Project: Year 7 2018–2019

Alabama Low-Performing Schools

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is supporting the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) with implementing a strategic plan and performance management tools for its Office of Student Learning and providing related professional development (PD) to state school turnaround staff. The SECC is continuing to support the state with scaling up its School Improvement Grant (SIG) program using the Center on School Turnaround's Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement framework.

Technical Assistance Approach

The SECC is continuing to support the department in developing a performance management system for monitoring the implementation of the statewide system of support (SSOS) for principals of low-performing schools. As such, SECC will facilitate cross-office collaboration in the refinement of its logic model and SSOS. SECC also will assist in the development and use of metrics for evidence of impact related to how the state supports principals of low-performing schools. In addition, SECC will support the department by providing PD and resources related to evidence-based practices for school improvement.

Impact
  • Increased state education agency (SEA) and local education agency (LEA) knowledge of evidence-based school improvement strategies and materials 
  • SEA consensus on elements of an SSOS plan
  • Structured system for providing support to low-performing districts/schools 
  • Processes for monitoring the effective implementation of the SSOS
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | December

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met via conference call with the School Improvement Grant (SIG) coordinator to act as a thought partner with regard to the state’s upcoming SIG school training in January 2019. The SIG coordinator expressed the need for focusing on culture and climate and requested related resources. As such, SECC shared tools and resources by the American Institute for Research (AIR) in the area of social emotional learning, which will serve as a research backdrop for a SIG school counselors’ presentation session in January. The resources will be presented to the SIG teams during the training before the school counselors’ session begins. SECC also worked with the state equity team that participated in the SECC Equity Summit to schedule a planning meeting, which was postponed until early January. They will discuss needs for supporting districts serving English learners and using geographical information systems (GIS) data to gather trend data related to equity.

The SECC will co-develop a training evaluation survey for the SIG training in January. The SECC also will meet with the state equity team in January to resume planning.

As evidence of impact, the SIG coordinator commented on how SECC has built state capacity in planning with deliberation for district and internal meetings and trainings. They now consistently consider meeting and training outcomes and use tools/graphic organizers to help them with planning and related needs.

 

Previous Updates:

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met via conference call with the School Improvement Grant (SIG) coordinator to act as a thought partner with regard to the state’s upcoming SIG school training in January 2019. The SIG coordinator expressed the need for focusing on culture and climate and requested related resources. As such, SECC shared tools and resources by the American Institute for Research (AIR) in the area of social emotional learning, which will serve as a research backdrop for a SIG school counselors’ presentation session in January. The resources will be presented to the SIG teams during the training before the school counselors’ session begins. SECC also worked with the state equity team that participated in the SECC Equity Summit to schedule a planning meeting, which was postponed until early January. They will discuss needs for supporting districts serving English learners and using geographical information systems (GIS) data to gather trend data related to equity.

The SECC will co-develop a training evaluation survey for the SIG training in January. The SECC also will meet with the state equity team in January to resume planning.

As evidence of impact, the SIG coordinator commented on how SECC has built state capacity in planning with deliberation for district and internal meetings and trainings. They now consistently consider meeting and training outcomes and use tools/graphic organizers to help them with planning and related needs.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) project team provided feedback and input on the state’s existing School Review Evaluation Rubric. The state indicated this month that it no longer needed support with resources and samples of standard operating procedures; however, since SECC already began compiling samples, we will share them with the state in December. The SECC Equity Summit was held in Jackson, Mississippi, and provided the state with expertise in topics that promote equity, including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify areas in the state in great need of state support, as well as English learners (ELs), talent management, and other salient topics.

Staff from ALSDE who attended the SECC Equity Summit requested follow-up technical assistance with training districts who support high concentrations of EL populations as well as with GIS training related to low-performing schools.

As evidence of impact, following the Equity Summit, state staff’s knowledge of high-quality practices for school improvement is increasing, as they have indicated interest and readiness in learning how the state can implement those practices at state and district levels (e.g., GIS, talent management and ELs).

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) in late-October to confirm milestones, outputs, and outcomes for the Low-Performing Schools project. Some changes were made to refine the plan. During the meeting, the state made specific technical assistance requests that were a priority. Thus, milestone timelines were adjusted to reflect the need. The SECC team met with the state low-performing schools team to discuss the need for SECC expertise with a review of the state’s existing School Review Evaluation Rubric, which is based on the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement framework developed by the Center on School Turnaround. During that meeting, the state also requested resources on what other states are doing in terms of using a similar type of rubric. The SECC team also began its review and feedback process and began searching for other state resources. SECC will share its feedback and state resources with the ALSDE in early November.