NC Diverse Learners Project


NCDPI has developed an extensive array of support services for teachers that provide instruction for ELL students. Professional development for teachers and school teams in the use of SIOP, WIDA standards, ExCELL and Linguafolio as instructional tools have been offered throughout the state for a number of years. During Year 2, SECC assisted in the development in a brief survey to determine the effectiveness of the ELL Support Team approach for providing direct support for schools and districts. Year 3 will use the results of that survey to inform the development of a more comprehensive plan to assess the ELL support team structure and the effectiveness of team membership

This project is in the following state: North Carolina.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • 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
  • Identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining highly effective teachers and leaders

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Previous Work Updates

2016

September

In September, SECC staff completed a draft of the report of the state Title III networking webinar, which they facilitated on July 19 among four SECC states that shared a 15-minute presentation of their EL support system for technical assistance and professional development. The report includes a description of each state’s support system captured through narrative and summary tables. On September 20, the SECC team sent an email to SEA participants that included a draft of the report requesting feedback by September 28. The email also included a poll for scheduling the next webinar and a request for each state to provide topic suggestions. Next steps for SECC are to finalize and disseminate the state Title III networking webinar report to each participating state and schedule the second webinar.

August

SECC staff participated in a face-to-face meeting with NCDPI staff to review Year 4 work plan activities and to discuss priorities for the Year 5 work plan. SECC staff also responded to a request for information on the status of the American Indian Achievement Study being completed by the REL Southeast. In addition, SECC staff reviewed the center’s report regarding its state Title III networking webinar that was held July 19. During that time, NCDPI Title III staff shared information about their work with three other states. SECC staff will share the report on the webinar with all SECC states once it has been approved for dissemination. At that time, SECC staff will conduct a needs survey regarding the scheduling of a second webinar and topics of interest.

July

On July 19, SECC staff facilitated its state Title IIII networking webinar in which ELL coordinators and specialists cross-collaborated with counterparts from Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi. Each state discussed past and current approaches to ELL professional development and support for LEAs and schools serving this population of students. They shared and learned about SEA contexts for EL education in the Southeast, processes SECC states use to provide EL PD for administrators and ESOL and classroom teachers, successes and challenges, as well as their own processes for systems of support. At the conclusion of the conversation, SEA staff were able to ask questions of their colleagues, and they expressed an interest in scheduling a second networking session. One staff member from Alabama suggested visiting other agencies’ events to learn more about their work on ELL systems support. Next steps are for SECC staff to compile and disseminate a report of the webinar, review survey results, and plan for session #2. SECC staff scheduled a meeting for August 4 to discuss Indian Education with two NCDPI staff members.

June

On June 1, SECC staff met with NCDPI Title III staff to discuss the ELL trainer evaluation rubric interrater reliability tests that two SECC project team members completed in April. During the meeting, the Title III director inquired on the differences in ratings between a trainee’s self-assessment and the evaluator’s. SECC’s evaluation expert provided feedback on possible reasons for the discrepancy, namely how bias may occur during a self-evaluation. Other than minor issues with the rubric’s format, the team determined the rubric was ready for full implementation. Next steps are to consider needs for Year 5 work, which may include further assessment of the implementation of the rubric using multiple data sources. NCDPI staff will be discussing needs with other department staff. SECC and NCDPI project team members submitted a conference proposal on June 17 to the 2017 National Title I Conference to be held in Long Beach, California, February 22–25. The title of the conference proposal is Capitalizing on Local Expertise to Build a Statewide System of EL Support. The presentation will guide participants through a series of decision points used by North Carolina and walk through steps for completing a needs assessment of their own. Notifications about proposal submissions will be sent to the project team in September 2016. SECC project staff prepared for its upcoming SECC state networking webinar whereby Title III coordinators and collaborating colleagues in their departments will be participating. SEAs planning to engage in this event include those from Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. SECC staff sent an email to participating staff at NCDPI on June 29 with details on how to prepare for the event. Next steps are for the SEA to complete its 15-minute presentation and send it to SECC staff by July 14. SECC staff will compile each state’s presentation slides into one file, which will be used during the July 19 webinar. On June 7–8, NCDPI staff and staff from the AIR American Indian Education (AIE) content team participated in the American Indian Education Meeting sponsored in partnership with a network of comprehensive centers and CCSSO.  The theme for this meeting was "Opportunities in ESSA for improving American Indian Educational Opportunities."

