The Southeast Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance, professional development, and support services to the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina under grant number S283B050020 from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for 7 years. SECC’s work with the states focused on school improvement; teacher and leader effectiveness; statewide systems of support; English language learners and other diverse students; literacy, mathematics, and science initiatives; college and career ready standards and aligned assessments; and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waivers. For more information, refer to the Project Overviews, which are organized by work years.
As part of the technical assistance and information dissemination work with its states, SECC provided numerous online and multimedia resources as well as regional events to aid SDE staff in increasing their knowledge and capacity in key areas. Resources included newsletters, briefing papers, and reports. Regional events addressed topics such as designing and implementing teacher evaluation systems, Response to Intervention, school turnaround, and English as a second language. These resources were published under a previous SECC contract; therefore, information contained therein may have changed and is not updated. To access archives of these resources, click the link below.
- Year Seven
- Year Six
- Years One–Five
Year Seven - (October 1, 2011-September 30, 2012)
21st Century Community Learning Centers
21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLCs) are federally funded afterschool programs that provide extended learning opportunities, during the out-of-school-time hours, to students in grades kindergarten through high school. Initially a federally administered program, today, each state organizes and administers its own 21st CCLC program. In Mississippi, the SECC is providing technical assistance to enhance the state's program by assisting MDE to make revisions to its RFP and grantee selection process; to develop a statewide mentoring program; to plan the statewide 21st CCLC Winter Institute (professional development conference); and to develop a plan to facilitate communication between MDE and its 21st CCLC grantees.
Alabama School Improvement Grants (SIG) 1003(g)
SECC is assisting the ALSDE Federal Programs' Office of School Improvement with transitioning to an online state-, district-, and school-level tool in collaboration with the tool's developer, the Center on Innovation and Improvement. SECC staff provide technical assistance and professional development for state grant coaches and district and school personnel in the use and implementation of the tool.
College and Career Ready – Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Instructional Support Videos
The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) has collaborated with the Center on Instruction Content Center and the states in SECC's region to design English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) videos to support states, schools, and teachers with the implementation of the ELA CCSS. Due to a reorganization of the content centers, collaboration efforts are at present only with the states in SECC's region. Each video is an audiovisual resource that focuses on providing specific examples and illustrations to address the standard.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Instructional Support Videos
The Common Core State Standards Mathematics (CCSSM) videos are designed to support states, schools, and teachers in the implementation of the CCSS for mathematics. The videos were created in collaboration with the states in the Southeast Comprehensive Center region based on their needs for professional development support for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. Each video is an audiovisual resource that focuses on specific standards and includes examples and illustrations geared to enhancing understanding.
Common Core State Standards Implementation Support for South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) requested the Southeast Comprehensive Center's (SECC) assistance in working with SCDE staff in preparing professional development for schools and districts implementing the Common Core State Standards in both content areas of English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics. SECC program associates worked from areas of need identified by SCDE staff to prepare and present professional development activities to SC teachers and administrators. Following the professional development, additional technical assistance support will include reviewing needs assessments completed by stakeholders from SC districts to identify additional professional development opportunities and researching implementation strategies around a number of identified topics including, but not limited to, informational text, vocabulary comprehension, and writing for ELA and basic operations/equations and probability and statistics for mathematics so that SCDE staff can provide such resources to their schools and districts. SC is rolling out professional development during the current school year and continues to ask for SECC support in its efforts.
Common Core State Standards Resource Review
All five states in the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) region have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as a vehicle for preparing college- and career-ready students. To assist these states with their implementation of the CCSS, program associates from the SECC do an exhaustive review of the CCSS resources in order to provide the best CCSS resources to the states in the SECC region. These resources are updated twice annually to provide SECC states with guidance in implementing the CCSS.
SECC is providing technical assistance (TA) in developing guidance and assisting with professional development on research-based strategies for teaching and reaching diverse learners. This assistance includes support with the scaling up of Response to Intervention (RtI) practices to secondary schools.
Education and Economic Development Act
SECC is providing evaluation assistance related to the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA), a legislative mandate enacted in 2005. EEDA is comprehensive, reform-focused legislation meant to strengthen the state's workforce by improving college and career awareness and preparation among students through a series of college- and career-readiness efforts, as well as by providing targeted program assistance for at-risk students. To date, no formal evaluation has been conducted on the program. SECC Evaluation staff are working with SCDE staff to design and formulate an evaluation for EEDA that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the program over the past 5 years as well as building in an evaluation component to strengthen and sustain ongoing program efforts.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver Project
A series of stakeholder meetings, four over 2 days, facilitated by Kris Kaase, Beth Howard, and Robyn Madison-Harris in conjunction with SCDE leaders, was held in order to collect input from various stakeholder groups, such as teachers, administrators, district superintendents and assessment staff, and community leaders, regarding the SC ESEA waiver application. A presentation regarding the four components of the waiver application was made to each group who provided relative feedback that was documented for consideration during the waiver application revision process prior to its submission to the U.S. Department of Education. The waiver application was submitted in February.
