Projects 2017 – 2018

Ensuring School Readiness Community of Practice

The regional Ensuring School Readiness Community of Practice (CoP) supports state education agencies (SEAs) and other agencies (birth to third grade) to assist with early childhood efforts. The CoP includes an interactive, online site to facilitate the sharing of research and practice insights and a monthly newsletter to deepen awareness of regional and national early childhood education developments and opportunities for collaboration among states.

Technical Assistance Approach
  • Facilitation of cross-state collaboration and partnerships with external providers
  • Monthly communication to deepen awareness of early childhood developments
  • Facilitation of collaboration and partnership with external providers
Impact
  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Improved organizational structures and processes
  • Increased use of and access to evidence-based resources to support streamlined policies, procedures, and processes on school readiness

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | September

On September 26, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) staff provided targeted assistance to the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL) director by providing thought partnering and feedback. Additionally, SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. SECC staff also disseminated the monthly community of practice (CoP) E-Newsletter to state education agencies' (SEAs) early childhood specialists and stakeholders. Most recently, SECC staff and staff from CEELO conducted their monthly meeting to collaborate and coordinate technical assistance support to SECC early childhood SEA specialists.

In October, SECC staff will conduct a needs assessment through phone conferences with SEAs. The team also will provide feedback on South Carolina’s comprehensive literacy plan and multi-tiered system of supports framework. In addition, the team will conduct a phone conference on family engagement between Georgia and South Carolina.

 

Previous Updates:

On September 26, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) staff provided targeted assistance to the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL) director by providing thought partnering and feedback. Additionally, SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. SECC staff also disseminated the monthly community of practice (CoP) E-Newsletter to state education agencies' (SEAs) early childhood specialists and stakeholders. Most recently, SECC staff and staff from CEELO conducted their monthly meeting to collaborate and coordinate technical assistance support to SECC early childhood SEA specialists.

In October, SECC staff will conduct a needs assessment through phone conferences with SEAs. The team also will provide feedback on South Carolina’s comprehensive literacy plan and multi-tiered system of supports framework. In addition, the team will conduct a phone conference on family engagement between Georgia and South Carolina.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. The SECC staff hosted and facilitated a cross-state collaboration meeting with state education agency (SEA) early childhood specialists on August 30, 2018. As a result of the information shared during the cross-state collaboration meeting, which included evidence-based resources, P–3 case studies, and states’ sharing their approaches to aligning preK standards with K–12, staff from the state of Mississippi stated that they understand what resources they need to develop and how to plan and deliver professional development and support to districts and schools in Mississippi. In September, SECC staff will begin discussing technical assistance (TA) needs with South Carolina through a virtual meeting.

The South Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff disseminated the monthly community of practice (CoP) e-newsletter to state education agency’s (SEAs) early childhood specialists and stakeholders. SECC staff also conducted weekly updates of the CoP SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. In addition, SECC staff shared a new resource entitled, Executive Mapping Project: A Resource to Selecting Measures Related to Executive Function and Other Related-Regulation Skills in Early Childhood, with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) 619 coordinator and Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) early childhood staff.  

In August, SECC staff will host a cross-state collaboration meeting in late August. The meeting will focus on states sharing their approaches to early childhood preK–12 standards alignment. As evidence of improvement, SEAs indicated that they wanted to participate in a cross-state collaboration in which they would discuss and learn about their efforts on early childhood preK–12 standards alignment.  SEAs also shared this information with colleagues, who requested to participate in the cross-state collaboration meeting and to join the CoP.

SECC staff collaborated with the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) by facilitating a roundtable discussion in which state education agencies (SEAs) explored a research framework for reading and its implication for reading instruction. Additionally, SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. Also, SECC staff disseminated the May E-newsletter to state agencies’ early childhood staff and stakeholders. Further, SECC staff and staff from CEELO conducted their monthly meeting to collaborate and coordinate technical assistance support to SECC early childhood SEA specialists. Finally, SECC and CEELO staff provided targeted assistance to the South Carolina Office of Early Learning and Literacy (OELL) director by providing thought partnering and feedback on OELL’s process to develop a comprehensive literacy plan and by sharing resources of other states’ comprehensive literacy plans.   

In July, SECC staff will continue to provide targeted assistance to SEAs and to plan the next cross-state collaboration meeting for SEA early childhood specialists, which will include follow-up activities based on the information SEAs received from the CEELO Roundtable Meeting.

