Projects 2017 – 2018

North Carolina Student Success and Sustainability Project

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has initiated and expanded academic and instructional initiatives to support increased academic achievement, teacher leader effectiveness, and structural efficiencies. The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and NCDPI are refining data collection tools to continue to collect perception data from school stakeholders. Also, SECC and NCDPI are partnering closely with the state’s two Virtual Public Charter Schools (VPCS) to gather perception data, which will inform SECC’s development of draft policy recommendations to help guide the direction of the VPCS. The SECC is creating a fast response request and developing a crosswalk between NCStar school improvement indicators and AdvancED school standards to assist North Carolina school leaders with school improvement plans and procedures.

Technical Assistance Approach
  • Development of Data Collection Tools and Sharing of Expertise on Best Practices for Evaluation
  • Assistance with Data Synthesis Process of the Qualitative Data
Impact
  • Improved organizational structures and processes
  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Greater understanding of the evaluation process, including internal planning and external processes
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | September

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) leadership worked to develop agenda and meeting activities for the Guiding Coalition meeting held on September 20. During this meeting, participants discussed their division activities, the regional structure, case management, and theory of action. The SECC team members led the meeting and provided expertise on the aforementioned topics.

During the month of October, SECC staff will continue to work with NCDPI to assist in the roll-out of the regional model of support for schools. As evidence of impact, NCDPI leadership has been able to produce monthly progress presentations to the state board around the development of the regional support structure.

 

Previous Updates:

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) leadership worked to develop agenda and meeting activities for the Guiding Coalition meeting held on September 20. During this meeting, participants discussed their division activities, the regional structure, case management, and theory of action. The SECC team members led the meeting and provided expertise on the aforementioned topics.

During the month of October, SECC staff will continue to work with NCDPI to assist in the roll-out of the regional model of support for schools. As evidence of impact, NCDPI leadership has been able to produce monthly progress presentations to the state board around the development of the regional support structure.

The North Carolina liaison of the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) briefly met with the staff of the Office of Charter schools to discuss the progress and final activities of the project. SECC staff worked to finalize all the data elements of the project. The SECC staff also held weekly meetings with leadership from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to prepare for a Guiding Coalition meeting. The Guiding Coalition is the name of the newly formed team of academic division leaders who have the responsibility to create and design the regional support model. On August 9, SECC co-facilitated a meeting with NCDPI leadership and the Guiding Coalition around finalizing the regional team structure and discussed communication protocols.

In September, SECC staff will meet with staff from the Office of Charter Schools to review school data summaries and discuss future evaluation steps for virtual public charter schools. SECC and NCDPI leadership will continue to meet and develop the agenda for the next Guiding Coalition meeting, which is scheduled for September 20. During this meeting, there will be a discussion about the menu of options that will be provided for schools by academic divisions and regional staff. As evidence of progress, the staff of NCDPI has taken a leadership role in developing the first drafts of timelines and communication documents concerning the regional structure.

SECC staff and division leaders from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) held a regional structure/collective impact meeting. Additional team meetings were held with a smaller group of NCDPI leaders and SECC staff to further discuss the proposed regional model to support low-performing schools. Additionally, SECC staff provided NCDPI with finalized school focus group notes from teachers, board members, and administrators. SECC staff continued to finalize the coding of the open-ended data from the virtual public charter school surveys.

In August, weekly project team meetings have been scheduled to assist NCDPI leaders with mapping out their implementation plans for the regional structure. SECC and NCDPI have set the next division leaders’ meeting for early August. During this meeting, participants will discuss case management techniques and regional support services that are currently being used in North Carolina. Additionally, SECC will provide finalized coding data to NCDPI. NCDPI and SECC staff will meet to discuss how the qualitative data can be incorporated into the recommendations about virtual schooling in North Carolina.   

As evidence of improvement, two staff members for the NCDPI Educator Support Services division created and presented a PowerPoint presentation with a proposed regional support structure to meet the needs of all schools, including identified low-performing schools. This presentation also included timelines, data analysis plans, and monitoring tools to implement the regional structure.

