SECC staff met virtually with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) to resume planning for a January work session for School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools and to begin planning for the development of its state system of support for low-performing schools. During the virtual meeting with the assistant state superintendent and school turnaround staff, the team discussed the need to revisit the work that has been completed thus far with regard to the development of the theory of action of the state support system, as part of the technical assistance partnership between the Center on School Turnaround and SECC. The outcome of that meeting was ALSDE readiness for implementation of SECC supported project plans. ALSDE adjusted milestone dates so its staff can get to work sooner and complete tasks. SECC staff drafted the meeting agendas, took meeting notes, and disseminated them to all project team members. Additionally, a second meeting was held in early December between SECC staff and the SIG team to continue planning for technical assistance to SIG schools using the Center on School Turnaround’s (CST) Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement. The team refined the facilitator agenda for its upcoming January training for SIG schools. Training outcomes were finalized, and work session activities were planned and timed. This training will address how schools can use data more effectively. Further, a third meeting between the SIG coordinator and SECC staff took place in December. The superintendent of a district with a SIG school requested support from the state in the form of the CST’s Four Domains framework. The coordinator then requested technical assistance from SECC staff to brainstorm how that work could be integrated with the overall SIG work (since the state already supports the particular school via the SIG program). The team will follow up during the early January meeting. In January, the ALSDE and SECC staff will meet to begin developing and implementing outputs for other activities outlined for the project and to finalize the work session and its evaluation protocol. The work session will be held at the end of the month in Montgomery. The team will begin planning for formative assessment training for state turnaround coaches and related staff.
The SECC staff met virtually with ALSDE School Improvement Grant (SIG) team to continue refining plans for the upcoming SIG school team training at the end of January. The SECC-ALSDE planning team walked through the facilitator agenda and determined that the final activity would need to be discussed with the SIG coaches, as they would be facilitating group work (this group work entails SIG teams developing an instructional action plan based on the data conversation activity held earlier in the training session). The SIG coaches met later in the month with SECC and the SIG coordinators to discuss and clarify their role and the state’s expectations for them during the training. Additionally, the SECC project lead co-facilitated the SIG training, which focused on effective use of data and its impact on instructional decisions. The SIG teams learned how to access two test reports from the ScanTron platform, student growth in math and reading, and the standards and skills reports. The SECC and SIG staff facilitated SIG team discussions about student outcomes and growth per ScanTron Performance Assessment data by reflecting on the data and its implications for instruction. They then developed an instructional action plan as part of their “ticket” out. The SIG coaches and coordinators will be visiting SIG schools on key dates for milestones listed in their instructional action plans. Further, SECC staff met on-site with the ALSDE assistant superintendent and key staff members from the Office of Teaching and Leading to facilitate the development of a theory of action and logic model using the Four Domains Framework for Rapid School Improvement (published by the Center on School Turnaround [CST]). The team was able to complete the theory of action and logic model, which will facilitate the development of the state’s strategic plan for its system of support for low-performing schools.