SECC is assisting the coordinator for English learner (EL) programs (Title III) in identifying research-based resources and strategies to support the instruction of English learners in the core content areas. Additional technical assistance includes collaborating with the EL coordinator to provide training to school district personnel on EL guidelines and improvement planning and providing support in preparation for the U.S. Department of Education Title III monitoring visit.
Federal Programs Consolidated Monitoring Instrument and Technical Assistance Council
SECC is assisting with facilitation of the Federal Programs Advisory Council to review the use of the current monitoring instrument for needed revisions and updates and to provide recommendations for revision to technical assistance portions of the MDE's 3-year monitoring cycle. SECC is also working with the Federal Programs Technical Assistance Council to develop a state technical assistance delivery process and a plan for the creation of a statewide mentoring program for new federal program directors.
Georgia – Professional Learning Project
A critical component of the Professional Learning Project is the evaluation of the usefulness and quality of content and delivery of the math/ELA content professional development Elluminate sessions. This component entails the development of a general online survey for all professional learning sessions to be held during Spring 2012. This survey is housed on SEDL's Web site, and SECC will provide feedback from the surveys at periodic points in time.
Instructional Support Design Team
In collaboration with the Florida Center for Reading Research and the Center on Instruction (COI), SECC provides technical assistance to an ALSDE team with the piloting of a school-based instructional facilitator program. Applying research-based principles, the design team identifies how instructional facilitators will work with teachers, what PD they may need to work across content areas and grade levels, and how this model will interface with the efforts of the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). SECC staff are also assisting the team in developing an evaluation instrument to measure the pilot's effectiveness.
Literacy Initiative Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Plan
As a part of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy planning grant, the Georgia Department of Education is developing a state literacy plan. This literacy plan encompasses birth through grade 12. The Georgia Literacy Task Force is charged with the development of an implementation plan that allows for transitions between grade-level bands (Birth to 5, Elementary, and Middle/High School).
Literacy Initiatives – Adolescent Literacy Partnership Project
The Louisiana Department of Education's Literacy Goal Office invited schools to participate in a literacy partnership: the 2011-12 Adolescent Literacy Partnership Project (ALPP) in grades 6-8. The project's primary focus will be to increase the percentage of eighth-grade students scoring basic and above in English language arts on LEAP: 75% by 2014, with 90% as the ultimate goal.
Louisiana’s Literacy Initiative – Ensuring Literacy For All (ELFA)
Ensuring Literacy For All is implemented in schools with the highest population of students at risk of achieving successful literacy outcomes. ELFA focuses on preparing students in grades PK-4 to become skilled readers and writers, but during the 2011-2012 school year, the primary focus was on third-grade literacy outcomes. A key feature of ELFA is providing targeted professional development to districts and schools to improve literacy outcomes.
Math Science Partnership (MSP) Project
The Louisiana Department of Education's office of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics requested Southeast Comprehensive Center support in providing professional development to Louisiana's Math Science Partnership grantees focusing on grade 8 mathematics including what rigorous classroom instruction looks like and how instructional coaches and administrators can support such instruction unique to the Common Core State Standards for mathematics.
Mississippi Statewide Literacy Project – Career and Technical Education (CTE)
The Mississippi Academics, Skills, and Knowledge in Career and Technical Education pilot project offers six districts the unique opportunity to participate in professional development training using a coaching model, which focuses on research-based strategies designed to increase literary skills in respective CTE content areas.
Mississippi Statewide System of Support (SSOS)
SECC is assisting the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) with development of an SSOS manual. The manual will inform staff in divisions across the department about their roles and responsibilities in providing systems of support to assist districts and schools that have been identified for improvement under the state's accountability system. The manual will be used to guide the MDE and school support teams in providing a seamless, tiered system of support to local education agencies (LEAs) and schools.
Office of School Transformation: Charter/At-Risk School Support
SECC is assisting the Office of School Transformation: Charter/At-Risk School Support unit in reviewing the 2012–2013 charter school applications. In addition, SECC staff will provide feedback on the advisory board review process and assist in the development of charter school leadership training.
