Projects 2017 – 2018

Georgia Strengthening District and School Support

During Year 4, the Talent for Turnaround (T4T) convening was held in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), the Center on School Turnaround (CST), and invited regional comprehensive centers. In Year 5, nine states and the District of Columbia were selected to be part of the T4T Leadership Academy, which focused on identifying root causes for their most urgent problems. In Year 6, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is continuing to work with the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) to support Dougherty County School District to address issues of teacher quality and induction support.

Technical Assistance Approach
  • Thought and Collaborating Partner to Identify and Facilitate Work with Other Stakeholders to Address Specific Needs or Concerns
  • Resources and Guidance to Aid Identification of Strategies and Lessons Learned
  • Development of a 7-Year Induction Plan to Attract and Retain High-Quality Teachers
Impact
  • Improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships
  • Improved organizational structures, induction processes, and training for new teachers
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | September

Muscogee County School District was identified and enthusiastically agreed to participate in the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) project with Dougherty County and as a member of the third national meeting of T4TLA.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff met with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) specialist and Dougherty leadership team to review progress made on their induction and mentoring plan and implementation of their action plan. In addition, Dougherty staff identified evidence of progress that they will bring to the November meeting and determined participants for the November meeting in Washington, DC.

Calls and materials will continue to be shared with new partner, Muscogee County, to acquaint staff with the work that has been done and previous resources that were shared. Additionally, a new member of the GaDOE team will serve as the primary contact with Muscogee and will participate in the November meeting.

As evidence of impact, GaDOE is providing additional staff to support the work on induction and mentoring and to ensure that materials are collected and organized to provide ready resources for use with other districts across the state.

 

Previous Updates:

Muscogee County School District was identified and enthusiastically agreed to participate in the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) project with Dougherty County and as a member of the third national meeting of T4TLA.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff met with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) specialist and Dougherty leadership team to review progress made on their induction and mentoring plan and implementation of their action plan. In addition, Dougherty staff identified evidence of progress that they will bring to the November meeting and determined participants for the November meeting in Washington, DC.

Calls and materials will continue to be shared with new partner, Muscogee County, to acquaint staff with the work that has been done and previous resources that were shared. Additionally, a new member of the GaDOE team will serve as the primary contact with Muscogee and will participate in the November meeting.

As evidence of impact, GaDOE is providing additional staff to support the work on induction and mentoring and to ensure that materials are collected and organized to provide ready resources for use with other districts across the state.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) director, SECC Georgia state liaison, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) deputy superintendent, associate superintendent, South regional manager, and district effectiveness specialist, met to review the work of the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA), SECC, and GaDOE in supporting Dougherty County Schools’ leaders in designing and implementing a revised induction process for teachers, discussed GaDOE School Improvement division’s interest in adding an additional district to partner with Dougherty County, and discussed lessons learned for application in the work of the School Improvement Division. SECC staff, the GaDOE manager and specialist, and Dougherty County leadership team participated in the sixth webinar of the Mentoring & Induction (M&I) Affinity Group.

In September, an additional school district will be identified to participate in the T4TLA project with Dougherty County and as a member of the third national meeting of T4TLA. Additionally, SECC staff will meet with the GaDOE specialist and the Dougherty County leadership team to review progress made on their M&I plan and implementation of their action plan, identify evidence of progress they will bring to the meeting in November; and determine who will participate in the meeting to be held in Washington, DC.

The SECC Georgia state liaison and Dougherty County staff discussed content from the fifth Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) Workshop and its application to their work as well as progress on their work developing mentoring and induction (M&I) support for teachers and administrators in the district. Additionally, Dougherty County leadership reviewed and analyzed survey results from district mentors and teachers in their first 5 years of teaching to adjust their 5-day induction training for 115 new staff members. Leaders recognized a need for more intensive support and training on classroom management and identifying the needs of students to plan for the initial days of the new school year. They also will continue to provide learning and support for implementation of these skills during the fall semester. Further, the SECC Georgia state liaison provided information to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist and Dougherty County team members for planning for participation in the national meeting of the T4TLA in November.

In August, the SECC director, SECC Georgia state liaison, GaDOE deputy superintendent, associate superintendent, South Regional manager, and district effectiveness specialist, will meet to review work of T4TLA, SECC, and GaDOE in supporting Dougherty County Schools leaders in designing and implementing a revised induction process for teachers, to discuss interest in adding an additional district to partner with Dougherty, and summarizing lessons learned for application in the work of the School Improvement Division of GaDOE. Additionally, SECC staff, the GaDOE manager and specialist, and the Dougherty County leadership team will participate in the sixth webinar of the M&I Affinity Group.

