Project: Year 7 2018–2019

Georgia Strengthening District and School Support

As a part of the Talent for Turnaround (T4T) partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) and the Center on School Turnaround (CST), Georgia requested to take part in the T4T Leadership Academy, which focused on identifying root causes for their most urgent problems. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is continuing to work with the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) to support Dougherty County School District and other identified school districts to address issues of teacher quality and induction support.

Technical Assistance Approach

The SECC is continuing to assist School and District Effectiveness (SDE) staff at GaDOE as a thought and collaborating partner to identify and facilitate work with other individuals or organizations to address specific needs or issue-specific concerns. In collaboration with the T4TLA, GTL Center, and the CST, SECC will provide resources and guidance to help identify strategies and processes learned from assistance to Dougherty County Schools that can be utilized with other districts to provide high-quality teachers and leaders for all their students.

Impact
  • Improved organizational structures and processes for Dougherty County School District 
  • Improved inter- and intra-organizational relationships for GaDOE through improved understanding of district processes for strengthening teacher retention and preparation to implement lessons learned in high-needs districts statewide
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2019 | June

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff will continue planning for a meeting with Muscogee County leaders to review survey responses for developing their improvement plan. In July, SECC staff will meet with Muscogee County leaders after their review of the survey responses and identify next steps in developing their improvement plan. 

 

Previous Updates:

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff will continue planning for a meeting with Muscogee County leaders to review survey responses for developing their improvement plan. In July, SECC staff will meet with Muscogee County leaders after their review of the survey responses and identify next steps in developing their improvement plan. 

Surveys were sent to teachers in Dougherty County with 3 years or less experience and summary of data provided to the Human Resources Director for use in planning for professional development for new teachers. Surveys were sent to teachers in Muscogee County within the first 3 years of experience to assist with planning support to improve their instruction. During June, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff will meet with Muscogee County leaders to review survey responses and identify next steps in developing their improvement plan.

Because of annual student testing and demands of budget development, the teacher surveys were delayed until the following month. In June, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) will collect survey data and provide it to Muscogee and Dougherty County leadership teams for use in developing strategies for meeting the needs of teachers and leaders in their comprehensive school improvement/targeted school improvement (CSI/TSI) schools.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC)state liaison and SECC evaluator completed a check-in call with Muscogee County leadership to review their survey questions and finalize the survey for use in March. Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) School Improvement (SI) staff led the team in completing the self-assessment and identifying possible next steps for implications of their review. A call was completed with Dougherty County to finalize their survey development. Both districts are having spring break the fourth week of March and will administer their surveys through the first weeks of April. SECC staff will collect survey data and provide it to Muscogee and Dougherty County leadership teams for use in developing strategies for meeting the needs of teachers and leaders in their Comprehensive School Improvement and Targeted School Improvement (CSI/TSI) schools.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) state liaison and SECC evaluator completed a check-in call with Muscogee County Leadership to review their survey questions and finalize the survey for use in March.

During March, SECC staff will send the survey link for Muscogee staff to send to select teachers for feedback on the support they have received and the areas where more support and professional development are needed for their success in improving student learning in their classrooms.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) Georgia state liaison and SECC evaluator met with Muscogee County leadership and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist to review and discuss the district’s status on the Mentoring and Induction in Turnaround Schools Self-Assessment and discuss survey strategy. The director, human resources, and director, curriculum and instruction, completed Practice 1A–2A individually, and then reached consensus on rankings after discussion of their perceptions. The group also clarified the kind of data that can help them develop a more targeted strategy to retain teachers at specific schools. Next steps include identifying specific questions with the superintendent and providing those to the SECC evaluator for survey development. Administration of the survey is targeted for March. The SECC Georgia state liaison and SECC evaluator met with the Dougherty County associate superintendent for District Effectiveness; director of Human Resources; and director of Curriculum and Instruction; to discuss their takeaways from the third National Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) meeting in December and how they had applied ideas gained from that experience. They also discussed areas of revision for the surveys used in past years to collect additional information.

In February, the SECC Georgia state liaison and SECC evaluator will conduct a check-in call with Muscogee County leadership and the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist to review their survey questions and finalize the survey for use. SECC staff also will meet with Dougherty County leaders to review and revise surveys to be used for data collection in the spring.

Based on new ideas exposed to at the third national T4TLA meeting, Dougherty County is emphasizing Teaching as a Profession and ensuring a clear pipeline through Valdosta State, Thomasville College, and Southwest College. A plan was developed to enhance movement in internship for candidates and to ensure a job when completed. Dougherty County is reshaping its mentoring program to focus on instructional specialists and to strengthen selection criteria to transition to “teacher support specialist.” A plan is in draft status, but the county hopes to identify up to four specialists at turnaround schools as well as a preK–2 and a 1–5 grade specialist to serve other district schools.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met with Muscogee County leadership and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) district effectiveness specialist to review research and program materials from the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) trainings. The group identified next steps in providing them with data to be used to identify root causes for losing teachers at high-needs schools. The next meeting date was set to work on the survey and to develop an action plan for work with SECC. The group established a meeting date with Dougherty County to begin a revision of surveys used in past years to identify additional information they want to collect.

In January, SECC will meet with Muscogee County leadership and the GaDOE district effectiveness specialist to work on survey questions. SECC also will meet with Dougherty County leaders to review and revise surveys to be used for data collection in the spring.

Dougherty County staff were interviewed by the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) evaluator regarding their work with the T4TLA effort. The Dougherty superintendent and Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) Georgia state liaison were interviewed regarding the impact of participation at the national meeting. SECC and Dougherty County staff participated in the T4TLA national convening, sharing successes and lessons learned from participation in the mentoring and induction affinity group and engaging with new participants to develop a learning community of support. The Dougherty County superintendent, deputy superintendent, and human resources director participated in the meeting. The Muscogee County superintendent, chief officer of human resources, and chief officer of curriculum and instruction also participated.

In December, SECC staff will meet with Muscogee County participants in T4TLA to review research and program materials in order to develop a work plan to identify and achieve program goals.

Staff from the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and state team members reviewed progress of Dougherty County toward developing and implementing a quality mentoring and induction (M&I) plan and submitted it to Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) leaders for use in planning the national convening of participating states and districts in November. The team identified tasks and roles of SECC staff and Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) staff to support and prepare participants from Dougherty County and those from Muscogee County for the T4TLA national meeting in Washington, DC. Because of the impact of Hurricane Michael, Dougherty County suffered damage and flooding to a number of schools in October. This made the preparation for participation more challenging.

During the month of November, Dougherty County staff will be interviewed by the SECC evaluator regarding their work with the T4TLA effort. Additionally, Georgia and SECC staff will participate in the T4TLA national convening, sharing successes and lessons learned from participation in the M&I affinity group, and engaging with new participants to develop a learning community of support.