Office of School Transformation: High School Reform Models
SECC is assisting the South Carolina Office of School Transformation in examining high school reform models in the state. SECC staff is providing technical assistance for the office in developing a survey for high schools focused on the implementation of the High Schools That Work reform model. Depending on the results of the survey, SECC may also assist with gathering information on effective whole-school reform models and in building a plan for professional development around selected models.
Office of School Transformation: SIG Teacher Evaluation Component
SECC is providing technical assistance to the Office of School Transformation regarding the piloting of a new teacher evaluation system based on a hybrid model. The evaluation system will use multiple valid measures including data in student growth and other measures of professional practice. This "hybrid" evaluation system will be piloted in School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools that have received a School Improvement Grant.
Restraint and Seclusion
SECC staff are providing technical assistance in the development of a draft policy on restraint and seclusion for Mississippi schools. The policy will be applicable to all children enrolled in Mississippi schools.
SECC is assisting the GaDOE with customizing the Center on Innovation and Improvement's Indistar tool for improving and managing research-based processes for school improvement. When customized to support Georgia's School Improvement Grants process, district and school personnel will use the tool to guide, monitor, and assess the implementation of their SIG plans.
School Improvement Grants (SIG)
SECC is assisting the LDOE School Turnaround Office (STO) in efforts to support state field specialists in their work with low-performing schools and their districts. This technical assistance includes work with the STO staff to build a school effectiveness continuum that will help schools focus on best practices to enhance teaching and learning.
School Improvement Grants (SIG) 1003(g)
In collaboration with the Center on Innovation and Improvement, SECC staff are working with the Mississippi Department of Education's (MDE) Office of School Recovery to implement a system for managing and evaluating the elements of SIG projects that address requirements of both the Turnaround and Transformation models. SECC staff assist in building the capacity of MDE staff to use the system, known as Mississippi Star, to support low-performing districts and schools.
School Safety Score Model
SECC is providing technical assistance (TA) related to the development of a Safe and Supportive School Climate Index. This model gives schools a rating across areas of school safety, student engagement, and school environment. The grant funding the work supports the development, implementation, and application of this model for 25 high schools in the state that are mostly mid-size to large Title I schools with an at-risk student population. The TA provided by SECC staff is related to the development and measurement items that would form the School Climate Index framework. This assistance includes reviewing the subcomponents of the index and providing feedback on the reliability, validity, and generalizability of the instruments used to construct the model as well as the overall weighting, application, and interpretation of the measure.
South Carolina is required to regularly revise and update the state science standards every 7 years by the Education Accountability Act of 1998. The South Carolina Department of Education is in the process of revising the state science standards with infusion of engineering and cross-cutting concepts. SECC is serving as a critical friend to the core team responsible for leading the revisions of the South Carolina science standards.
South Carolina – CCSS Assessment Study Group
A series of meetings, with an assessment study group comprised of district and school personnel versed in assessment, was held in order to present information and collect feedback regarding Common Core State Standards assessment options: PARCC, SMARTER Balanced, state-developed, or commercial.
Statewide System of Support (SSOS)
SECC, in collaboration with the Center on Innovation and Improvement, is assisting the South Carolina Department of Education in assessing and refining its current system of statewide support for schools. The goal of this work is to bring everyone within the state department to a full understanding of the current status of the state's system of support, to develop an understanding across all levels of the system of how their system of support should function, and to clarify state staffs' roles in the SSOS process. An initial self-assessment of the SSOS leads to the development of objectives and a plan for future development of the SSOS.
Sustainability and Guidance to Districts and School Boards
SECC is providing technical assistance to SCDE in developing a system of support for local school board members. This assistance will include the development of training and resources for newly elected school board members, understanding what is expected by law concerning the training of newly elected school board members, and leveraging resources to facilitate collaboration with the South Carolina School Boards Association.
Teacher and Leader Keys Professional Development Project
Effectiveness Coaching Training was designed to build the capacity of state department of education staff by increasing their effectiveness in working with district and school leaders in the implementation of the Teacher and Leader Keys.
Teacher Effectiveness – Teacher Evaluation System
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) currently is developing a statewide teacher evaluation system. Because it views stakeholder engagement as a critical component in the design of the teacher evaluation system, the MDE, in collaboration with Mississippi's Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs), is soliciting feedback from teachers and principals via focus group sessions across the state. The purpose of the focus group sessions is to provide teachers and principals the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the evaluation system's standards and indicators. Morning sessions were open to teachers, while afternoon sessions were dedicated to principals.
