviewing an Information Request, logic model samples, and other resources provided by SECC to develop the draft plan of tiered support for low-performing schools. SECC staff will meet with the director and team leads in September to develop a timeline for implementation of the statewide plan and to codevelop a final draft of the statewide tiered support system document. SECC is also planning with South Carolina Education Associate Donna Manning to finalize a plan to provide support and resources for districts to begin offering expanded choice options. Additionally, SECC staff are planning with the Center for Innovations and Learning (CIL) to develop a leadership coaching protocol for the liaisons/coaches working with priority schools. SECC staff are also planning technical assistance in assisting SCDE with identifying root causes for achievement gaps and support for focus schools.

July

SECC staff provided an Information Request on state-based differentiated support to schools and districts to South Carolina’s Office of School Transformation (OST) Director Jennifer Morrison. SECC staff also provided samples of logic models and theories of action to the OST. As requested, SECC staff will engage in conversation and planning with OST staff to develop tiered levels of identification and support for low-performing schools. Additionally, SECC staff are working with Education Associate Tina Jamison to develop a new Challenge to Achieve (CTA) plan for priority schools that builds upon the logic model and theory of action that the OST seeks to create. New to this CTA plan will be outcome statements that schools will have to address to successfully submit a plan for approval and funding from SCDE. Finally, SECC staff plan to work with OST to develop a plan to expand choice options for students and families.

June

SECC staff participated in the SIG TA session and needs assessment for districts and schools wishing to submit a SIG application. Research on comprehensive needs assessment tools were provided to SCDE Education Associate David Long. SECC staff will continue to work with the Office of School Transformation to provide logic models, resources, and support to assist SCDE with building up tired support for low-performing schools. SECC staff are also researching the effectiveness of the creation of either a transformation school district or the managing of low-performing schools through an EMO. SECC staff will also assist SCDE with identifying support to low- performing schools through the state equity plan, recommendations from stakeholders suing the state and General Assembly in twenty-year-old equity lawsuit, and conducting a reality check of initiatives and programs designed to support low- performing schools.

May

SECC continued to work with the SCDE on the state equity plan by reviewing the document and serving as a thought partner for ideas and strategies to be placed on the plan. The plan was submitted June 1. SECC is also working to develop the Year 4 work plan; support in this area will include assisting the SCDE with development of logic models for school improvement. In the final months of Year 3 work, SECC will assist the SCDE with developing the process for how low-performing schools are identified, identifying levels of support, and selecting resources for levels of support for low-performing schools. SECC staff will leverage content center expertise and other partners to build the capacity of education associates in the Office of School Transformation to support low-performing schools in the state.

April

SECC continues to support the SCDE with the state equity plan by serving as a reviewer for the final draft being submitted to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The SECC also continues to provide research and resources to SCDE as it refines metrics and measures as well as strategies to support equitable access to high-quality, highly effective teachers. SECC staff and RMC Corporation partner staff will support the upcoming Indistar training for External Review Team (ERT) members in May. The team will present an overview of Indistar to the Office of School Transformation staff to show how it differs from a basic data warehouse. The Year 3 work plan will also be reviewed to determine what changes need to be made to support the SCDE’s work during the summer and to begin planning for Year 4.

March

SECC staff cofacilitated regional meetings with Education Associate Shemmicca Moore for the state equity plan. SECC staff modeled and provided feedback and support on the root-cause analysis protocol. SECC staff also attended the Indistar Summit with SCDE Education Associates Tina Jamison and Shemmicca Moore. SECC assisted with the development of an outline of initial training and support for the implementation of a statewide monitoring system for low-performing and charter schools. SECC staff will also assist with the development of a timeline for implementation of the monitoring system as well as with the training schedules for schools, district office personnel, and External Review Team (ERT) members. SECC staff are also exploring options with SCDE staff on how to engage and assist district and school board leaders in support of increasing student achievement.