As evidence of improvement, SEA early childhood specialists in SECC’s region are collaborating by reaching out to other states to learn what they are doing. For example, South Carolina’s director was interested in receiving information from other states as well as talking with staff from other states. Mississippi continues to share its successes with its Early Learning Collaborative through keynote addresses. Recently, the Mississippi state superintendent gave the keynote for the 2018 CEELO Roundtable Meeting.

SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. Additionally, SECC staff hosted a cross-state collaboration meeting with state education agency (SEA) early childhood specialists in SECC’s region. Further, SECC staff and staff from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) conducted their monthly meeting to collaborate and coordinate technical assistance support to state education agency (SEA) early childhood specialists. Finally, SECC staff shared a report entitled, Measuring Children’s Developmental Progress: Perspectives of State Early Intervention and Early Childhood Coordinators and Technical Assistance Facilitators, with the 619 coordinator for the Georgia Department of Education.

In June, SECC staff will provide targeted assistance to SEA early childhood specialists, which will include follow-up activities based on the information the agencies received from the CEELO Roundtable.  

As evidence of improvement, SEA staff are making efforts to increase collaborative opportunities between state and local agencies. During the cross-state collaboration meeting, SEA staff shared and discussed their systems and best practices for collaborating with other state and local agencies.

SECC staff updated the SharePoint site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. Additionally, SECC staff and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) liaison conducted the monthly targeted assistance meeting with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) director of early childhood. SECC staff and the CEELO liaison provided feedback to the MDE Office of Early Childhood on the Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Infants through Four-Year-Old Children. Further, SECC staff shared an upcoming webinar on social and emotional learning and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) six national technical assistance centers with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) early childhood 619 coordinator. Also, SECC staff completed need-sensing phone conferences, which facilitated the addition of five new state education agencies (SEAs) to the early childhood community of practice. Finally, SECC staff disseminated the monthly newsletter.

SECC staff updated the community of practice site, providing evidence-based research, resources, and information on early childhood news and events in SECC states and nationally. SECC staff and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) liaison conducted the monthly targeted assistance meeting with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) director of early childhood. SECC staff and the CEELO liaison provided feedback to the MDE Office of Early Childhood on the Mississippi Early Learning Standards for Classrooms Serving Infants through Four-Year-Old Children. SECC staff shared an upcoming webinar on social and emotional learning (SEL) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) six national technical assistance (TA) centers with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) early childhood 619 coordinator. In addition, SECC staff completed need-sensing telephone conferences, which facilitated the addition of five new SEAs to the early childhood community of practice. SECC disseminated the monthly newsletter.

In April, SECC will host cross-state collaborations in early childhood to expand lesson-sharing and networking opportunities. As preliminary evidence of improvement, state staff are utilizing resources that SECC has shared to support their work. For example, after receiving information on an upcoming webinar on school climate and SEL from SECC, GaDOE’s early childhood 619 coordinator has registered for this event.

SECC staff disseminated the January E-Newsletter to state education agencies’ (SEAs) early childhood staff and stakeholders. Additionally, SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the community of practice SharePoint site by providing SEAs with access to evidence-based practices, resources, and tools. Further, SECC staff and staff from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) conducted their monthly meeting to collaborate and coordinate technical assistance (TA) support to SEA early childhood specialists. SECC staff conducted a need-sensing phone conference with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) early childhood staff. SECC staff shared a resource on planning and implementing family engagement for high schools with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) early childhood staff, a resource on culturally responsive behavior supports to the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (DECE), and a resource on social and emotional learning with GaDOE early childhood staff. Additionally, SECC and CEELO conducted a monthly consultation and thought-partnering meeting with MDE early childhood staff. SECC and CEELO conducted an introductory meeting with the new South Carolina director of early learning and literacy. In March, SECC will host cross-state collaborations in early childhood to expand lesson-sharing and networking opportunities. Additionally, SECC will provide targeted TA as needed (e.g., one-on-one monthly phone conferences, sharing resources, facilitating, etc.). As evidence of improvement, the SEA early childhood staff are taking the initiative to address strategic priorities by utilizing the resources that SECC has shared.