Teacher Effectiveness – Equitable Distribution
The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education hosted the 9th Annual Title II, Part A "Advancing Teacher Quality in Georgia" Conference March 12-14, 2012, in Savannah, Georgia. Over 270 educators participated in the conference. The Southeast Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance to the GaPSC in the development of the program and agenda, identification of concurrent sessions and associated speakers, and networking with the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) and the Southeastern Equity Center. This annual equitable distribution conference focuses on achieving equitable distribution of highly qualified, highly effective educators in Georgia's schools and districts.
SECC assists the South Carolina Department of Education's (SCDE) SIG office by participating in SIG Project 180 Council meetings. The 10-member council includes personnel from the SCDE and representatives from institutions of higher education, schools, districts, and the community. The council meets on a quarterly basis and provides oversight of SIG applicants and their progress. SECC staff assists the SIG Office in providing professional development and other technical assistance to the office on supporting low-performing schools.
Year Six - (October 1, 2010–September 30, 2011)
SEDL's Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) provides informational services, technical assistance, and professional development to support the departments of education in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina in meeting the goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The following include highlights of our regional and state specific work during the 2010 federal fiscal year (October 1, 2010–September 30, 2011).
Technical Assistance and Professional Development
SECC staff assisted with several Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) initiatives:
- development of a guidance document on instructional strategies for diverse learners;
- measuring the implementation of School Improvement Grants using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model, a conceptual framework that describes, explains, and predicts probable teacher concerns and behaviors throughout the school change process; and
- development and implementation of a pilot for a school-based instructional facilitator program.
SECC staff provided technical assistance to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) with strategies for training math teachers implementing the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) and with a pilot for the Supplemental Education Services Parent Outreach Training program. SECC staff also provided resources for and served on the Teacher and Principal Induction Task Force (composed of 52 school, district, and institution-of-higher-education representatives) and assisted the GaDOE in creating a data-based system for documenting and evaluating teacher participation in Web-based professional learning modules.
SECC staff provided technical assistance with several Louisiana Department of Education initiatives, including creating training materials for the new DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) Next Assessment, titled Navigating Student Learning; serving on the statewide Response to Intervention Task Force; providing continued support in refining the School Improvement Process and training modules; reviewing resources on elementary grade-level tools for math screening and progress monitoring to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) work; and assisting with the revision of the English Language Learners Program Handbook.
In work with the Mississippi Department Education (MDE) SECC staff provided the following:
- an analysis of the Mississippi Frameworks to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in K–12 English language arts (ELA) and math and helped develop transition plans for moving from the Mississippi Frameworks to the CCSS;
- assistance with integrating the statewide literacy plan into the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs; and
- planning and facilitation support for the 2011 CTE summer institute.
Staff also served on a committee to review state assessment items for potential test bias; provided one-on-one training to build MDE's capacity in implementing Title III guidelines and policies; co-facilitated training for school support team (SST) members; and helped revise the SST process and the 2011–2012 Consolidated Federal Programs Monitoring Instrument.
The SECC also provided technical assistance to the Office of School Recovery (OSR) with
- developing an evaluation model for the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program that incorporates a monitoring process for SIG schools;
- developing monitoring instruments and requirements for the continuation of district SIG funding; and
- designing a comprehensive plan for MDE technical support to the districts and schools implementing SIG interventions.
Data from site visits to six schools awarded Round 1 SIG funding were aggregated to inform the OSR about implementation progress and the nature of the support needed by the schools and districts in the 2011–2012 school year.
SECC staff provided technical assistance and support to the South Carolina Department of Education with several initiatives:
- reviewing the SCDE literacy guidance document to be used by school districts in the implementation of the LiteracySC Framework;
- facilitating meetings of the High School Assessment Task Force and developing its findings; and
- assisting with designing and delivering services to low-performing schools identified through initiatives for Corrective Action Districts, School Improvement Grants, and Palmetto Priority Schools.
In response to state requests, SECC staff also completed Information Requests on statewide efforts for turning around persistently low-achieving schools, collaboration efforts for implementing state literacy plans, best practices in textbook adoption, and the use of instructional facilitators in schools.
During the 2010 fiscal year, SECC published three editions of the Southeast Comprehensive Center eBulletin focused on ESEA topics including improving school readiness and success for young children, strengthening literacy programs and instruction, and increasing high school graduation rates and improving college enrollment for high-needs students. The bulletins, which also highlight SECC services and work, were delivered to 1,020 state education agency staff members and other stakeholders in the southeast region.
