Virtual School Meanderings

December 5, 2018

REL Southeast Director’s Email—December 2018

Note the personalized learning item from North Carolina below.

December 2018
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Greetings from REL Southeast!

This month I am pleased to share exciting work the REL Southeast is conducting in regards to our Improving Low-Performing Schools in Alabama Research Alliance. The Alliance has been conducting coaching sessions in the state centered around the study of differentiated learning supports. Details about these sessions may be found in the article below.

The REL Southeast is working on the development of many more evidence-based products and resources that will be released in the coming months.  Thank you for helping to improve education in the Southeast. We hope you have a very safe and happy holiday season.

Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

 Project Spotlight

Coaching on the Study of Differentiated Learning Supports Initiative

Since the winter of 2017, REL Southeast has presented two coaching sessions as part of the regularly scheduled alliance meetings. Several topics of interest were discussed, from using mixed methods research in school improvement initiatives to the Center for School Turnaround at WestEd’s framework for rapid school improvement.In these coaching sessions, alliance members were eager to learn how to use mixed methods research to examine low-performing schools and inform their state-wide approach to school turnaround. Members discussed how states can assist local education agencies in building capacity to sustain their improvement efforts and how to create a set of expectations for student outcomes that are clear, measurable, and adaptable.

REL Southeast invited Dr. Carlas McCauley, Director of the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, to discuss the framework for rapid school improvement and facilitate a conversation around Alabama State Department of Education’s challenges in turning around low-performing schools. Dr. McCauley highlighted the importance of developing an improvement cycle theory of action to establish alignment of practices across the state, districts, and schools to improve student achievement.

The REL Southeast convened a strategy session with 10 VirtualSC leaders to begin outlining VirtualSC’s vision for its personalized learning work and formulating a research-based approach to implementing and evaluating changes to VirtualSC courses. The REL Southeast and the Southeast Comprehensive Center then hosted a collaborative workshop to review research on personalized learning and gather additional ideas from VirtualSC lead teachers and instructional designers.

Learn more, read testimonials about the project, and discover relevant resources at:

Product Spotlight

Implementing Personalized Learning District-Wide in Johnston County

With personalized learning taking a prominent position in North Carolina’s ESSA plan, many schools and districts across the state are exploring the possibility of implementing personalized learning initiatives. In February, 2018, REL Southeast convened a group of more than 40 educators, administrators, and policy makers from across North Carolina to discuss the benefits and challenges of transitioning to a personalized learning model. This podcast allows additional educators, administrators, and policy makers to learn about the goals, accomplishments, and challenges experienced by Johnston County Public Schools staff.

Listen to the complete audio file at:


Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the 10 regional educational laboratories (REL) that by design, functions much in the same way as a technical reference library. It provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions.

To submit your question to Ask A REL, click here. Explore Ask A REL responses here.

You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or provided your information at a REL Southeast sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:

REL Southeast at Florida State University

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

TallahasseeFL 32310

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