As evidence of improvement, summer induction has been extended to 5 days, with 1 day devoted to getting to know and working with a mentor to help the new teacher prepare for the first 2 weeks of school.

Based on the Dougherty County leadership team’s careful and thoughtful review of survey feedback from teachers and mentors as well as professional development provided in the spring, content for the expanded 5-day induction process for 115 teachers new to the district was revised to address the most important concerns identified. Each day’s session included activities that modeled how to begin to engage students in the classroom and use of this engagement as an informal assessment to better know their students. New staff also had time at their assigned schools to get to know their principal, leadership team, and instructional team.

The SECC Georgia state liaison and Dougherty County staff discussed content from the fourth Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) Workshop and its application to their work as well as progress on their work developing induction and mentoring support for teachers and administrators in the district. The group also discussed changes to their self-evaluation that would demonstrate progress in meeting their goals. Additionally, SECC staff and Dougherty leadership reviewed survey results from district mentors and teachers in their first 5 years of teaching to identify needs for support and training during summer workshops and the coming school year. Further, the SECC director, SECC state liaison, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County team members, provided information about their progress toward goals in the Mentoring and Induction (M&I) affinity group. They also participated in the third M&I webinar on supporting new teacher development and began preparation for a peer-to-peer consultancy with another state group in the T4TLA project.          

In July, the SECC Georgia state liaison and Dougherty staff and leaders will participate in the fifth M&I affinity group meeting and will discuss implications for their work in developing an M&I plan.

As evidence of improvement, summer induction has been extended to 5 days, with 1 day devoted to getting to know and working with mentors to help new teachers prepare for the first 2 weeks of school.

The SECC Georgia state liaison, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County staff discussed content from the third Talent for Turnaround (T4T) Workshop and its application to their work as well as progress on their work developing induction and mentoring support for teachers and administrators in the district. Additionally, Dougherty leadership distributed electronic surveys for mentors and teachers with 5 years or less of service to collect data on preparation and support provided by the district to improve their practice and to determine retention of teachers. Further, the SECC director, SECC state liaison, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County team members, provided information about their progress toward goals in the Mentoring and Induction (M&I) affinity group. They also participated in the third M&I webinar on supporting new teacher development and began preparation for a peer-to-peer consultancy with another state group in the T4T project.

In June, SECC staff, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County staff will discuss content of the fourth T4T Workshop and its application to their work and prepare for the peer-to-peer consultancy with staff from the state of Indiana. Additionally, Dougherty County leadership, SECC staff, and the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist will review and analyze results of the teacher and mentor surveys completed at the end of May to identify strategies that were effective in retaining teachers.

The SECC Georgia state liaison, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County staff discussed content from the second Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) Workshop and its application to their work. Additionally, Dougherty County provided release time for paraprofessionals to complete their degree in elementary education with Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW). The Dougherty County human resources director, School Improvement director, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and SECC Georgia state liaison met with the P–20 Southwest Collaborative, composed of institutions of higher education (IHEs), regional education service agencies (RESAs), and districts in the Southwest Region to support teacher recruitment and development in the region.  Also, the team will review surveys used in 2017 for mentors and teachers with 5 years or less of service in preparation to collect 2018 survey data. Further, team members provided information about progress toward goals in the mentoring and induction (M&I) affinity group. They also participated in the second M&I webinar on supporting new teacher development.

SECC staff hosted a webinar with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist and Dougherty County staff to discuss content from the first Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) Workshop and to establish dates for work at Dougherty in April. Additionally, Dougherty County is working with Georgia Southwest State University (GSW) to provide release time for paraprofessionals to complete their degree in elementary education. Further, SECC staff, the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County team members, participated in the Mentor Development and Evaluation session. In April, SECC staff, and the GaDOE induction specialist, will meet with the Dougherty County team to review progress made on induction plan development, meet with the GaDOE P-20 Collaborative SWGA, and conduct follow up to the T4TLA Workshop 2. 

