MS Strategic Planning


Continued technical assistance in the development of the Mississippi Department of Education's System of Recognition, Accountability, and Support (SRAS) operational manual that describes the state's framework for delivering differentiated services to districts/schools, how it will engage stakeholders in providing input around the quality of services provided to districts/schools, how the MDE will continuously evaluate the SRAS in order to make informed decisions about and effectively/efficiently deliver services, and the structure that will be implemented to build the capacity of districts/school to lead the school improvement work at the local educational agency level. Additionally the MDE will create a structure for ensuring these tasks are aligned with the tasks outlined in the flexibility waiver.

This project is in the following state: Mississippi.

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

September

In response to an MDE-generated request for feedback on its first draft of an online SSIP District Survey to evaluate MDE’s SSIP district implementation process, SECC staff served as a thought partner in reviewing and providing feedback on the survey questions. Subsequent to the SECC staff member’s review, the document was submitted for Quality Assurance review. The feedback comments were emailed to MDE and the remainder of the review team on September 21. In support of MDE’s ESSA planning efforts, the following ESSA resources were shared with key leadership staff: High Stakes for High Achievers—State Accountability in the Age of ESSA; Better Evidence, Better Choices, Better Schools: State Supports for Evidence-Based School Improvement and the Every Student Succeeds Act; Non-Regulatory Guidance: Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments; Evidence-Based Programs: New Guidance Details What ESSA Means for Research; and ESSA's Non-Academic Measure: What States Should Know About School Climate. During MDE/SECC planning conversations regarding the Year 5 Work Plan, MDE determined that this project would be concluded at the end of Year 4 (September 30), and would not be a part of the MDE/SECC Year 5 Work Plan.

August

SECC collaborated with the MDE planning team to finalize the draft of the MDE/SECC Year 5 Work Plan, which was reviewed and approved by the chief academic officer on August 10. The Year 5 work plan was submitted to the SECC director on August 11 for AIR review prior to submission to ED in September. To facilitate MDE ESSA planning, SECC shared a variety of ESSA resources with MDE staff members, including ESSA: Quick Guides on Top Issues, Accountability Under ESSA: Helping States “Make the Grade,” information on Georgia Department of Education’s upcoming stakeholder engagement meetings, as well as ESSA resources generated by the College and Career Readiness & Success Center and SECC. Additionally, upon receipt of the SSIP district survey questions, SECC will review and provide feedback to MDE’s Office of Special Education.

July

On July 29, SECC met with a cross-departmental MDE team for the MDE/SECC Year 5 Plan of Work meeting. During the meeting, Year 4 project work was reviewed, and Year 5 projects were identified. A draft of the Year 5 Plan of Work was developed. SECC will email the draft to the MDE team for their review and feedback. Upon receipt, SECC will incorporate the feedback into a revised draft and submit it to the chief academic officer for her review and feedback. Pending approval from the chief academic officer, the MDE/SECC Year 5 Plan of Work will be submitted to the SECC director. Additionally, MDE currently is developing an SSIP district survey and will submit by the end of August the first draft of the questions to SECC and NCSI for review and feedback.

June

SECC supported the participation of three MDE staff members, who are responsible for equitable access and school turnaround initiatives, at AIR/WestEd’s June 15–17 national meeting, Talent for Turnaround: Support for Systemic Change. The meeting’s purpose was to maximize the roles of highly effective teachers and leaders to promote systemic change in low-performing schools across state and local school turnaround efforts. The Mississippi team participated in plenary and breakout sessions as well as three team working sessions, which were facilitated by the SECC Mississippi state liaison. During Mississippi’s final team working session, five next steps were identified, including the persons responsible, the resources needed, and the timeline for completion. Additionally, MDE and SECC participated in a second follow-up State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) conference call with the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and WestEd regarding MDE’s SSIP Phase II. During the call, SSIP data collection and data analysis were discussed as well as levels of implementation. NCSI will email to MDE infographics information for potential use with stakeholders. MDE will develop an SSIP district survey and will submit in mid-July the first draft of questions to NCSI and SECC for feedback.

