SC Strengthening SC Charter Schools and School Choice Innovation


A major component of the SCDE's vision is the development of high-quality choice options for parents, including charter schools. SECC will continue its work with the SCDE to strengthen its charter schools by partnering with the Charter School office to finalize the newly revised charter school application and to develop and implement a peer-review process for new charter school applicants.

Project continued from prior grant: Office of School Transformation: Charter/At-Risk School Support

This project is in the following state: South Carolina.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • 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
  • 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
REL Southeast

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Previous Work Updates

2016

June

SECC staff hosted several meetings at the SECC office in addition to providing meeting space for the charter school team. SECC staff are preparing to work with the charter school team on additional revisions to the application and planning and implementation rubric. Additional TA for IHE authorizers will also be a focus for upcoming support for this team.

May

SECC staff continue to plan activities with the Charter School Unit and to provide meeting space for SCDE staff at the SECC office in Cayce, South Carolina.

April

SECC staff are providing office space and serving as a thought partner for the SCDE Charter School Unit as the charter school application is being revised. SECC staff continue to support the unit as the planning and implementation grant is being revised as well as to provide resources for the development of a higher education authorizer application. Finally, SECC staff are facilitating meetings with external stakeholders to include the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina. SECC staff will also assist with gathering resources and related research on replication efforts of successful charter school authorizers.

March

SECC staff continue to work with the Charter School Unit to plan remaining TA for charter school applicants and for P&I Grant awardees for 2016. The staff will also continue to plan with the unit on the recommendations submitted to the team lead in February. Regarding request for proposals, SECC staff have planned a meeting with the grants office to begin finalizing plans for support for remaining TA sessions for the current grant cycle. A final rubric and application will be developed as well as the template for inter-rater reliability training for proposal reviewers.

February

SECC staff continues to provide office and meeting space for the Charter School Unit. SECC staff has scheduled meetings with the Charter School Unit to discuss the Year 4 plan and finalize deliverables for this project. Additional TA sessions are being worked on as the agency prepares to work with current and potential authorizers and charter school applicants. SECC staff have provided the Charter School Unit with recommendations to improve the P&I grant program based upon the application submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

January

SECC staff provided office meeting space for the Charter School Unit and the South Carolina Alliance of Public Charter Schools. SECC provided resources and served as a thought partner as the group worked on suggested changes to the charter school application. SECC staff has provided input into suggested changes to the P&I application and rubric. Results from the last TA session will be shared with SECC, and planning for upcoming TA sessions will be developed as SECC works to build the capacity of the Charter School Unit to conduct a needs-assessment survey and use the data to provide ongoing TA to charter school applicants and current charter schools. SECC staff met with the grants office to provide input into the planning cycle for all competitive grants and to make suggested changes to the language of the corresponding rubrics. In this round of revisions, SECC staff were charged with moving the conversation toward increasing the rigor and quality of applications by removing any remaining vague language in the rubric template. SECC staff had a planning meeting with Russell Knight and provided input into the P&I application and rubric that would signal the change by removing the vague language and making suggestions for improvement on the rubric. Subsequent inter-rater reliability training will further remove questions about the completeness of applications and the ability of applicants to successfully have a high-quality program and meet program requirements.

2015

December

SECC is planning to meet with the Charter School Unit to refine support and TA for Year 4. SECC reviewed the application that the unit submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and has made comments and suggestions on TA that SECC can provide to the SCDE in support of the Planning and Implementation (P&I) grant award. A meeting will be scheduled in early January to discuss support and TA to SCDE. Additionally, SECC staff will work with the unit to refine the charter school application and corresponding rubric. SECC staff also plan to work with SCDE staff to provide an update to the leadership survey that was sent out last year and to plan TA to support charter school leaders. Part of this training will include topics relevant to first-year principals working in charter schools. SECC is also working with the grants office to assist with a timeline and refinement of the P&I grant program. Part of this process will be to integrate components from the U.S. Department of Education $30 million award into the new RFP to be released later in 2016. Monitoring protocols will be developed with SCDE staff and used to monitor activities of grant recipients. A performance management system will be suggested and provided to SCDE for revisions and possible inclusion into the P&I program.