May

SECC staff sent an announcement to all SECC Title III staff on May 6 regarding its plans to host and facilitate a networking webinar in which participating states will share experiences with providing ELL professional development and technical assistance to LEAs. After receiving responses from NCDPI and its counterparts, SECC continued to work on coordinating dates for the webinar. The Title III staff at NCDPI will be participating in this cross-state collaborative to share its successes, lessons learned, and to network with other states in the Southeast. Next steps are to share details with each state about planning and preparing for the webinar and to determine the date. The project team scheduled a conference call for June 1 to discuss follow-up activities to the last iteration of the interrater reliability tests of the ELL trainer evaluation rubric conducted in April. Lastly, SECC staff held a conference call with NCDPI staff to discuss next steps in identifying best practice strategies for American Indian student achievement. SECC staff also held a conference call with American Indian Education (AIE) content team members to review goals and objectives of the upcoming CCSSO AIEI meeting scheduled for June 7–9 in Phoenix, Arizona.

April

SECC staff attended a training session on best practices for ELs at Johnson County Schools, in Smithfield, North Carolina, on April 6. Two NCDPI ELL trainers copresented the training. The purpose for SECC’s attendance was to observe a second training to determine interrater reliability of the observation rubric used to evaluate EL trainers. The SECC team continues to work toward scheduling an opportunity to begin reviewing the results of the North Carolina American Indian achievement study to assist NCDPI in developing a plan for next steps.

March

SECC project staff attended an EL training at Thomasville City Schools in North Carolina to conduct an interrater reliability test with the trainer observation rubric as part of the trainer evaluation system piloting activities. SECC staff were able to observe two EL trainers during this site visit. Interrater reliability was found to be over 80 percent for both observations. SECC’s next steps are to conduct final rounds of interrater reliability tests on April 6 by attending another training session presented by different trainers at Johnston County Schools in Smithfield, North Carolina. With those results the NCDPI Title III state support team will be able to finalize its evaluation protocol. 

February

The SECC team met with the NCDPI Title III director on February 5 to provide feedback on the revisions she made to the ELL trainer observation rubric. After using the observation tool during an ELL training in Thomasville City Schools, there were some elements that needed to be refined and streamlined. The project team’s next steps are to attend another training in early March to continue piloting the revised observation rubric and comprehensive evaluation.

January

On January 5, the Title III director at NCDPI met via conference call with SECC project staff to discuss the state’s plans and expectations for their ELL support team members for spring and summer and to plan next steps for piloting the ELL trainer observation rubric. The project team also determined revisions needed for the evaluation rubrics. Upon making the revisions, SECC staff sent them to NCDPI staff for review prior to its January 14 ELL Support Team webinar. During the webinar, SECC provided a walk-through of the evaluation tools and asked the ELL Support team for feedback and input.   On January 28, the NCDPI Title III director piloted the observation rubric during an ELL training in Thomasville, North Carolina, then provided SECC staff with feedback and suggested revisions. SECC staff scheduled a planning meeting to review the feedback and plan to share responses with NCDPI in early February.  On January 25, NCDPI and SECC staff participated in a webinar for American Indian Education (AIE) directors from the North Central, Northwest, South Central, and Southwest Comprehensive Centers to discuss resources and future meetings.