May

SECC and MDE confirmed the participation of three MDE staff members, who are responsible for equitable access and school turnaround initiatives, at the June 15–7 national meeting, Talent for Turnaround: Support for Systemic Change. Also, in continued support of MDE’s five strategic goals and strategic planning regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act, SECC staff shared information regarding an ESSA webinar from Education Week. SECC staff followed up with the director of the Office of Special Education regarding her request for assistance with facilitation of an interstate special education strategic planning community of practice that she is organizing. Additionally, MDE and SECC participated in a follow-up State Systemic Improvement Plan conference call with the National Center for Systemic Improvement and WestEd regarding MDE’s SSIP Phase II. During the call, components of the April 1 SSIP Phase II plan were discussed, with a focus on state and local evaluation measures. The next conference call is scheduled for June 10. SECC also provided MDE information regarding an NCSI webinar on building and measuring capacity.

April

SECC contacted MDE staff regarding its participation in the upcoming national meeting, Talent for Turnaround: Support for Systemic Change, to be conducted June 15–17, in Houston, Texas. SECC is supporting its participation by inviting MDE to send a state team of up to three members who are responsible for equitable access and school turnaround initiatives. Also, in continued support of MDE’s five strategic goals and strategic planning regarding ESSA, SECC staff shared the following resources: • Link to an Education Week article, ESSA Cheat Sheet: What's in the New Testing Regulations?, which provides a quick, reader-friendly overview of the results of ED’s recent negotiated rulemaking committee meetings on state assessments under ESSA • Information on the Great Lakes and Midwest Regional Deeper Learning Initiative, which is designed to help states identify, explore, and advance state-level policy and guidance that drives deep learning practices • PowerPoint from a Teaching Deeply: Defining and Building Educator Competencies for 21st Century Teaching webinar Regarding strategic planning assistance to the Office of Accreditation, a time frame for scheduling the final MSIS Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #4 will be determined at a later date by MDE. Additionally, the director of the Office of Special Education requested SECC assistance with facilitation of an interstate special education (SPED) strategic planning community of practice that she is organizing to examine state policies related to SPED monitoring and necessary revisions. A follow-up conference call will be scheduled by MDE to discuss this TA request. Finally, MDE staff presented the Strong Readers = Strong Leaders: Mississippi Turns Literacy-Based Promotion Act for Third Graders Into Action report to the Mississippi State Board of Education, citing SECC’s assistance in completing the report.

March

In support of MDE’s strategic planning regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), SECC staff shared the following resources: a presentation from an internal AIR webinar, Overview of Title II in ESSA-Professional Development Post-NCLB; an ED-released issue paper on supplement not supplant; a Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) newsletter containing a collection of ED ESSA information; and a Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) document entitled, Major Provisions of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Related to the Education of English Learners. Additionally, the final MSIS Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #4, scheduled for March 15, was canceled by MDE. SECC staff contacted the Office of Accreditation’s bureau director regarding potential dates to reschedule the meeting. At this time, MDE is uncertain if the meeting will be rescheduled or if it will be determined that the committee has concluded its work. SECC staff followed up this conversation with an e-mail to the Office of Accreditation’s executive director to identify what next steps, if any, should be taken. SECC staff also followed up with MDE’s Office of Communications to inquire about the need for technical assistance with the office’s communication work. At this time, no additional TA is needed.

February

SECC continued to provide TA to MDE’s Office of Accreditation and Office of Technical and Student Services during February. In preparation for the follow-up Mississippi Student Information Systems (MSIS) Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #2, MDE and SECC participated in a February 10 planning conference call to develop the agenda and outline the processed to be followed during the upcoming meeting. The February 12 meeting #2 for department-wide upper level management was co-facilitated by MDE and SECC. During the meeting, MDE staff reviewed and revised the three draft documents from the initial January meeting, discussed the pros and cons to adjusting MDE document submission timelines, and made agency-wide recommendations for revisions of MDE’s personnel edits and timelines. Additional meeting topics included an overview of MDE teacher licenses and accompanying requirements; a discussion of the federal 5% rules as related to student assessment, highly qualified teachers, and core academic subjects; and MDE’s data privacy policy. MSIS Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #3, facilitated by SECC, was held February 24 for a small Office of Accreditation work group to review the revised February 24 documents, incorporate follow-up information, and edit as needed. A final MSIS Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #4 will be held March 15 to finalize the meeting documents for submission to the state superintendent of education. Also, SECC and MDE special education staff participated in a February 19 call with the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and the IDEA Data Center to discuss MDE State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) updates as well as future collaborative opportunities. MDE described its two-part approach to working with SSIP districts: an initial district-level SSIP kickoff meeting followed up by a two-day district-level SSIP data meeting. SSIP state-level evaluation also was discussed, including the pros and cons of internal and external evaluations. Next steps involved SSIP review, with assistance from the external TA providers as needed, and an MDE decision regarding whether the SSIP evaluation would be an internal or external approach. Additionally, SECC and MDE continued their intensive collaboration on the Strong Readers=Strong Leaders project work. MDE and SECC staff participated in a February 1 conference call to review MDE’s feedback on the draft document and discussed clarifying questions. Subsequent to the call, MDE developed and forwarded to the team additional information to refine and extend the manuscript’s content. SECC revised the draft to reflect MDE’s input, e-mailed said revision to the MDE for a second review, and then incorporated MDE’s feedback into the document. The final document was e-mailed to MDE on February 29. Finally, SECC staff shared with MDE’s Office of Communications information on the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center’s upcoming Benchmarking Strategic Communication Strategies in SEAs project. Because MDE currently is working on a Council of Chief State School Officers strategic communications project, it is not able to participate in another project on communications but would like to continue to be informed regarding future endeavors. SECC will continue to provide strategic communications resource information to MDE.