November

SECC staff worked with SCDE staff to present a day-long workshop for charter school authorizers to include a question and answer session with Tammie Knights, former director of the National Charter School Resource Center, and a summary of what to expect from a high-quality charter school application from AIR Senior TA Consultant John Bray. Also during the session, SECC staff facilitated an activity to ensure that authorizers were reviewing applications according to SCDE standards and rating sections. SECC is meeting with SCDE to plan for Year 4 work and serve as a thought partner as SCDE staff work on providing support to applicants, authorizers, and existing charter schools. Survey results from the previous two TA sessions will be shared with SECC, and future modules will be developed with SCDE. In addition, SECC is planning to meet with SCDE staff to provide assistance to the charter school unit based on the $30 million award from ED for planning and implementation activities designed to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in the state.

October

SECC is continuing to work with SCDE on the application and rubric for charter school applicants. SECC staff presented with SCDE staff to charter school applicants on the educational program and special education program topics. SECC staff will present with SCDE staff in November to groups wishing to become charter school authorizers in the state. Activities include a scoring exercise with authorizers to help them identify strong applications and the provision of feedback to applications that may not be considered as meeting the standards to receive an approved proposal to start a charter school. SECC is planning to co-develop TA sessions and modules for current charter schools based on results from the survey administered last year. A new survey is being considered to provide an update and possible changes to the topics for future TA sessions from the SCDE. Finally, SECC will work with SCDE staff to plan additional activities to work with authorizers and applicants to strengthen charter schools and TA needed through the P&I grant process and related support. SECC is planning an inter-rater reliability training for the P&I grant for approved charter school applicants. SECC staff will attend the webinar but will not participate directly as SCDE staff are currently able to conduct these activities without direct TA from SECC. Feedback will be provided and used to improve the next TA session for the P&I grant program.

September

SECC is continuing to plan for the charter school unit authorizer training session. From the meeting with the South Carolina Charter School Alliance, the South Carolina Charter School District and SCDE charter school unit, suggestions to modify the charter school application and scoring rubric were made by SECC staff. SECC staff have been asked to co-present with SCDE staff at the TA session for charter school applicants in October. SECC staff were also asked to work with SCDE staff to present at the state charter school conference in November. SECC staff will continue to plan for Year 4 activities and deliverables to help strengthen charter schools in South Carolina. SECC staff worked with the School Improvement Grant (SIG) coordinator to conduct an inter-rater reliability training for LEA submissions for SIG grants. SECC staff have a meeting scheduled with the grants coordinator to plan for additional TA sessions for upcoming grants during the third round of this project. Additional refinements to both the proposals and to the scoring rubrics will be made.

August

SECC is working to finalize the authorizer training session for the charter school unit. A major focus will be the need to establish a community of practice for charter school authorizers to ensure that they establish high quality charter schools. Additional resources will be provided that are applicable to authorizers based on the results of the administrator survey administered in the spring. Recently, SECC staff facilitated and participated in a meeting with the charter school district, the South Carolina Charter School Alliance and the SCDE charter school unit. SECC conducted needs sensing at the meeting and will continue to assist SCDE with revising the charter school application and making changes to the scoring rubric. This will help with suggested recommendations from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NASCA) to position SCDE as a state leader regarding policy changes needed to strengthen the performance and increase the number of high-quality charter schools. SECC staff will also hold a planning meeting with the grants coordinator to discuss Year 4 work and support needed to complete final drafts and any revisions to the template for the both the request for proposals (RFP), rubric, and inter-rater reliability PowerPoint.

July

SECC staff are working with the SCDE charter school unit to reschedule the authorizer training session for a date in November. Additional topics will be added to the second day based on responses from the leadership survey. SECC staff will also facilitate a meeting between the SCDE charter school unit, the SC charter school district, and the South Carolina Charter School Alliance to revise the rubric and the charter school application in August. SECC staff also will advise on how well the application and rubric match up to current law and how to increase the quality of applicants through strengthening the rubric. Additionally, SECC staff continue to support and work with the grants office and planning for Year 4 activities.

June

SECC staff continue to work with the Charter School Unit to plan the upcoming TA session for charter school authorizers. Collaborating with the South Carolina Charter School District is a major component of the TA session. SECC has invited two presenters from AIR with a national presence to speak and work with authorizers. Tammie Knights, AIR principal TA consultant, and John Bray, AIR senior communications associate, will work with authorizers on the first day to provide a deeper understanding of the role of an authorizer of a charter school. SECC is working with the charter school unit to finalize the agenda and related activities. SECC has also been asked to review the changes to the charter school application and to make suggestions to increase the level of rigor of the rubric to increase the quality of applications and of approved charter schools. SECC staff continue to work with the grants office to plan for an upcoming training for School Improvement Grant schools. Further refinements to the template and associated presentations are being made. A meeting will be held this month with the grants manager to discuss support for Year 4.