The SECC Georgia state liaison conducted phone interviews with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist and Dougherty staff to review progress on accomplishments toward milestones and to plan for work with the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) meeting in Chicago. Additionally, Dougherty County is working with Georgia Southwest State University (GSW) to provide release time for para-professionals to complete their degree in elementary education. Further, the SECC director, SECC state liaison, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County superintendent, associate superintendent for District Effectiveness, human resources director, director of School Improvement, and Wallace Foundation project consultant, participated in the Mentoring & Induction Affinity Group Launch Event, February 2018, in the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Chicago office. Teams from four states, including six districts, reviewed research and best practices to support the induction of new and struggling teachers, reviewed their individual work plans, and provided another group with feedback in a consultancy process. In March, the SECC Georgia state liaison will have a check-in call with Dougherty County and the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist. Additionally, the SECC Georgia state liaison will conduct a debriefing session via GoToMeeting following the March T4TLA webinar on mentor development and evaluation. As evidence of improvement, Dougherty County is expanding its collaboration to new institutions of higher education (IHEs) and regional education service agencies (RESAs) in the southern part of Georgia. Evidence of improvement includes Dougherty’s commitment to participate in and benefit from opportunities to learn with and from others facing similar challenges in meeting the needs of all its students.

The SECC Georgia state liaison conducted phone interviews with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist and Dougherty staff to review progress on accomplishments toward milestones, plans for collaborative activities, and expectations for work with the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) meeting in February. Additionally, the GaDOE induction and institutions of higher education (IHE) specialists met with Dougherty staff leading revision of Dougherty induction and mentoring plan to support their participation in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Induction Collaborative at Albany State University to further their knowledge and understanding of research and best practices being implemented in the state. Further, Dougherty staff surveyed teachers participating in monthly “boot camp” weekend sessions to revise professional development session content for the remainder of the school year to better meet their instructional needs. In February, the SECC director and Georgia state liaison, the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and Dougherty County leaders and staff will participate in the T4TLA Affinity Group Launch in Chicago to expand their peer network of support and to examine research and evidence-based strategies leading to effective mentoring and induction. Additionally, SECC will conduct a two-day weekend professional development session for teachers who choose to participate to improve their classroom instruction. As evidence of impact, from 70–80 teachers voluntarily participate in weekend professional learning sessions to improve their instructional skills in Dougherty County classrooms. Additionally, Dougherty participants in the CSRA Induction Collaborative were energized by their participation and reinforcement for their work on induction and mentoring, leading them to plan to establish a similar group in the southwest region of the state.

SECC Georgia state liaison met with Dougherty County leadership and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist, to review accomplishments, milestones, and timelines in the work plan and identify goals for completion this school year. Additionally, the SECC Georgia state liaison, SECC director, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and the GaDOE induction and institutions of higher education (IHE) specialist, met with deputy superintendents and staff to review progress on revisions to induction and mentoring plans for Dougherty County. Next steps were identified for this work. In January, work groups will report on their progress to the SECC Georgia state liaison. Also, additional details will be shared on the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) meeting in Chicago, Illinois, in February 2018. Evidence of impact includes that Dougherty County leaders detailed their activities that have strengthened support of new and struggling principals to provide enhanced support to new teachers in their schools.

SECC’s Georgia state liaison met with the district effectiveness specialist and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) institution of higher education (IHE) and induction specialist to review the work to date and to revise Dougherty’s teacher induction process. The GaDOE district effectiveness specialist will contact the district superintendent to arrange a meeting to respond to the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) self-assessment. Additionally, the GaDOE IHE and induction specialist has provided feedback to the Dougherty team on mentor requirements and teacher induction. She also provided information about the Southwest P–20 collaborative as a resource in engaging regional education support agencies (RESAs) as partners in improving the induction process. In December, SECC’s Georgia state liaison will schedule a face-to-face meeting and workshop with Dougherty County, the SECC director, SECC Georgia state liaison, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, and the GaDOE IHE and induction specialist. As evidence of impact, the Southwest and Costal Plains RESAs, Valdosta State University, Albany State, Thomas University, and Georgia Southwestern University are interested in partnering with Dougherty in improving support for induction teachers. Additionally, the School Improvement and Teaching and Learning divisions of GaDOE are collaborating to support Dougherty County’s improvement efforts.

SECC communicated with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Dougherty County to establish meeting times for November and December. The group is still working to identify a November check-in call but has identified December 7 as the next face-to-face work session. Additionally, the GaDOE induction specialist led three groups in reviewing the Georgia guidance for an effective induction support program and provided materials to guide their thinking about how they can improve the current Dougherty County plan. In November, the SECC Georgia state liaison will host a conference call with Dougherty County leadership and the GaDOE induction specialist, and the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist to review progress on goals and identify next steps in providing needed support for progress. Additionally, the GaDOE induction specialist will conduct the next meetings for induction work groups on December 7 and is available for follow-up conversations with groups via conference call during November. As evidence of impact, Dougherty County leadership is committed to devoting time to achieve goals and continue their learning.