January

SECC and MDE staff (the Office of Accreditation and the Office of Technical and Student Services (OTSS) participated in multiple conference calls to discuss the Office of Accreditation’s request for TA with the facilitation of its Mississippi Student Information Systems (MSIS) Reporting and Edit Requirements Meeting #1. Conference call discussion topics included meeting outcomes, agenda, format, structured activities, handouts, participants, dates, meeting logistics, and roles and responsibilities. On January 22, SECC and MDE staff co-facilitated the department-wide upper level management meeting. Topics covered during the meeting were (a) issues and concerns with reporting personnel, (b) current timelines of personnel reporting in MSIS, and (c) current accreditation personnel edits by process standard. Meeting outcomes achieved included identification and charting of office-specific issues and concerns, proposed revisions to current timelines, and a summary of edits, as needed, for each process standard. The next meeting is scheduled for February 12. Also, SECC and MDE special education staff participated in a January 13 call to discuss information from the January 11 MDE/National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) conference call. MDE reviewed the key discussion points of the conference call, and the team brainstormed possible follow-up activities. When indicated, MDE will contact SECC regarding these activities. An MDE staff member also stated that she did not have good resources for evaluating PD. Following the call, SECC staff explored potential resources and e-mailed them to the MDE on January 14. Additionally on January 15, the SECC/AIR team assigned to the Mississippi: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders component of the Strategic Planning project submitted the first draft of the report to MDE’s chief academic officer for her review and feedback. Upon receipt of feedback, the SECC/AIR team will work collaboratively to finalize the draft. The final draft will be submitted to MDE in February. Finally, ESSA resources were shared with MDE staff members.

2015

December

The SECC/AIR team assigned to the Mississippi: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders component of the strategic planning project continued to work on the first draft of the report. Staff met virtually multiple times to discuss procedures, processes, and timelines. The first draft was completed in December and submitted for the first round of internal quality assurance review. The first draft of the report will be submitted to MDE’s chief academic officer in mid-January 2016. Additionally, SECC and MDE Office of Accreditation staff co-facilitated the Accountability Standards Review for Schools Governed by the State Board of Education task force meeting #4. During the meeting, task force members reviewed and revised the introduction, standards, and glossary items from the 2004 Accountability Standards Schools Governed by the State Board of Education. District staff will submit requested information to MDE by December 23. An MDE/SECC follow-up meeting (date to be determined by MDE) will be conducted to determine next steps. SECC and MDE Office of Communications staff also participated in conference calls to discuss potential TA with the development of questions for a statewide survey to obtain stakeholder feedback on MDE’s upcoming communications messaging regarding the new state assessment and the revised state ELA and mathematics standards. Due to the short time frame until the state’s testing window, MDE decided not to conduct a stakeholder survey at this time. Because there are no strategic communications TA needs at this time, SECC will follow-up with MDE periodically to inquire regarding additional needs. Furthermore, SECC and MDE Office of Special Education staff participated in a conference call to discuss potential future collaborative activities with the National Center for Systemic Improvement. A follow-up conference call is planned for January 2016.    