2015

December

SECC staff and the NCDPI Title III director scheduled a virtual team meeting for January 5 to discuss the design and implementation of the ELL trainer evaluation system. The team’s next steps will be to pilot the observation rubric and its complementary components that allow for comments and scoring.

November

During the month of November, the SECC team held two conference calls with the NCDPI Title III director. The first was on November 12 to discuss the draft and timeline for the ELL training implementation survey and to schedule a meeting to discuss the ELL trainer observation rubric. During the meeting, the team decided they should review information on the SEA’s ELL Wiki website to help formulate essential questions and how to best format the survey items. The next step was to send revisions of the survey draft to NCDPI on November 17 for input and feedback. The second conference call was held November 13, during which the team discussed an evaluation system for the ELL support team. The focus of the conversation was to determine the SEA’s vision for its ELL trainer evaluation system and a timeline for implementing it. The team’s next steps were to begin co-developing an observation protocol for evaluating performance of ELL trainers and piloting it in January 2016. Lastly, a SECC staff member participated in a monthly NCDPI ELL support team webinar on November 12, in which SEA staff and ELL trainers shared information with each other on protocol for SIOP training and NCDPI updates. The Title III director has invited SECC staff to participate in all of their monthly ELL support team webinars so they have a fuller picture of the work being done in North Carolina.

October

On October 12, NCDPI and SECC project staff held a planning meeting to gear up for Year 4 activities. The team plans to focus on further development of the ELL trainer observation rubric by including a process for scoring performance and to pilot the scoring rubric through on-site observations of ELL trainers. NCDPI staff will share upcoming dates for ELL training sessions so SECC staff can make plans to attend. As the SECC team began developing a draft of the observation scoring-rubric, they formulated questions for NCDPI to consider in terms of the implementation of the tool and how it will be integrated with the overall ELL trainer evaluation processes. In addition, the team made plans to create another ELL training implementation survey for participants who attended the 2015 summer ELL institute. To improve ELL support processes, the team determined that this year the implementation survey would need to be disseminated earlier to gather data on early implementation practices. The survey is scheduled to go out to participants in November. Finally, the team discussed possible needs for supporting the SEA with its Linguafolio assessments.

September

This month, SECC staff disseminated information to NCDPI staff about an upcoming webinar in October regarding successful districts serving ELLs. The SECC project team also met internally to plan and discuss upcoming activities listed in the SECC Year 4 Work Plan. These activities may include the co-development of a supplementary observation tool to use during EL training observations, attending upcoming EL trainings to assist with observations, and supporting the SEA with its Linguafolio assessment project. The SECC project team then scheduled a conference call for October 12 to discuss these items with NCDPI Title III and other relevant staff.

August

SECC and NCDPI Title III staff participated in a conference call on August 18 to discuss the English language learner (ELL) summer conference evaluation results. In turn, NCDPI staff were able to share these results with their ELL trainers who presented at the conference. As a result of the survey discussion, an additional conference call was scheduled on August 24 to provide a tutorial for NCDPI staff on how to collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative survey data. During the data tutorial, SECC staff took notes containing a step-by-step process for using survey data and shared this resource with NCDPI staff to use when conducing analyses independently. During the August 18 conference call, the team also discussed the implementation of the ELL trainer evaluation rubric, upcoming ELL training sessions in North Carolina, and project activities included in the Year 4 Work Plan. Next steps include sending the work plan draft to the NCDPI Title III staff for review and input.

July

SECC staff attended the Train the Trainers ELL summer training on July 13–14 at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. SECC staff provided technical assistance to the ELL training team and designed and deployed a satisfaction survey for the August ELL summer conference. Next steps include scheduling a discussion of the summer ELL evaluation survey results and the processes for implementing the performance evaluation rubric.

