Thank you to the dedicated leaders who participated in the SECC Early Childhood Community of Practice cross-state collaboration meeting, Approaches to Aligning Pre-K Standards with K–12 Standards, on August 30. Melinda Webster, program director of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program at the Florida Department of Education Office of Early Learning; and Demetria Joyce, instructional learning manager for DECAL’s Professional Learning Unit, presented their processes for developing Florida’s publications on standards alignment. Karen Manship, principal researcher at American Institutes for Research, presented findings of a report titled Case Studies of Schools Implementing Early Elementary Strategies: Preschool Through Third Grade Alignment and Differentiated Instruction. Participants had an opportunity to talk with one another about their state’s approaches to early learning standards alignment and are encouraged to continue collaborating on this and other topics of interest. The SECC looks forward to providing more opportunities for conversations such as these. The webinar recording and resources are available on the SECC Communities of Practice web page.
Using funding from the Read to Achieve program, every public school K–3 reading teacher in North Carolina received a new Apple iPad. Most public school districts in the state use iPads to support the web-based reading diagnostic assessment, mCLASS. These additional devices will help teachers monitor students’ reading progress, deliver more effective small group instruction, and personalize student learning. The purchase of iPads and K–3 literacy materials is part of State Superintendent Mark Johnson’s priorities for early childhood literacy, personalized learning, and additional teacher time for instruction.