November

During November, the SECC/AIR team assigned to the Mississippi: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders component of this project conducted on-site interviews with five MDE-selected Mississippi schools and key literacy leadership MDE staff members. The interviews were conducted using interview protocol questions developed by the SECC/AIR team, with questions differentiated among the different roles the interviewees had in the literacy process. Next steps include developing a first draft of the report for MDE’s review and feedback. SECC staff also worked with the Office of Accreditation to identify the next date for the Schools Governed by the State Board of Education Task Force work. MDE selected December 14 as the date for the meeting, with SECC staff assisting with the facilitation of the task force meeting. Additionally, SECC staff informally met with MDE staff regarding identifying a date to discuss future TA with upcoming strategic communication activities. Communications staff indicated that they were meeting soon with other MDE staff to coordinate their activities and would contact SECC in December regarding potential TA. SECC staff shared with the Office of Special Education information from ED regarding new guidance for students with disabilities as well as additional resources that may be of particular interest to the SPED task force. Finally, SECC staff are researching information on the National Center for Systemic Improvement to share with OSP.

October

The SECC/AIR team assigned to the Mississippi: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders component of this project developed a draft work plan and submitted it to MDE’s chief academic officer for her review and feedback. Contents of the draft plan included aims and objectives, potential long-term impact, tasks, implementation activities, MDE/SECC staff responsibilities, and an implementation timeline. Following submission, team members participated in a conference call with MDE staff to discuss the contents of the plan and to identify steps to move the work forward. Furthermore, as a follow-up to the guidance and facilitative work provided by the CSAI in September, CSAI staff provided MDE an overview of the process development, preparation, and mathematics and ELA college- and career-ready standards review sessions. The memo contained information and clarification on the following areas: process development, framing questions, roles and responsibilities, pre-meeting preparation, introduction to the standards review process, participants, mathematics and ELA discussions, and next steps (PD areas essential to the success of the new standards). SECC staff also contacted the Office of Accreditation to assess the status of the Schools Governed by the State Board of Education Task Force work and next steps. MDE staff will work on identifying dates for the next task force meeting. Additionally, SECC staff contacted MDE staff regarding potential future TA with upcoming strategic communication activities. MDE currently is working on its strategic communications plan and will contact SECC when further along with the plan. Lastly, resources on autism, progress monitoring, and decreased suspensions/expulsions were shared with the Office of Special Education.

September

SECC staff collaborated with The Center on Standards Assessment & Implementation (CSAI) in identifying two CSAI staff members to assist MDE with the facilitation of two work groups, ELA and mathematics, to review feedback from stakeholders regarding standards setting, as per the request of MDE’s chief academic officer. The team participated in conference calls to prepare for the facilitation work, which CSAI conducted on September 21–22. A subsequent SECC/CSAI debriefing call occurred on September 24. Additionally, SECC staff and MDE’s chief academic officer participated in a September 4 conference call to continue discussions regarding MDE’s request for assistance to chronicle Mississippi’s literacy and early childhood initiative as a state spotlight. SECC and other AIR staff assembled a team to initiate work on this request. On September 29, the SECC/AIR team and the Mississippi state liaison participated in a follow-up conference call with MDE’s chief academic officer, key MDE literacy and early childhood staff, and an external MDE consultant staff to further define the scope and timeline of this work. During this call, the focus of the state spotlight was narrowed to include only MDE’s literacy initiative. Work on Mississippi’s literacy spotlight will continue into Year 4 of the MDE/SECC plan of work.

August

On August 27, MDE’s chief academic officer contacted SECC to request assistance with facilitation of two work groups, ELA and mathematics, on September 21–22. The MDE work groups, consisting of various stakeholders, will review feedback regarding standards setting. Dr. Kim Benton also requested assistance with MDE’s effort to chronicle the agency-wide work of MDE. SECC staff began the process of identifying individuals who will be able to assist with these two requests. Follow-up calls will be conducted during the week of September 1–4.

July

SECC staff met with the director of the Office of Professional Development to review the Year 3 Plan of Work for the Strategic Planning project and to initiate discussions regarding the Year 4 Plan of Work. Year 3 updates were provided, and draft activities and timelines were developed for the Year 4 Plan of Work. The Year 4 Plan of Work will be finalized during the overall MDE/SECC Year 4 Plan of Work meeting on July 30.

March

SECC continues to confer with external partners at SWIFT in order to collaborate around strategic planning efforts in the state to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts.