During the month of June, SECC team members continued to code open-ended questions from the parent, teacher, and student surveys for questions that have more than 100 responses. In addition, SECC team members compiled interview notes for board member, administrator, and teacher focus groups and submitted them to the SECC editor. Additionally, SECC staff provided the deputy state superintendent and other North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) staff with the May 22 collective impact meeting outputs, evaluation feedback results, and the presentation slides. SECC and NCDPI also met to discuss the next collective meeting, which is scheduled for July 12.        

In July, SECC will finalize the coding of the open-ended data from the Virtual Public Charter School surveys. NCDPI and SECC staff will meet to discuss how the qualitative data can be incorporated into the recommendations about virtual schooling in North Carolina. Additionally, SECC and NCDPI staff will work together to finalize the agenda and activities for the July 12 meeting.   

As evidence of improvement, the administrative team of NCDPI is beginning to think about how to develop a regional model of support for low-performing schools. The team recognizes the need for a strong implementation plan as well as a communication plan for districts and schools, prior to rolling out the new regional structure.

SECC team members and staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met to discuss the data analysis plan. SECC team members began to code open-ended questions from the parent, teacher, and student surveys for questions that have more than 100 responses. In addition, SECC team members worked to compile interview notes for board member, administrator, and teacher focus groups.          

In June, SECC team members will continue to complete the coding work of the survey questions and finalize the interview notes. SECC will lead conversations with NCDPI around (a) the survey results from the 2017–2018 data collection, (b) the trend results from 3 years of data collection, and (c) the development of recommendations about the continuation and expansion of virtual public charter schools based on all the data collected. SECC will continue to serve as a thought partner for the lead consultant as she writes the final report.   

As evidence of improvement, the new lead consultant for the Office of Charter Schools has reviewed the evaluation results from the 2016–2017 school year. She has developed an understanding of the project data collection procedures and started drafting her final evaluation report that is due to the State Board of Education and General Assembly. She also has begun to analyze data and ask follow-up questions, which indicates her understanding of the current datasets.

SECC team members and staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met to discuss the data collection activities that occurred in March and to finalize the focus groups that were scheduled for mid-April. In mid-April, SECC team members conducted two focus groups, one with board members and one with administrators from the North Carolina Virtual Academy.

SECC team members and staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met to finalize data collection tools, which included teacher, parent, and student surveys as well as interview protocols for teachers, administrators, and board members. The online survey links were provided to the principals of each virtual campus. In addition, sample email language also was provided so the principals could share the survey links with their parents, students, and teachers. The survey is expected to be open March 12–April 13. SECC conducted a teacher focus group at the North Carolina Virtual Academy in Raleigh. Additionally, SECC conducted separate teacher, administrator, and board member focus groups at the North Carolina Connections Academy.

In April, SECC staff members will work with NCDPI and the principal of North Carolina Virtual Academy to schedule and conduct an administrator team focus group and one for the school’s board members. Additionally, SECC and NCDPI will meet to develop a timeline for data analyses and discuss data visualization options for survey and interview results. 

 

SECC team members and staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met to revise qualitative data collection tools, which included teacher, parent, and student surveys. The final timeline for data collection also was confirmed so that all data can be collected by the end of April. In March, SECC and NCDPI staff will provide the survey links to the administrators of the two virtual public charter schools (VPCS) so they can launch the survey on March 12. SECC staff also will conduct in-person interviews with teachers and administrators at both school offices during March. As evidence of improvement, the NCDPI team members took the initiative and developed the daily data collection schedule for the in-person interview visits for each school. NCDPI will work with the school leaders to ensure that the surveys are launched on the established date and that reminders are sent to parents, students, and teachers.

