Projects

Student Success and Sustainability

Background

The NCDPI has initiated and expanded academic and instructional initiatives to support increased academic achievement, teacher leader effectiveness, and structural efficiencies. In Year 4, SECC collaborated with the REL Southeast to develop an evaluation plan for the North Carolina Virtual Charter Public Schools and in the creation of a tool to assist schools and districts in aligning school improvement efforts. In Year 5, SECC will work with the SEA to implement components of the evaluation plan and support NC Star expansion. In addition, SECC will assist NCDPI in providing experts to provide guidance in fully implementing effective practices documented in its school level improvement plans.

Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: |

The SECC Virtual Public Charter School team members met with the NCDPI Office of Charter School director and assistant director to discuss the focus group and interview data summaries that SECC team members prepared from school leaders, teachers, and board members. The SECC team has provided NCDPI with the necessary data summaries and technical assistance about data reporting that NCDPI will utilize to complete its board report independently this year. SECC staff are working to develop a crosswalk of NCStar indicators (school monitoring indicators) and AdvancED's newly released school indicators.

 

Previous Updates:

The SECC Virtual Public Charter School team members met with the NCDPI Office of Charter School director and assistant director to discuss the focus group and interview data summaries that SECC team members prepared from school leaders, teachers, and board members. The SECC team has provided NCDPI with the necessary data summaries and technical assistance about data reporting that NCDPI will utilize to complete its board report independently this year. SECC staff are working to develop a crosswalk of NCStar indicators (school monitoring indicators) and AdvancED's newly released school indicators.

SECC staff met with the Office of Charter Schools director and assistant director to review and discuss the data results from the virtual charter school survey and the interviews and focus groups conducted with one of the virtual public charter schools. SECC team members also conducted administrator interviews and board member and teacher focus groups with 11 personnel from NC Connections virtual public charter school. Additionally, SECC continues to work with NCDPI on a crosswalk of the North Carolina school monitoring indicators (NCStar Indicators) and the newly updated AdvanED school standards.

On June 27, SECC staff interviewed the NCDPI administrator and conducted a virtual focus group with teachers and another virtual focus group with board members of one of the charter schools in the project. SECC staff also sent the data results for the parent surveys collected from both charter schools at the end of the school year to the Office of Charter School staff. In addition, SECC staff scheduled a July meeting to discuss data results and needs with NCDPI staff.

The SECC team met with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) charter school staff on April 13 to examine the final drafts of the 2017 versions of the parent, student, and teacher surveys for the virtual public charter school evaluation. The teams discussed the survey administration needs for contacting parents, students, and teachers. The teams also made plans for final quality review. They met again on April 28 to coordinate the final gathering of email data from the two virtual schools and completed their tasks with the reviewed surveys and email contact communication letters ready for a May 1 launch. The teams made plans for the next meeting and for contacting the virtual charter school administrators to schedule the June administrator and teacher interviews and focus groups. The SECC team committed to bringing the revised interview and focus group protocols to the next meeting.

 

The SECC team met with NCDPI and representatives from Indistar on March 9 to discuss the progress of NCStar Indicators and Title I Indicators crosswalk. A follow-up team meeting was held on March 21 to determine the best next steps for this work. In other project work, SECC and NCDPI charter school staff met twice during the month to examine drafts of the 2017 versions of the parent and student surveys and the newly-designed teacher survey for the virtual public charter school evaluation. The teams discussed the individual items and made revisions while examining the surveys online. They also planned the next steps of obtaining needed emails from the schools and discussed the timeline details for finalizing the surveys and launching them in May.

 

The Program Administrator for the Federal Program Monitoring and Support Office of NCDPI requested assistance with developing a crosswalk between NC Star Indicators and Title I Indicators. SECC staff participated in two conference calls with NCDPI, Feb 10 and Feb 17, to discuss the parameters of the work and timelines for completing the crosswalk.

SECC and NCDPI charter school staff met early in the month to discuss the evaluation questions and then met again 2 weeks later to continue the work. The charter school team met to verify the agreements about the purpose of virtual public charter school evaluation, recommendations they want to be able to make about schools, and the evaluation data sources and methods. The group also discussed the questions for which the agency would want to have evidence in order to make recommendations about the discontinuance, modification, or expansion of the virtual public charter school (VPCS) program. The groups agreed upon directions for evaluating the virtual public charter schools and made decisions about the sources and methods for the data collection for the evaluation. The SECC staff lead described the process the SECC team members were using to work on the various data collection instruments and then team members described their progress and asked relevant questions related to their areas. SECC staff will draft an evaluation plan for the qualitative data associated with the second year of the VPCS evaluation and will be prepared to discuss it at the next meeting. 

On January 17, SECC staff met with NCDPI Office of Charter Schools Assistant Director Deanna Townsend-Smith to discuss the goals and priorities for evaluating the second year of the two virtual public charter schools. Questions about the evaluation plan were discussed and then emailed to Townsend-Smith to talk with the director and state board members. A second meeting to discuss details of the second year evaluation plan with the director occurred on January 30.

On December 6, SECC staff were contacted by the NCDPI School Improvement Planning Coordinator Alessandro Montanari to request TA to support the continued implementation of NC Star. SECC staff were asked to assist NCDPI with aligning Title I indicators with Indistar/NC Star state indicators. SECC staff followed-up to determine the timeline for the request. NCDPI would like the alignment document completed by February 2017. SECC staff scheduled a January 2017 meeting with the NCDPI staff to discuss the 2016–2017 virtual public charter school evaluation and data collection.

SECC team held a teleconference with NCDPI staff on November 9 to provide feedback on data that had been analyzed and submitted in the previous weeks and to answer any questions regarding the results. SECC staff contributed to the evaluation report the NCDPI staff prepared that included summaries of data collected and analyzed during the year. On November 15, a SECC staff member attended the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board meeting. During this meeting, advisory board members reviewed and approved the 2015–2016 evaluation report of the two public virtual charter schools. The report will be submitted to the state board of education in early December.

SECC staff worked with NCDPI staff throughout the month via multiple phone conference meetings in October to assist them with preparing and managing data collected for the North Carolina Virtual Public Charter School Project. Staff discussed survey data results, assisted NCDPI with organizing and sorting data in Excel files, and demonstrated open-ended data analysis techniques for them to use on the data results. SECC staff also interviewed administrators and conducted focus groups with virtual charter school board members. Project staff completed and debriefed NCDPI staff on data charts and tables drafted for the virtual charter evaluation. On October 21, SECC staff held a phone conference with Alessandro Montanari, NCDPI school improvement planning coordinator, to discuss the TA indicated in the Year 5 work plan. During this meeting, NCDPI staff shared information about the statewide roll-out of NC Star and that it is now in over 1,400 schools and 26 school districts. In addition, SECC staff was informed that there is no current request for support but NCDPI will contact SECC when assistance is needed.