May

SECC is continuing to work with the Charter Schools Unit on planning for Year 4 work. This work includes possibly adding school choice to the work plan to support choice options for parents through charters as well as other such options offered by SCDE. Currently planning is taking place for a technical assistance session with the Public Charter School District and the SCDE to provide training for authorizers of charter schools in the state. A second day has been added that will provide training on the rubric for charter school applicants to be used by authorizers to rate applications for approval or denial. Inter-rater reliability training will be added as a part of the session for Day 2. The team will use activities and samples applications for the training of authorizers. SECC is also working with the grants office to provide support for the charter school and low-performing schools (School Improvement Grant) units to update the training for the planning and implementation grant (P&I) and training for reviewers of SIG applications from local education agencies. The team also is researching information for the SIG coordinator on topics to include needs assessments and logic models.

April

SECC provided the results from the leadership survey to SCDE and is awaiting feedback on the report given to the agency. SECC will meet with the Charter School Unit to plan for Year 4 and to discuss support for the remainder of Year 3. Part of the assistance will include planning for training on the revised rubric and codeveloping training for authorizers of charter schools in South Carolina. SECC and partner staff are working to provide recommendations to SCDE on how to increase technical assistance (TA) support to charter schools. Regarding request for proposals (RFP), SECC is working with the grants management office to provide support and TA to newly hired education associates and to ensure understanding and application of the new template for TA to grant applicants. This support includes training on inter-rater reliability and the PowerPoint template. Currently, this TA is supporting the new School Improvement Grant (SIG) coordinator.

March

SECC staff attended a technical assistance (TA) session for charter school applicants to explain the process of applying for and being successful in starting a charter school. SECC staff will provide the results from the leadership survey and seek to identify professional development (PD) and related support for charter schools leaders. SECC staff are also looking at a recent National Charter School Association (NCSA) report to provide input into how SCDE can raise South Carolina’s rating and support for charter schools. SECC staff are currently reviewing all request for proposals with SCDE staff to ensure that no revisions are needed to be in compliance with the uniform guidance requirements for federal grants. Suggestions will be made during each grant review cycle. The template and related TA sessions are also being looked at under the new guidelines to determine if revisions are needed.

February

SECC staff met with the charter school team to plan upcoming support for the unit. The major areas include providing technical assistance (TA) around institutions of higher education (IHEs) as authorizers, changes in policy needed due to the revised ESEA flexibility waiver, and professional development to charter school administrators. Results from the charter school survey are being analyzed and will be shared with the charter school team. Topics for the professional development session will be developed along with a timeline for the activities to take place. SECC staff continue to provide TA to the grants office through reviewing requests for proposals (RFPs) and serving as a thought partner as the grants office continues to revise and improve the RFP process and related rubrics.

January

SECC staff is continuing to support the charter school unit as it seeks to develop training and support for district authorizers and the development of a community of practice for charter school authorizers. The charter school unit is also planning TA and professional development sessions based on the input from the charter school leadership survey. SECC staff continues to support the grants office with the review of and providing recommendations for the RFPs that come under the uniform grant guidance (2 CFR Part 200) requirements for federal grants. SECC staff will assist SCDE staff with revisions to the template that incorporate the guidance necessary to comply with 2CFR part 200. SECC staff will also work with the grants office to update the rubric and associated TA sessions.

2014

December

SECC staff are continuing to support the new leadership of the SCDE Charter School Unit through planning and needs-sensing as well as assisting the REL Southeast with analyzing the leadership survey for charter school leaders and district authorizers. In addition, SECC staff will continue to support the grants office through needs-sensing to determine additional areas of support. SCDE staff have assumed additional responsibility for the creation of a final template for the request for proposal process and corresponding technical assistance sessions for grant applicants.

November

SECC staff is continuing to support the Charter School Unit though planning and needs sensing on next steps for the community of practice for authorizers and developing technical assistance sessions for charter school leaders based on the results of the survey develop with SCDE, SECC, and the REL Southeast. SECC staff have provided a final set of comments and recommendations for the RFP template and corresponding rubric. SCDE staff are currently reviewing the comments for inclusion in the final revision to the template and rubric for agency wide use. SECC staff are facilitating more SCDE control of the RFP process. Also, SECC staff have begun assuming the role of thought partner, allowing SCDE staff to lead all efforts during inter-rater reliability training and cofacilitating TA sessions.