On July 27–28, 2011, SEDL's Southeast and Texas Comprehensive Centers hosted a regional institute, "Designing and Implementing Teacher Evaluation Systems," for the state education agency staff they serve. State teams were invited to participate in a post-event webinar, which provided an in-depth look at a proposed teacher evaluation system in another state.
Years 1–5 (10/1/05–9/30/10)
During Years 1–5, SECC worked closely with its states to build staff capacity to provide guidance to local education agencies in their efforts to meet the goals of ESEA. Key projects are highlighted below.
- SECC’s Alabama state liaison attended meetings of the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Alabama LEA Support Roundtable to help the group better organize to build a systemic approach to its work.
- CC staff assisted ALSDE with development of a plan for implementation of the Response to Intervention (RtI) process, professional development modules on RtI, and a summary document on RtI progress-monitoring tools for reading, written expression, and mathematics.
- The center’s staff worked with ALSDE staff to review state models for supplemental educational services (SES) and to identify ways to increase efficiency of administration of the SES program at the district and state levels.
- SECC staff assisted ALSDE in developing a plan to use the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) to monitor districts’ and schools’ implementation of School Improvement Fund (SIF) grants. CBAM is a conceptual framework that describes, explains, and predicts probable teacher concerns and behaviors during the school change process.
- CC staff assisted ALSDE in developing an evaluation plan for the state support teams for school improvement.
- SECC staff assisted parent engagement staff at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in implementing a strategic plan designed to increase parent/community engagement in public education and to ensure that parents were informed about services available to their children through the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
- CC staff helped the Georgia Literacy Task Force and GaDOE staff create a plan to promote K–12 literacy in the state.
- SECC staff provided technical assistance for implementing and evaluating Thinking Maps throughout Georgia. Thinking Maps is a framework that employs specific visuals to help participants improve thinking and learning processes.
- The center provided technical assistance to GaDOE in its efforts to increase parental involvement and improve participation in supplemental educational services.
- SECC staff helped the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) develop and implement its Ensuring Literacy for All initiative to address preK–4 literacy throughout the state.
- CC staff assisted LDE staff with revising the state’s parent involvement plan, addressing parent involvement issues, and developing training to address parental notification and compliance issues.
- SECC’s Louisiana state liaison worked with LDE’s school improvement committee to revise the school improvement planning process, develop related tools, and create standardized training materials for the regional education service centers to use with districts across the state.
- CC staff supported LDE in strengthening its statewide system of support through yearlong participation in the Center for Innovation & Improvement’s Academy of Pacesetting States.
- The center provided technical assistance for a number of additional initiatives, including creating training materials for the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) Next Assessment, helping to implement RtI activities, and reviewing resources on elementary-level tools for mathematics screening and progress monitoring to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) work.
- SECC staff provided technical assistance to staff at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) in reviewing the K–12 mathematics framework instructional strategies, the K–12 science framework competencies and objectives, and the K–12 social studies curriculum framework and instructional strategies.
- CC staff assisted in reviewing MDE’s English language learner proficiency standards and in reviewing state assessments for bias.
- SECC staff provided technical assistance for a series of work sessions to further define the Mississippi RtI model.
- The center assisted MDE with the state’s dropout prevention initiatives, including providing technical assistance to key state leaders on effective strategies for dropout prevention and strategies for supporting schools and districts in developing and refining dropout prevention plans.
- CC staff helped MDE with conducting training for reviewers of the state’s School Improvement Grant application. Staff also facilitated an MDE accreditation review work session on revising the Mississippi Public Schools Accountability Standards.
- SECC cosponsored a meeting with the South Carolina State Parental Information and Resource Center and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) among public and private agencies and organizations who have improving parental involvement as a primary objective.
- The center helped staff in SCDE’s Palmetto Priority Schools (PPS) office to build the capacity of SCDE interventionists as they planned and delivered training sessions to district and school leadership in PPS schools and districts.
- SECC supported the SCDE Office of Federal and State Accountability (OFSA) for a leadership training session offered to all state school districts in corrective action status. The session focused on leadership and facilitation of the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle process and parental engagement improvement efforts.
- CC staff assisted SCDE in the development of the Standards Support System (S3), which contained multiple tools and resources to assist teachers in effectively using the state’s academic standards.
- SECC staff provided guidance on the use of turnaround specialists in some of the state’s lowest-performing schools and on the use of innovation configurations to guide the work of PPS staff.
- CC staff also provided support for the state’s Title I office around services for corrective action school districts and the School Improvement Grants (SIG) Council, which provided oversight of SIG applicants and monitored progress in designated schools.