February

SECC staff and partners continue to support the Office of School Transformation with planning for the state equity plan and will cofacilitate regional meetings around the state to get stakeholder input in the equity plan. SECC is currently planning a meeting with content centers and other technical assistance and dissemination (TA&D) members to assist SCDE in developing the statewide transformation plan. SECC is also assisting SCDE with developing a monitoring system for low-performing schools. This will include working with professional development liaisons to provide staff development and coaching to schools based on research based best practices.

January

SECC staff and partners are continuing to support SCDE with planning for a statewide comprehensive technical assistance day for the Office of School Transformation. SECC will work with SCDE to invite representatives from content centers and state and local stakeholders to assist in the development of a state model of school improvement. SECC also is assisting SCDE staff in the development of a monitoring system for low-performing schools as well as hosting several planning meetings for Education Associate Tina Jamison to outline support for Priority Schools through her professional development liaisons. With the districtwide school improvement pilot project placed on hold for the upcoming year, SCDE seeks to partner with the University of Virginia (UVA). The partnership will provide support to low-performing districts that are willing to collaborate with UVA and the Office of School Leadership, in an effort to incorporate several tenets of the UVA model of school improvement. This partnership may become one of the components of school improvement assigned to low-performing schools that have been in improvement status for several years.

2014

December

SECC staff continue to work with the Office of School Transformation to develop an approach to support Priority Schools. SECC is assisting with the development of an implementation plan for a monitoring system for low-performing schools. SECC staff held a technical assistance session with education associate Tina Jamison and the professional development liaisons to assist with the development of sustainability plans for schools that are no longer on the Priority list, outline assistance for the different types of Priority Schools and to discuss support expectations for the remainder of the year for Priority Schools. SECC staff also are working with UVA, the SCDE Office of School Leadership, and the Office of School Transformation to pilot a districtwide approach to school improvement in one district in the state.

November

SECC staff is working with partners and SCDE to assist with the development of a statewide approach to assisting low-performing schools and districts. This approach will be a tiered system of technical assistance designed to build the capacity of districts and schools to support sustaining student growth and achievement. NCDPI has agreed to support SCDE with its efforts at developing a statewide system of support for all low-performing schools. SCDE has agreed to develop a monitoring instrument with the support of SECC and partners.

October

SECC is continuing to work with the Office of School Transformation in developing a districtwide approach to working with low-performing schools. SECC staff continue to provide research and technical assistance to education associates working with low-performing schools. Meetings are scheduled with the SCDE to discuss support for low-performing rural schools. SECC is also facilitating a meeting with education associates from the SCDE and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to discuss North Carolina’s implementation of IndiStar, a statewide monitoring tool in November.

September

SECC continues to meet with the Office of School Transformation (OST) to plan Year 3 work. Activities include working with the Office of School Leadership (OSL) to revise the Transformational Leadership Program to better align with state needs. SCDE has also requested assistance with revising the program and with the development of an evaluation tool to assess program effectiveness. SECC met with the new director of OST and is assisting with the development of a framework of support for low- performing schools that will include root-cause analyses of low- performing schools and a menu of options for schools to select from in order to increase student achievement. SECC and partners will meet with SCDE staff virtually in the upcoming month to develop a timeline for activities to support the External Review Team process and monitoring of low-performing schools.

August

SECC continues to provide resources to the SCDE on identifying ways to close the achievement gap, providing technical assistance to Focus Schools, and has completed a webinar on sustainability for School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools. SECC staff and partners will meet with the new director of the Office of School Transformation to align Year 3 activities with the vision of the new director. SECC staff are meeting with Education Associate William Smith to plan focused interventions and technical assistance for Focus Schools. SECC is still planning to assist the Office of School Leadership with the revision of the Transformational Leaders Academy. SECC staff plans to meet with the Office of School Leadership in September to discuss Year 3 work and begin planning a timeline for the revision and implementation process.