February

SECC staff continue to confer with external partners at SWIFT in order to collaborate around strategic planning efforts in the state to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts.

January

SECC continues to confer with external partners at the BSCP and CIL regarding plans for merging Mississippi’s SRAS, SOARS and SWIFT initiatives to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts. SECC attended a relative meeting in January 2015 in New Orleans at which it was established that SECC would join in SWIFT meetings to assist; however, it was determined by the SEA that SWIFT would continue to provide support. SECC and SWIFT staff also held a conference call on January 30 to discuss the TA support that each of the organizations provides to MDE and Indistar implementation in the state.

2014

December

SECC continues to confer with external partners at the BSCP and CIL regarding plans for merging Mississippi's SRAS, SOARS, and SWIFT initiatives to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts. SECC staff will attend a relative meeting in January 2015 in New Orleans.

November

SECC continues to confer with the MDE regarding plans for merging its SRAS, SOARS and SWIFT initiatives. This is to reduce duplication and to work more efficiently on improvement efforts.

October

A meeting with representatives from partner agencies was held October 28 with and at the MDE to discuss plans for merging MS SRAS, SOARS, and SWIFT initiatives to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts. On November 14, the external partners will meet to compare assessment instruments so that duplicative items therein can be eliminated and outlier items can be explored.

September

A meeting with representatives from partner agencies is scheduled for October 28 to discuss merging MS SRAS, SOARS, and SWIFT initiatives to reduce duplication and work more efficiently on improvement efforts.

August

The SECC and the MDE have set an October meeting date to plan for merging MS SRAS/IndiSEA, MS SOARS (Indistar), and SWIFT (Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation), per ongoing previous discussions. The team has set a September meeting date to move to the next phase of accreditation work, which will involve refining public and non-public school accreditation processes. The SECC is working with the Counseling Crisis Team on the revision of the resource for training Mississippi’s counselors in dealing with crisis situations. Currently, examples of materials from other states and districts that can inform the content for the resource are being reviewed. A meeting will be held on September 13 to review proposed revisions.

July

SECC met with task force members to identify objectives for the project, outline timelines, and identify next steps in the process of revising the participant manual for the crisis response role of counselors in the state. Task force members identified critical information needing to be revised and new content to be added to the manual. SECC also conferred with MDE about the Crisis Team meeting, in which group members determined that it will be too difficult to revise the outdated document "When Tragedy Strikes" and that they would like to use a PowerPoint format to identify web-based resources that would be the primary content about which counselors should know when handling crises. The group will meet in person to continue this work on August 9.

June

SECC and the BSCP Center met with the MS SRAS team, whose leader shared about the restructuring of the state education agency under the leadership of the new superintendent. MDE staff also informed us of their decision to merge the SRAS and SWIFT work. Plans were made to assist with a crosswalk of SRAS and SWIFT prior to the selection of a new set of indicators on which both projects will focus.

May

SECC met with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to discuss the status of MS SRAS work. This work is being paused until MDE is reorganized under its new leadership. SECC met with MDE staff to plan for publishing and training on the accreditation standards and related documents. Plans for consolidated monitoring relative to the standards and other points of compliance across the state department were discussed, as well as were those for replicating the accreditation standards revisions process for special and nonpublic schools. SECC proposed providing a process to revise crisis intervention training documents for Mississippi counselors. This process would result in the department having updated training materials and a certification process for trainers who would then provide that professional development throughout the state.

April

SECC staff met with MDE staff to plan a meeting that would address publishing and training on the revised accreditation standards and relative documents. The meeting would also address plans for consolidated monitoring relative to the standards. Other points of compliance across the SEA were discussed as well as were those for replicating the accreditation standards revisions process for special and nonpublic schools. In response to the need to provide crisis counseling training for Mississippi counselors, the Crisis Response Team is charged with revising or identifying a statewide training program to prepare counselors in providing services following a crisis event. SECC has identified expert guidance in developing a certification process. The MDE director of the Office of Career, Counseling and Support Services will present the option of revising the current materials and developing a certification process for trainers in the state. The Evaluation Team, previously assisted by SECC, is on target to implement an evaluation process for counselors in Fall 2014.