October

SECC staff attended the national conference for charter school authorizers with SCDE staff and planned support for the creation of the community of practice (CoP) for institutions of higher education (IHEs) that are working to become charter authorizers. SECC is planning Year 3 work for the charter school unit that includes a visit to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to learn about a statewide monitoring tool that can be adapted for charter schools. SECC is also working with SCDE to interpret the results of the leadership survey sent to charter school leaders and district representatives. Professional development offerings will be developed to meet identified needs of charter schools. SECC staff has worked with the Grants Management Office to further refine the inter-rater reliability training template and has begun conversations with the office to begin the third round of revisions for the TA session template for upcoming requests for proposals (RFPs). SECC is planning to provide TA and support as needed for Year 3 and to serve as a thought partner to further revisions to the process, templates, and TA sessions.

September

SECC staff met with the SCDE team lead Donna Manning for the charter school unit and created a draft outline of support for the unit. During the conference call, SECC and SCDE discussed the formation of a community of practice (CoP) as well as future activities that include ensuring that the request for proposals (RFP) and related activities from the charter school unit were in compliance with state policy and federal regulations. SECC will support the charter school unit at the upcoming national conference for charter school authorizers. Additional activities will be to aid SCDE with the development of a strategic plan and to plan technical assistance (TA) sessions for charter applicants. SECC staff continue to provide support and are now engaging in planning meetings with the Grants Management Office to provide support for further refinement of the rubric and template for the second cycle of the RFP revision process. Upcoming support will include the Planning & Implementation Inter-rater Reliability TA Session.

August

SECC staff have scheduled a planning session with the Charter School Unit to take place during September. Current support for this project centers on the creation of a community of practice (CoP) with institutions of higher education (IHEs). The SCDE has asked for SECC support with establishing this CoP and with providing resources and research on IHEs serving as charter authorizers. SECC staff continue to support the Grants Management Office with the revision and refinement of the template for their requests for proposal (RFPs), the template for technical assistance for applicants, scoring rubrics, and inter-rater reliability training on the scoring rubrics for reviewers.

July

SECC staff continue planning and providing support to the Charter School Unit. Year 3 planning is underway and Education Associate Donna Manning will provide a timeline and update for training to occur with districts and institutions of higher education (IHEs) as authorizers. No timeline for approval has been set because the CSAC has been dissolved; training for districts and IHEs will occur during the end of Year 2 and continue into Year 3. SECC staff met with the Grants Management Office to continue planning for upcoming technical assistance (TA) for all requests for proposal (RFP) announcements and related inter-rater reliability training. The template has been set for all future RFPs and reviewer training. The Career Cluster RFP is the next activity under this project, and SECC staff will assist with the TA for applicants as well as training for reviewers.

June

The CSAC training was canceled due to the recent passage of a bill that dissolved the group. SECC staff will plan with SCDE Education Associate Donna Manning on providing the training for school districts and other authorizers. SECC staff will meet with the Charter School Unit to plan Year 3 activities and additional support for the remainder of Year 2. SECC staff and partners met with outgoing Director Jesulon Gibbs Brown to revisit the work plan and support for the Charter School Unit. SECC is continuing to support the Grants Management Office by copresenting a TA session for McKinney-Vento grant applicants and inter-rater reliability training for the ACIG and McKinney-Vento reviewers. SCDE staff led all meetings and sessions and have begun using SECC-generated forms as guides and templates for materials for proposals and training provided by SCDE.

May

SECC staff are supporting the charter school unit with developing a final draft of the needs-sensing survey. Training for the Charter School Advisory Committee (CSAC) has been developed and SECC staff and partners are waiting to receive a training date to conduct training for CSAC during the month of June. SECC staff will meet in June to conduct needs-sensing activities for the Year 3 work plan and technical assistance (TA) for the charter school unit. SECC staff continue to support the SCDE grants management office with support for the McKinney Vento, Strategic Planning and Arts Curricular Requests for Proposals (RFPs). SECC staff are providing support through reviewing RFPs, revising and assisting with the new rubric for each RFP, and providing feedback with TA sessions with SCDE staff for applicants and inter-rater reliability training for reviewers.