July

The SECC staff and its partners have provided resources to SCDE staff on closing the achievement gap, strategies for improving academic achievement in Focus Schools, and have begun outlining the sustainability webinar for School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools. A tentative date has been set for the webinar. SECC staff will have an opportunity to meet the new director of the Office of School Transformation to present the Year 2 work plan and discuss elements of the Year 3 work plan. Additional technical assistance support will be discussed as a part of the needs-sensing meeting. The SECC staff continue planning and working with the Office of School Leadership to plan Year 3 support of the transformation academy to include the development of a model of district support for low-performing schools. A final needs-sensing meeting for the Year 3 work plan will be held in August.

June

SECC is working with SCDE Education Associates William Smith and Jennifer Green to provide research on closing the achievement gap for Focus Schools and creating a sustainability webinar for School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools. SECC will also provide resources on best practices and support for the Office of School Transformation with identifying additional resources and support for low-performing schools. SECC provided additional TA to the Office of School Leadership with its Transformation Leaders Academy. SECC is planning support in Year 3 in refinement of SCDE support for low-performing schools and districts throughout the state.

May

SECC staff worked with the Office of School Transformation by attending External Review Team (ERT) visits with the Center for Dropout Prevention and other ERT team members. The team held a discussion with Tina Jamison, SCDE education associate, about observations of the ERT process, and made recommendations for increased opportunities for integration with the state Challenge to Achieve Plans and additional support for low-performing schools. In June, a needs-sensing meeting will be held with William Smith, South Carolina’s newly hired education associate for Focus Schools. SECC staff are working with the Office of School Leadership to develop a defined project based on extension of the support for low-performing schools through the collaboration with the University of Virginia’s Turnaround Leadership Program. SECC staff assisted SCDE Education Associate Jeff Long with securing spots during the June 2014 Boot Camp session for three superintendents in low-performing districts.

April

SECC staff continue to assist the Office of School Transformation with developing a monitoring protocol for Priority Schools. Currently, SECC and RMC partner staff are reviewing the External Review Team (ERT) process currently in place to make suggestions for improvement and linking the process to the Challenge to Achieve Plans in an effort to improve all low-performing schools. SECC has also provided an Information Request on best practices to SCDE Education Associate Jennifer Green on closing the achievement gap for Focus Schools. SECC and RMC partner staff will attend monitoring visits with Education Associate Tina Jamison and others from the National Drop Out Prevention Center to provide feedback on the implementation and fidelity of the current monitoring process. SECC is also facilitating conversations with William Robinson from the Darden School of Business and Curry School of Education School Turnaround Leaders program at the University of Virginia. The expectation is that SCDE will work with SECC to revise the current program in South Carolina and align it more with school turnaround principles and forge a partnership with the Center for School Turnaround and the University of Virginia. SECC staff will aid in the capacity building of SCDE education associates to carry out the technical assistance for low-performing schools statewide.

March

SECC continues to work with the Office of School Transformation to define expected progress for Focus and Priority Schools. Research is currently underway to identify areas of excellence and research-based strategies to assist Focus Schools. SECC South Carolina State Liaison Don Doggett facilitated a virtual introduction of the Virginia Department of Education’s Dr. Yvonne Holloman and SCDE Education Associate Jennifer Green to discuss Virginia’s approach to supporting Focus Schools. SECC also participated with the SCDE Office of School Leadership staff in the Turnaround Leaders Boot Camp sponsored by the University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business and Curry School of Education. SECC is currently working with SCDE on developing a pilot project for two low-performing school districts in a LEA-wide capacity building model that seeks input and training from UVA. SECC staff will solicit input and assistance from the Center for School Turnaround with this project. SECC staff attended the Indistar Summit, facilitated several sessions, and provided note-taking services to capture the dialogue between SEAs as they sought ways to use the monitoring tools available in Indistar with their LEAs. SECC also participated in planning sessions with state department attendees in SECC states.