March

SECC and BSCP staff met with the MDE on March 31 to discuss the most recent team activity, which involved the compilation of a technical assistance and professional development manual that will soon be published so that constituents across the state can be aware of what opportunities are offered by the SEA, hence, having immediate access to assistance when needed. SECC staff also met with the MDE Accreditation staff leader to establish a date for a meeting that would determine next steps for support with the Education Principles and Practices Task Force. SECC staff met with the MDE contact for this component to discuss the March 11 meeting outcomes, wherein a small group met to discuss progress on the five task force action plans. The most significant accomplishment for the legislative team was the legislative removal of the phrase "other duties as assigned" to the school counselor law, and the requirement that 80% of a school counselor's time be dedicated to the delivery of services. This will require professional development for school counselors and principals throughout the state. Goals for the group include crisis training for interdisciplinary teams across the state; redefining the role of school counselors with all stakeholders; increasing communication and understanding about Career and Technical Education; and piloting the evaluation tool in Fall 2014. Teams are continuing to work on their action plans.

January

Staff from the SECC and the BSCPC met with the MDE to discuss the most recent team activity, which was the identification of all professional development and technical assistance that the SEA provides/has provided to schools and districts. The list will be compiled into a guide to be distributed among constituents. Upon request, SECC staff met with a key MDE leader about the work of the SRAS team and decided to build a leadership team activity that would build upon this particular work. The MDE staff presented to the State Board of Education the EPPTF's proposed revisions to the process standards, asked for approval to begin the Administrative Procedures Act process, and indicated to SECC that there is still a lot of work to be done by the task force with which they would like SECC’s assistance.

2013

December

Staff from SECC and the BSCP met with MDE staff to discuss moving forward with improving the state’s SRAS on December 16, 2013. The team decided that a preliminary step needed to be identifying all professional development and technical assistance that the SEA provides or has provided to schools and districts. The SEA team planned to meet on January 10 to share lists that they will have made per department. The team will meet again on January 23 to determine next steps.

November

On November 20, 2013, SECC staff participated in an update meeting with staff from the MDE and the Building State Capacity and Productivity (BSCP) Center. During this meeting, MDE staff informed participants of the start of the new state superintendent of education, Dr. Carey Wright, which would result in the review of the previously selected SRAS priorities to determine if the new leadership would agree to keep such as priorities for the new administration. On November 18, SECC staff attended/helped facilitate a meeting at the MDE at which staff members reviewed and discussed final recommendations for process standards revisions, including relative technical amendments, residency policy, and board policies. On November 13, SECC staff facilitated a meeting and work session for approximately 45 MS stakeholders that provided a review of the current status of MS K–12 counselors and their responsibilities as identified in the MS Counseling Framework, the Carl D. Perkins law, and the American School Counselor Association framework. Group members then identified one of five working teams and began identifying future directions and strategies for a comprehensive counseling program for secondary students. The next meeting will be scheduled in January or February 2014.

October

The SECC staff facilitated two task force meetings. At the first, the group reviewed revised standards and associated checklists as well as discussed graduation assessment options, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) transitions, transitioning to new assessments, and secondary course recommendations. At the second meeting, the group viewed a presentation on CCSS and K–12 distance learning and performed an intensive review of the revised standards and checklists/monitoring forms. As another component of the SRAS, SECC met with representatives from the Office of Career, Counseling and Support Services of MDE and the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University to plan for the initial convening of the Career Readiness Collaborative. This group of counselors, higher education professionals, school and district administrators, and business leaders will work on five teams with the MDE to design strategies to support a comprehensive counseling programs for secondary students.

September

On September 18 and 19, SECC and BSCP staff met with the MDE to assess its current SRAS, select priorities for improving its SRAS, and establish future meeting dates to assess the progress toward meeting the improvement goals. The next meeting will be October 21, 2013. On September 20 and 27, SECC met with MDE Accreditation staff to review Educational Principles and Practices Task Force process standards revision suggestions and prepare for the October 2 task force meeting.

August

On August 22, SECC staff met with the Educational Principles and Practices Task Force to review the revisions to all accreditation process standards, and relative appendices and legal references as well as to prepare for the October review of the revised standards by the Commission on School Accreditation.

July

On June 7, SECC staff assisted the central subcommittee with revision of Process Standards 35–37 and a relative appendix. SECC staff also assisted the north subcommittee with revising Process Standards 20–22, relative appendices, and monitoring instruments in a meeting in Grenada, Mississippi, on June 26. SECC will facilitate the next task force meeting to be held in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 22. It was established that the revised process for assessing Mississippi’s current SRAS status and selecting indicators for improvement will occur September 18–19 at the SECC office in Ridgeland, Mississippi, with representatives from MDE, SECC, and the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center.