April

SECC staff continue to assist the Office of School Transformation Charter School Unit with the development of a needs-sensing survey. Additional plans include the development of technical assistance (TA) sessions for current charter schools and applicants based on the survey to be developed this summer. Plans are also underway to coordinate training for the Charter School Advisory Committee on the updated rubric. SECC staff will meet with SCDE Education Associate Donna Manning to plan activities and conduct needs-sensing for Year 3. SECC staff continue to work with the SCDE Grants Management office to complete the formation of a standard template for requests for proposals (RFPs), a standard template for rubric development, and cofacilitation of TA sessions for applicants and proposal reviewers. SECC staff and Director Beth Howard-Brown will assist the staff in the Office of Student Intervention Services by facilitating a TA session on inter-rater reliability. Additional TA will be scheduled to assist with standardizing inter-rater reviewer sessions for other SCDE offices.

March

SECC staff continue to plan with Charter School Education Associate Donna Manning. Plans include the codevelopment of a revised scoring rubric for charter school applications, training for the Charter School Advisory Council, and provision of additional research on effective charter schools and funding options for charters in South Carolina. SECC staff will conduct a cross walk of the revised rubric and the charter school application for the SCDE that will ultimately lead to a revision of the charter school application. SECC staff have participated in several needs-sensing meetings with SCDE staff in an attempt to plan activities and technical assistance to support charter schools in South Carolina. The U.S. Department of Education has given SECC approval to expand the request for proposal (RFP) support work across the SCDE. SECC is currently working with the SCDE Grants Management Office to assist with the creation of a standard template for RFPs, a revised scoring rubric, and development of a standard technical assistance (TA) package for all proposals sponsored by the SCDE. SECC has been asked to assist with training on RFP packages based on revised documents. To date, SECC has assisted with the RFP and rubric revision for charter school proposals, Strategic Planning and Distinguished Arts Program RFPs, and the Advanced Placement (AP) Institute RFP. Future work includes training staff in the Student Intervention Services Office on the new process.

February

SECC and AIR partner staff participated in and presented at a technical assistance (TA) session for charter school applicants with a focus on what makes a high-performing charter school. SECC staff are finalizing the development of a rubric for charter school applicants with SCDE education associate Donna Manning. Additionally, SECC has begun working with the SCDE to facilitate the training for Charter School Advisory Council (CSAC). SECC, at the request of the agency, has submitted a document that SCDE will use to classify charter schools according to federal accountability ratings. A research-based support document that was developed in collaboration with AIR partner staff was submitted to SCDE outlining resources and financial support available to charter schools.

January

The SECC staff is still continuing to support the Charter School Unit. A list of upcoming technical assistance (TA) opportunities were reviewed and approved by Education Associate Donna Manning and OST Director Jesulon Gibbs-Brown. The SECC staff will work with AIR partner staff to plan revisions to the rubric for the Charter School Advisory Committee (CSAC) and upcoming training for CSAC along with SCDE education associates. A TA session for charter school applicants is scheduled February 28, and SECC staff will work to assist with securing a speaker to discuss quality charter schools and related research. Finally, SECC and AIR partner staff are assisting the Charter School Unit with classifying charter schools according to federal accountability ratings, providing summaries of available research on financial support for charter schools, and updating and expanding the research on the combining parts of a charter school application and the federally supported planning and implementation grant.

2013

December

Staff from SECC are continuing to work with the Charter School Unit of the SCDE to support effective charter schools in the state. A conference call was held with Donna Manning, SCDE team lead, and AIR partner staff to discuss development of monitoring criteria for charter schools as well as to provide assistance as the SCDE develops a rubric to effectively rate existing charter schools.

November

Staff from SECC continue to support the charter school unit at the SCDE. They attended the South Carolina Charter School Annual Conference and the REL Southeast Charter School Alliance meeting with the SCDE charter school team lead, Donna Manning. A needs sensing session was conducted with Ms. Manning to discuss resources and their needs. Additionally, SECC staff is assisting the SCDE with the development of technical assistance sessions for state request for proposal (RFP) applicants and the revision of the RFP process for the planning and implementation grant program.

October

The SECC staff along with REL Southeast Charter School Alliance Manager Darlene Morgan Brown met with the SCDE staff to conduct a dry run of a coproduced webinar for P&I Grant reviewers. The SECC staff participated in the webinar along with Brown and the SCDE staff from the General Counsel's office and the Office of School Transformation. Additionally, SECC staff along with AIR partner staff provided SCDE staff member Jesulon Gibbs-Brown with information on the research surrounding strong mission and vision statements and other request for proposal (RFP) elements to inform the revision of the RFP process for SCDE. The SECC staff and AIR partner staff will provide the SCDE with information on what the research says about what other states are doing to provide technical assistance (TA) to applicants and reviewers. Additional needs-sensing was conducted with SCDE staff in the planning and implementation of further TA grant activities to include inter-rater reliability, and pre- and post-award technical assistance to grantees. The SCDE would like for this to become a standard approach to future RFPs that will communicate expectations, finance, auditing and close out requirements to applicants.