SECC staff disseminated the January E-Newsletter to state agencies’ early childhood (EC) staff and stakeholders. SECC staff conducted weekly updates of the Early Childhood Community of Practice (ECCoP) site by providing state education agencies (SEAs) with access to evidence-based practices, resources, and tools. SECC staff partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) to host a webinar entitled, ESSA Planning & Implementation: Integrating Early Learning into State Accountability and School Improvement, which was a follow up to the September 2017 SECC/Midwest Comprehensive Center EC institute panel session entitled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in Early Childhood: Extending Conversations. SECC staff will continue to plan follow-up webinar sessions. SECC staff confirmed the dates for one-on-one monthly phone conferences with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) EC staff and shared a resource on executive function. SECC staff continued to work on rescheduling and planning need-sensing phone conferences with early childhood SEA staff in Georgia and South Carolina. SECC staff and CEELO staff conducted their monthly meeting. In February, SECC staff will conduct a monthly phone conference with MDE early childhood staff, plan cross-state collaborative meetings, and conduct need-sensing conference calls with the Georgia and South Carolina EC staff. As evidence of impact, during the webinar, ESSA Planning & Implementation: Integrating Early Learning into State Accountability and School Improvement, comments from SEA early childhood staff reflected on using the information learned as well as the resources shared to begin planning their next steps with implementation.

SECC staff disseminated the December e-Newsletter to state education agency (SEA) early childhood (EC) specialists. SECC staff conducted several need-sensing phone conferences with EC staff, which included the Alabama Department of Early Childhood (ALDEC), the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (GA DECAL). SECC staff provided SEAs with access to evidence-based practices, resources, and tools through weekly updates to the early childhood community of practice (CoP) site. SECC staff facilitated the Mississippi Interagency Early Learning Meeting in December, which resulted in the identification of each agency’s current and future early learning services (training/professional learning, coaching/technical assistance, and resource materials) with associated timelines and audiences. In January, SECC staff will disseminate the January E-Newsletter to SEA early childhood specialists. SECC staff will continue need-sensing phone conferences, which will include the Georgia Department of Education. Also, SECC staff will continue updates to the CoP site. SECC will host a CoP Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) webinar entitled, ESSA Planning & Implementation: Integrating Early Learning into State Accountability and School Improvement. As evidence of impact, the ALDEC has taken the lead in inquiring about math resources and professional development to improve achievement and early learning in math. SECC staff supported this inquiry through need-sensing and a discussion on data as well as by sharing evidence-based math resources, such as the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and REL Southwest guide, “Teaching Young Children Math.”

The SECC Early Childhood (EC) team disseminated the monthly E-newsletter for October to state education agency (SEA) early childhood specialists. Additionally, the SECC EC team conducted a phone conference with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) director of early childhood and staff to conduct need-sensing for targeted assistance and community of practice (CoP) activities, to serve as a thought partner, and to review the online CoP site and the Ask an Expert feature. Further, the SECC EC team conducted ongoing updates of the online CoP site. SECC staff conducted a planning phone conference for the Facilitation of Interagency Early Learning Meeting with the MDE director of early childhood. Also, the SECC EC team welcomed new SEA staff to the Early Childhood CoP and provided them with access to the online community site and monthly newsletters. In December, the SECC EC team will continue to conduct need-sensing with SEA early childhood specialists to inform follow-up webinars to the early childhood institute, cross-state collaborations, and targeted assistance. Additionally, SECC will reschedule the follow-up webinar on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and early childhood. As evidence of impact, several SEAs made requests to join the Early Childhood CoP, secure access to the online community of practice site, and receive monthly newsletters. In addition, the MDE director of early childhood continues to initiate collaborations between early learning agencies in the state.

The SECC early childhood (EC) team disseminated the monthly E-newsletter for October to SEA early childhood specialists. The SECC EC team held a planning meeting for a webinar on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and early childhood with CCSSO’s program director for Early Childhood Initiatives, which resulted in the submission of a draft outline for the webinar with possible dates for conducting the webinar. The webinar is a follow up from the discussions at the SECC and Midwest Comprehensive Centers' regional institute that was held in September 2017. A phone conference was held with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) director of early childhood and staff to provide follow up to the use of resources on executive function. SECC shared a strategy (The Continuum) for assessing knowledge of participants prior to conducting a training or workshop and provided considerations for evaluating a training for administrators on executive function and the use of executive function in schools. The SECC EC team conducted ongoing updates to the community of practice (CoP) site. In November, SECC will disseminate the monthly E-newsletter and will conduct ongoing updates to the CoP site. SECC will conduct a follow-up webinar on ESSA and early childhood. Further, SECC will conduct need-sensing with the new early learning and literacy director for South Carolina. Finally, SECC will conduct need-sensing with state education agencies (SEAs) to inform planning efforts for cross-state collaboration. As evidence of impact, the MDE director of early childhood has taken the lead by using each of the resources that the SECC EC team shared to develop a training for EC administrators. In addition, the MDE director of EC developed an action sheet for administrators in which they will document what they plan to implement as a result of the training on executive function, planned ways to provide follow-up, and considered ways to measure the level of young children’s executive function in Mississippi’s EC programs.