June

It was established that the revised process for assessing Mississippi’s current SRAS status and selecting indicators for improvement will occur September 18–19, at the SECC office in Ridgeland, Mississippi, with representatives from MDE, SECC, and the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center present. On June 7, SECC staff assisted the central subcommittee with the revision of Process Standards 35–37 and a relative appendix. SECC also assisted the north subcommittee with revising Process Standards 20–22, relative appendices, and monitoring instruments in a meeting in Grenada, Mississippi, June 26. SECC staff will facilitate the next task force meeting to be held in Jackson, Mississippi, August 22.

May

SECC, the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCPC), and MDE entered into a formal, written partnership agreement for assessing, planning, implementing and reassessing for continuous improvement the state’s SRAS in May 2013. The revised process for assessing its current SRAS status and selecting indicators for improvement will occur in early fall at the MDE and SECC office in Mississippi, with representatives from each entity present. On May 15, SECC assisted the central subcommittee with consolidating Process Standards 1–11 into five standards. The central subcommittee will meet again on June 7. SECC also assisted the north subcommittee with revising Process Standards 12–19 in a meeting in Grenada, Mississippi, on May 30. The subcommittee will bring the remaining Standards, 20–22, before the large group for revision at a meeting at MDE on June 12.

April

SECC, BSCPC, and MDE entered into a formal, written partnership agreement for assessing, planning, implementing and reassessing for continuous improvement of the state’s SRAS. The revised process for assessing its current SRAS status and selecting indicators for improvement will occur July 23–25 at the MDE and at the SECC office in Mississippi with representatives from each entity present. SECC and MDE staff facilitated the second MDE Educational Principles and Practices Task Force meeting on April 25 and 26. The task force examined and categorized the remaining 19 of 37 accreditation process standards, reviewed and discussed the comparison between its and the MDE’s categorization of the standards, and established subcommittees for reviewing subsets of process standards in detail at separate meetings that will occur before the next task force meeting on June 12. During this meeting, subcommittee recommendations will be made for proposed changes to process standards, state statutes, and/or school board policy.

March

SECC staff met with MDE staff and the leader of the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCPC) on March 25 to review the SRAS as it currently exists and plan for moving forward with the process. An MDE team will meet with SECC and BSCPC staff on July 24 and 25 to assess the SRAS status, select indicators for focus, and subsequently work with SECC staff, meeting monthly, to monitor and improve the SRAS. SECC and MDE staff facilitated the first MDE Educational Principles and Practices Task Force meeting on March 28. The task force discussed the role of accreditation, received information regarding task force charge and responsibilities, elected a chairperson, reviewed the Information Request regarding what other southern states do in the way of district accreditation, heard an overview of SACS standards, and examined and categorized 18 of their 37 accreditation process standards. SECC and MDE staff will facilitate the next task force meeting on April 25 and 26.

February

SECC staff will meet with MDE staff on March 25 to review the SRAS and plan for moving forward with the process. SECC staff will facilitate the first MDE Educational Principles and Practices Task Force meeting on March 28. The task force will be given for review and use in the meeting a resource binder containing current process standards, along with the federal regulations, state statutes, and state board policies that are applicable to each standard. The task force will begin its work on establishing a new and improved system for accrediting school districts at this meeting.

Staff from SECC met with the Career Readiness Collaborative project leader about the progress of the work and to plan for additional support following an upcoming March 11 meeting of the relative task group leaders.

January

SECC staff met with the MDE System of Recognition, Accountability, and Support (SRAS) core group to define the technical assistance that SECC staff will provide to facilitate the state's system of support. Additionally SECC staff clarified the interrelatedness of the SRAS and the school improvement work. Furthermore, SECC identified which SECC personnel will provide support around the SRAS and which staff will provide support for the SIG and other school improvement work.

2012

November

SECC staff provided MDE staff with templates from the Center on Innovation and Improvement to assist with the development of the SSOS operations manual. Staff also conferred with MDE staff about technical assistance to be provided to MDE around strengthening the SSOS. A planning session to further develop a technical assistance plan is scheduled for the first full week in January 2013.