SECC staff met with staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to further discuss data collection timelines as well as data needs regarding the final evaluation report on the two virtual public charter school campuses. Later in the month, SECC, NCDPI, and a school administrator from each campus all met in person and virtually to discuss the schools’ participation in the data collection process. Timelines were finalized for the launch of surveys, and dates were set for in-person stakeholder interviews at each campus. In February, SECC and NCDPI will work to revise and finalize parent, student, and teacher surveys. SECC staff also will designate which members will conduct in-person interviews and begin to revise interview protocols. These surveys and protocols will be submitted for editing and final approval during the month of February. As evidence of impact, NCDPI team members readily agreed to meet with school administrators to discuss data collection procedures and the best methods to increase stakeholder participation on the surveys and interviews. After multiple conversations and meetings with SECC staff, NCDPI has gained a better understanding of the best evaluation practices and willingly engaged the school administrators in the evaluation process.

SECC staff shared the finalized Campus and Interview Data Summary documents with staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). SECC staff also reached out to NCDPI to finalize a date for the data collection meeting that would also include administrators from the two virtual public charter schools. Additionally, SECC staff reached out to the Office of Federal Program Monitoring & Support staff member at NCDPI to discuss potential attendees and timing of a training meeting to outline the steps taken to complete the NCStar Crosswalk. In January, SECC staff will take the lead on scheduling the joint meeting of NCDPI, SECC, and the administrators from the two virtual public charter schools. As evidence of impact, NCDPI staff from the Office of Charter Schools developed their own presentation, which included the Campus and Interview Data Summary documents that were developed by SECC staff. The presentation was conducted for the North Carolina Joint Legislative Oversite Committee, which wanted an update on the operations and performance of the virtual public charter schools.

SECC staff completed the Campus and Interview Data Summary documents and shared a draft with staff from the Office of Charter Schools of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). The data summaries have been sent to SECC editors for final review and expert graphic layout. SECC staff also reached out to NCDPI to finalize a date for a data collection meeting. Additionally, the NCStar Crosswalk document was finalized and shared with the Office of Federal Program Monitoring & Support at NCDPI. SECC staff also held a brief meeting with NCDPI staff to discuss the timing and logistics of a training on the development of the NCStar Crosswalk document. In December, SECC staff will continue to work with NCDPI and the administrators of the two virtual public charter schools (VPCS) to schedule a joint meeting focused on data collection needs and procedures. Additionally, SECC staff will work with staff from the Office of Federal Program Monitoring & Support at NCDPI to schedule and plan a training on the NCStar Crosswalk document to be held in early 2018. As evidence of impact, NCDPI staff members have been asked to present data summary findings on the VPCS to state board members. The NCDPI staff will create their own presentations and are asking for SECC to serve as a thought partner, rather than a coproducer. This action demonstrates that NCDPI has gained knowledge in the development of infographics and is prepared to take more leadership in this area. Additionally, staff from the Office of Federal Program Monitoring & Support at NCDPI are working to develop a visual companion document to accompany the NCStar Crosswalk. They also are working to share the completed crosswalk with school and district leadership to assist them with their school improvement efforts.

SECC and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) held a project meeting to discuss the upcoming school year data collection activities and how to assist NCDPI in developing recommendations about the continuation of the two pilot virtual public charter schools (VPCS). SECC once again shared some of the suggested activities that align with best practices in evaluation design. NCDPI was asked to give a presentation on the VPCS and requested campus data summaries to share at their next presentation. Additionally, the NCStar Crosswalk document has been completed, and a draft has been shared with the department. In November, SECC will develop the first draft of the data summaries, and NCDPI will revise them for their board presentation. A joint meeting between NCDPI, SECC, and the two VPCS will be scheduled for November to discuss the data collection needs and procedures and to encourage an open dialogue between the department and the schools. Additionally, a training meeting will be scheduled for NCDPI to learn all the steps involved with finalizing the crosswalk. As evidence of impact, NCDPI is now receptive to develop a collaborative relationship with the virtual campuses to increase the quality and quantity of data collected from the school stakeholders (teachers, parents, teachers, and board members).