February

SECC and RMC partner staff are working with the Office of School Transformation to think through the revision of the Challenge to Achieve Plan and the technical assistance (TA) that the SCDE will provide to Priority Schools. Additionally, SECC staff are working with SCDE to define what expected progress should be for each Priority School. A sample draft plan has been created with SCDE and will be used with TA sessions for Priority and Focus Schools. Additional research will be provided to the office on best practices for closing the achievement gap with Focus Schools.

January

The SECC staff is continuing to support the Office of School Transformation through providing research related to specific achievement areas for Focus Schools and sustainability research. The SECC staff will assist SCDE with several tasks and technical assistance (TA) related to the External Review Process and guidelines for the ERT teams being created by SCDE education associate Tina Jamison. The SECC staff will research best practices for creating model CTA (Challenge to Achieve) plans based on available research. The SECC staff and SECC partner staff from RMC Research Corporation will also support SCDE education associates with guidance documents and TA sessions on expectations for ERT plans. Finally, SECC staff will also work with SCDE and the REL Southeast to develop profiles comparing successful and low-performing, high poverty schools.

2013

December

Staff from SECC along with Joy Eichelberger, RMC partner staff, met with Tina Jamison and Jennifer Green of the SCDE to discuss Year 2 work and develop a technical assistance plan with deliverables to assist with the External Review Team (ERT) process, sustainability, and support for SIG and Focus Schools. Deliverables include the co-facilitation of TA sessions for Priority Schools and Focus Schools to outline the process for monitoring and support, development with the SCDE of monitoring instruments for ERT team members, and cross-walking of several documents to streamline data entry for schools and to share commonalities of several monitoring documents that may then be used by the SCDE to monitor low-performing schools. Staff from SECC staff are also assisting the Office of School Transformation with the development of an evaluation system for the Palmetto Priority School Afterschool Alliance Project. Afterschool services are being provided to 11 Priority Schools to support the schools with increasing student achievement. This evaluation system will determine the impact of the program on goals and objectives set by the SCDE in coordination with federal guidelines for afterschool programs. SECC will also assist the SCDE with monitoring the effectiveness of afterschool providers through the creation of both paper and online surveys.

November

The SECC is continuing to provide technical assistance to the Office of School Transformation (OST) for their Focus and Priority Schools. Three members from the Division of School Effectiveness attended the SECC regional institute, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina. Staff from SECC are assisting SCDE with the development of a crosswalk-monitoring document to be used with Priority Schools as well as aiding in the development of surveys for the recent Culturally Responsive Education Training and for background information to determine technical assistance needs for Focus Schools. Also, resources were provided in November on closing the achievement gap. Similarly SECC will provide resources on best practices in an effort to assist SCDE in the development of a model Challenge to Achieve Plan for Priority Schools. A virtual introductory session was facilitated by SECC with OST staff and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction staff members, who have comparable roles.

October

The SECC is currently assisting OST staff with the analysis of the data from the online survey. The SECC staff will meet with OST staff to continue needs-sensing for technical assistance for Priority and Focus schools in November 2013. Members from the Division of School Effectiveness were invited to the upcoming regional institute for SECC states in Raleigh, North Carolina, in November. Additionally, SECC staff met with Jesulon Gibbs- Brown and the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance to discuss assistance with establishing evaluation protocols for Priority schools being served by the Afterschool Alliance.

September

Staff from SECC met with education associates at the Office of School Transformation (OST) to discuss the development of a survey for recent technical assistance (TA) provided on data-driven decision making for Priority Schools. The survey has been created and will be placed on the SECC website. SECC staff will also assist SCDE with data collection and analysis of the survey, to plan future TA sessions around the feedback. Additionally, surveys are being developed with SCDE Education Associate Tina Jamison for the TA sessions that are being provided to low-performing schools. SECC staff will continue to provide support to SCDE in developing monitoring instruments and protocols for Priority Schools. SECC staff are also supporting SCDE in the alignment of the former External Review Team process and the current Challenge to Achieve Plans. Additionally, SECC staff attended the U.S. Department of Education’s Fall SIG Convening with Education Associates Tina Jamison and Arthena Woods. During the convening, SECC staff conducted several needs-sensing and reflection activities with SCDE staff.