September

Staff from SECC worked with the REL Southeast Charter School Alliance manager to gather the research needed to assist the SCDE with the development of training for P&I Grant reviewers. SECC staff continue to provide resources to support improvement of the P&I Grant process to the SCDE. Also, SECC staff are still collecting data and research on performance-based monitoring activities for South Carolina charter schools. The staff will be conducting additional needs-sensing for added Year 2 activities.

August

SECC staff continue to meet with SCDE and the charter school unit. SECC staff are leading the effort to build the capacity of the charter school unit by assisting with the development of the planning and implementation grant reviewer training. A meeting is planned to discuss Year 2 activities and the completion of Year 1 deliverables. SECC staff will also begin providing TA to assist the charter school unit with developing monitoring and performance- based monitoring activities for charter schools.

July

SECC staff met with the new team leader for SCDE's charter school unit and began planning work for the remainder of Year 1 and outlining the scope of work for Year 2. SECC staff presented a document on the request for proposal (RFP) process for Planning and Implementation (P&I) Grants from the highest ranked states, based on a national rating scale. SCDE staff plans to review, refine, and improve the current RFP process for charter school applicants using the document. Future work will include technical assistance for SCDE staff and other stakeholders to include inter-rater reliability and increasing the knowledge base regarding rigorously reviewing charter applications. SECC staff also participated in a REL Southeast workshop entitled "Leadership Matters" with members of various offices from SCDE.

June

SECC staff continued to support the charter school unit at SCDE by providing technical assistance (TA) through email, conference calls, and by providing updates on the status of current projects.

May

SECC staff continue to support the Charter School Unit at SCDE through planning of the bridge event/workshop with the REL Southeast. SECC staff are planning a meeting with the new team lead for the Charter School Unit to conduct additional needs sensing. SECC staff and AIR partner staff will provide a document outlining exemplar planning and implementation grant activities from six states along with recommendations for SCDE. SECC staff will also meet with the Charter School Unit to discuss Year 2 support.

April

SECC staff attended the National Charter School Resource Center Summit: Accountability and High-Quality Charter Schools with SCDE Office of School Transformation staff. SECC staff also attended the South Carolina Charter School Alliance Annual Conference with staff from the REL SE and SCDE. SECC and AIR partner staff are working to provide support through the development of a assistance plan to review charter school and Planning and Implementation grant applications. SECC staff are also planning a Charter School Leadership Bridge Event/workshop in collaboration with the REL Southeast.

March

SECC staff continue to meet monthly with partners to discuss components of the work plan and to gather resources to support SCDE with the Planning and Implementation Grant for start up of charter schools. SECC staff and partners met with the Office of School Transformation to discuss immediate priorities and adjusted the work plan to begin addressing gaps and providing additional resources to include an Information Request on supporting or closing consistently low-performing charter schools.

February

SECC staff met with partner staff of AIR and the REL SE to begin planning support to the charter school unit. Meetings have been scheduled with the director of the SCDE Office of School Transformation (OST) to begin the outline of technical assistance (TA) and support for the remainder of the year. The director of the OST has asked SECC staff and partners to read the revised contract between SCDE and charter school applicants and provide input on effectiveness of the contract. A combined TA session is being planned with the REL SE for existing and start-up charter schools on data-driven decision making.

January

SECC staff along with the REL-SE senior research associate attended and participated in a work session conducted by the SCDE and other SC charter organizations with stakeholders who have indicated their desire to start a charter school in South Carolina in Fall 2014. Additionally, SECC and REL-SE staff met with SCDE leadership and members of the South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) to discuss technical assistance (TA) needs of the SCDE Charter School unit, the research design for the Beating the Odds study, proposed bridge events to be held in conjunction with SECC staff for startup and existing charter schools, and TA to build SCDE and SCPCSD capacity.

2012

November

SECC staff continued to work with SCDE on the final revisions to the charter school application. The application has been sent to the SC Charter School district and SCDE for final comments. The director of the Office of School Transformation has requested technical assistance with building additional capacity for the charter school unit to include revisions to the contract, the memorandum of agreement, charter school board leadership training, and assistance for low-performing charter schools. SECC staff will meet to develop a technical assistance plan in December 2012 for the charter school unit.