Projects

South Carolina Early Childhood

Background

The SECC will work with SCDE early childhood staff to provide appropriate school readiness resources and services to early childhood stakeholders and program providers.

Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: |

SECC has experienced challenges with continuing its assistance with early learning work in South Carolina because the Office of Early Learning & Literacy (OELL) has been without a director for several months and has experienced staff turnover. A new director of Early Learning and Literacy with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) was hired. SECC Early Childhood Project lead sent a welcome email and re-established SECC’s commitment to providing excellent technical assistance and support to South Carolina. South Carolina will attend the SECC/MWCC early childhood institute with a team of early childhood staff. SECC plans to have a formal meeting with the new South Carolina OELL team.

 

Previous Updates:

SECC has experienced challenges with continuing its assistance with early learning work in South Carolina because the Office of Early Learning & Literacy (OELL) has been without a director for several months and has experienced staff turnover. A new director of Early Learning and Literacy with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) was hired. SECC Early Childhood Project lead sent a welcome email and re-established SECC’s commitment to providing excellent technical assistance and support to South Carolina. South Carolina will attend the SECC/MWCC early childhood institute with a team of early childhood staff. SECC plans to have a formal meeting with the new South Carolina OELL team.

The South Carolina Office of Early Learning has recently experienced staff turnover that included losing the director of early learning, Jennifer Anderson. SECC is working to establish connections with the interim director of early learning in order to provide support and share historical knowledge of the early learning work in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL) has submitted the finalized Family Engagement Framework for Literacy to the state’s formal approval process as result of SECC’s technical assistance support and facilitation of stakeholders’ meetings to develop the framework. Staff from OELL commented, “These folks were extremely helpful in providing the support to use in completing the framework for family engagement and providing the tools and resources to do this. They were ALWAYS accessible and eager to provide guidance.” Once the document is published, it will assist schools and districts in increasing their level of family engagement and therefore increase student learning outcomes, especially in literacy. 

 

On May 1, SECC staff emailed recommendations and feedback on the revised Family Engagement Framework to staff in the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL). The SECC, CEELO, and South Carolina OELL’s monthly meeting was cancelled due to a schedule conflict.

On April 4, SECC staff held a phone conference with the staff in the South Carolina OELL to discuss the revised Family Engagement Framework. As a result of the discussion, recommendations were made for aligning the strategies and the goals, including references and citations, and formatting. OELL staff revised the document with assistance from SECC. SECC is now providing feedback on the revised document to OELL. In addition, SECC provided OELL with resources on two topics, building partnerships with libraries and cultural responsiveness.

SECC staff reviewed the completed draft of the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL) Family Engagement Plan. In particular, SECC assisted and provided recommendations for refining the message for the plan and the conclusion. The SECC early childhood team will hold a virtual meeting with OELL staff to discuss the revisions.

SECC staff facilitated the Family Engagement Stakeholders meeting on February 1–2, 2017, with the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy. The meeting included 25 stakeholders from various divisions of the department as well as early childhood and faith-based community organizations. As a result of this meeting, the stakeholders developed a draft plan that included strategies and actions at state, district, school, family, and community levels. Next steps include refining the draft plan.

SECC conducted several planning meetings during the month with the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy Team to plan the Family Engagement Stakeholders meeting on February 1–2. These meetings took place on January 5, 17, 24, and 30.  During the meetings, SECC assisted South Carolina with planning and developing the agenda, reviewing templates as well as reviewing and providing resources. SECC also served as a thought partner and provided content expertise on family engagement.

On December 20, the SECC early learning team held a phone conference with the SCDE Early Learning and Literacy Staff to plan the dates for the Early Learning and Literacy Stakeholders’ Groups Meetings. There will be a two-day Family Engagement Stakeholders’ Meeting on January 31, and February 1, 2017. The SECC early learning team will have a face-to-face meeting with SCDE staff on January 5 to thoroughly plan facilitation of these meetings to meet expected outcomes.

SECC staff met with SCDE Early Learning and Literacy staff to discuss South Carolina’s progress in completing preliminary tasks for planning the stakeholders’ meetings to develop a plan for family and community engagement for early learning and literacy. Several items were completed such as a draft list of stakeholders, a vision statement for the early learning and literacy family engagement plan, and a tentative date to conduct the first stakeholders’ meeting. In addition, SECC established an agreement for a communication process with the SCDE Early Learning and Literacy staff, which will be critical for moving the work forward.

SECC staff met with the SCDE Director of Early Learning and Literacy Jennifer Anderson and her staff on October 4. This meeting was an introductory meeting to clarify and confirm the SCDE early childhood work plan, as well as, build relationships. As a result of this meeting, the SECC and SCDE have established a deeper understanding of South Carolina’s needs in early learning and literacy and can begin to accomplish the work. On October 25, SECC staff, CEELO staff, and the SCDE early learning and literacy team held a planning meeting to develop a plan for convening early childhood stakeholders. The early childhood stakeholders will participate in workgroup sessions to develop a family/community engagement plan for early learning and literacy. SECC facilitated small- and whole-group conversations and shared resources, in particular, resources that features what other states are doing. The SCDE early learning team will continue to meet regularly to discuss resources and their mission and vision. The next step consist of meeting virtually with the SCDE early learning and literacy team to plan the logistics for the stakeholders’ meetings.