June

SECC and NCDPI English language learner (ELL) staff held a conference call on June 17 to discuss the implementation survey, upcoming NCDPI ELL trainings, and the ELL trainer appraisal rubric. The team reviewed the results of the implementation survey. They also discussed a dissemination plan for the evaluation survey for the August ELL training conference. SECC staff will work with a contact staff member at NCDPI to store the survey on the state’s survey system. NCDPI staff revised the draft of the trainer appraisal rubric, which was codeveloped by SECC, to form two documents, one for hiring purposes, and the other for evaluating performance of selected trainers. NCDPI staff requested the support of SECC by attending their upcoming ELL trainings and to observe some of the training during the school year in order to provide feedback on the implementation of the rubrics. Next steps include providing SECC feedback on the evaluation survey for the August ELL institute and continuing to refine and improve the hiring and performance evaluation rubrics.

May

NCDPI and SECC staff scheduled a conference call for June 17 to discuss results from the implementation survey that was sent to teacher participants of the NCDPI Growing Success for English Language Learners Summer Conference 2014. The survey was designed to gauge the extent to which attendees were implementing practices shared at the training. The discussion of the survey results will support the SEA as it prepares for its upcoming summer conference in August. Toward that end, the team will determine next steps and define roles and responsibilities.

March

SECC staff shared a rubric for hiring and evaluating English learner (EL) trainers with NCDPI Title III staff. Their task was to review the rubric and provide any revisions to the rubric. Once they completed this task, the team finalized the rubric, which will be used this spring for hiring new EL trainers. Meanwhile, SECC staff worked on analyzing and summarizing data from the implementation survey for teachers who attended the NCDPI Growing Success for English Language Learners (ELLs) Summer Conference 2014. Next steps include sharing these results with NCDPI staff so they can make decisions prior to the next summer conference.

February

SECC project staff and NCDPI Title III staff held a conference call in mid-February to finalize revisions of the implementation survey for teachers who attended the NCDPI Growing Success for English Language Learners (ELLs) Summer Conference 2014. SECC staff distributed the survey to teachers on February 26. Meanwhile, the SECC team began developing a framework for an evaluation rubric designed for hiring and evaluating EL trainers at NCDPI. Next steps include data analysis and summarizing survey results to share with Title III staff and engaging them in the codevelopment of the EL trainer evaluation rubric.

January

Staff from SECC and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) designed a professional development implementation survey that will be sent to teachers who attended the NCDPI Growing Success for English Language Learners (ELLs) Summer Conference 2014. The survey is slated for dissemination in February so that NCDPI Title III staff can interpret the results, learn about the effectiveness of its professional development processes, and make informed decisions concerning the 2015 summer conference. In addition, the project team began developing a rubric designed to support NCDPI ELL trainers with professional growth and feedback. This rubric also will be used to support NCDPI staff with hiring future ELL trainers.

2014

December

SECC staff facilitated a conference call that began with a review of data results from an English Learner (EL) summer conference for teachers. The team discussed its next steps which will focus on developing a rubric for recruiting and hiring EL trainers and a timeline for its development and implementation. In the meantime, SECC staff will support NCDPI with codeveloping an evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of its EL professional development supports. The first step entails designing a professional development implementation survey for teachers who have attended the EL training sessions.

October

This month, SECC staff conducted a conference call with the NCDPI ELL team to discuss the evaluation of the ELL Summer Conference that was held last August. The SECC team provided data summaries to NCDPI and continued to analyze open-ended training data. As part of the next steps, the team discussed analyzing historic qualitative data to inform professional development services. To recap the work to be conducted this year, the team reviewed plans for providing technical assistance with designing an evaluation plan to assess the ELL Support Team and the use of ELL coaches.

April

SECC staff shared a summary of results from the implementation survey for teachers who attended the NCDPI Growing Success for English Language Learners Summer Conference 2014. Once the NCDPI ELL support team reviews the results, the team will schedule a conference call to discuss next steps toward supporting plans and preparation for the 2015 ELL summer conference. Additional discussions will be planned with the ELL support team regarding its utilization of the appraisal rubric as an evaluation tool of current and potential ELL trainers.