August

SECC staff began initial work on assisting the SCDE with alignment of the former monitoring instrument (ERT Process) with the Challenge to Achieve Plans in order to create an instrument that will support monitoring efforts and capacity building by SCDE of school districts. SECC staff also participated in training of low-performing schools in the use of data in monitoring student achievement in English language arts. SECC and the SCDE are currently in the process of creating an online survey to gauge the success of previous, current, and future PD sessions for Palmetto Priority Schools. Data from the survey will be used to provide information for the development of a continuous improvement loop of TA to be provided for low-performing schools.

July

SECC staff met with education associates in the Office of School Transformation (OST) to work on plans to continue Year 1 work and to develop TA support for Year 2. SECC staff met with SCDE staff to discuss the External Review Process and monitoring of Palmetto Priority Schools. SECC staff led a need-sensing meeting to determine the best way to build SCDE capacity to support the districts of low-performing schools. SECC staff also created a work plan for Year 2 that outlines support for low-performing schools.

June

SECC and SCDE staff participated in a REL Southeast bridge event for low-performing schools. SECC staff began discussions with SCDE staff on the provision of data-driven workshops for Priority Schools. SECC staff also conducted needs-sensing for monitoring, support, and coaching through a capacity building model for local school districts.

May

SECC staff continue to support the Office of School Transformation(OST) with assistance with on-site monitoring options for SIG schools. SECC staff began discussions with OST on planning for the remainder of Year 1 and began needs-sensing for Year 2.

April

SECC staff continued to support the Office of School Transformation with TA by providing articles, resources, and webinar archives on school improvement.

March

A web-based conference call was held on March 15 with SCDE staff regarding the selection of indicators for the performance management system (Indistar). SCDE staff had begun the process of selecting indicators to align with the school improvement plans (Challenge to Achieve). Also addressed were issues related to disseminating expectations and training to districts and schools around the use of the performance management system, methods for achieving those objectives, and possible time frames for dissemination. SECC staff is continuing to support the Office of School Transformation by assisting with the development of a “Focus School” conference at South Carolina State University in April. SECC staff is currently providing support to the Office of School Transformation through providing resources and articles on various improvement models and research on school improvement.

February

SECC held a meeting with SCDE staff on February 6. A schedule of activities was decided upon that includes the selection of indicators for use with the Indistar performance management system, a set of tools that includes rubrics, progress reports, and other relevant materials for the implementation and monitoring of improvement indicators and a dissemination plan of SCDE expectations for the improvement initiative. These activities will occur in early spring. During the late spring and summer, SECC staff will facilitate professional development sessions for SCDE staff on the use of Indistar as a monitoring and reporting system and for supporting their districts and schools in its use as a continuous improvement process. SECC staff will also assist SCDE staff in coordinating a summer school improvement institute, and during Fall 2013, SECC staff will assist SCDE in facilitating professional development for districts and schools on the use of Indistar.

January

SECC staff discussions with SCDE staff continued, and a meeting on February 6 was planned to explore the Indistar performance management system in more detail as a possible tool for meeting school improvement goals. Meeting topics will also include the development of tools and processes for monitoring and reporting implementation progress of school improvement plans.

2012

December

SECC staff held telephone conferences and correspondence with SCDE staff to discuss several topics including plans for using the Indistar performance management system for implementation and monitoring processes related to meeting school improvement goals. In addition to developing indicators of progress, SCDE staff also voiced a need for the facilitation of professional development on processes and procedures regarding school improvement plan implementation and monitoring. There is also a need to develop other tools and resources that will assist low-performing districts and schools in meeting their improvement goals.