Virtual School Meanderings

May 20, 2019

REL Southeast Director’s Email—May 2019

Note the item below entitled “Tracking the Evidence, Guiding the Future: How Can SEAs and LEAs Apply Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning to Policy and Practice? .”

May 2019
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Greetings from REL Southeast!

This month I am excited to share information in our “On the road with REL Southeast” feature about two wonderfully successful events we recently hosted in our region. We’ve also released several new products that we’re pleased to tell you about. More information about these items can be found below.

The REL Southeast continues the development of many more evidence-based products and resources to be released in the coming months.  Thank you for helping to improve education in the Southeast.


Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

On the road with REL Southeast


Florida

On April 18in partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools, REL Southeast hosted the Early Learning Symposium in Tampa, Florida. Over 200 early childhood and K–12 educators and leaders convened with a common focus on early learning and school readiness. Dr. Nicole Patton Terry’s energizing keynote presentation, Are the Children Ready? The Challenges and Opportunities of Early Childhood Education, preceded an informative panel discussion with Superintendent Eakins of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Gordon Gillette, Executive Director of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Kelley Parris, Executive Director of the Children’s Board Hillsborough County, and Jane Murphy, Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County. Afternoon breakout sessions – The Ready ChildThe Ready FamilyThe Ready Community, and The Ready School – were based on the infographics in the Preparing a School-Ready Child series. Tracye Brown, Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Assistant Superintendent for Academic Support and Federal Programs, delivered an inspirational speech to close the symposium. The event’s success can be attributed largely to Lynn Dougherty-Underwood and Linda Gaughan of Hillsborough County Public Schools. Lynn and Linda are also members of the REL Southeast Improving Literacy Research Alliance.


South Carolina


In late March, REL Southeast staff presented multiple sessions for South Carolina Department of Education administrators and literacy specialists at the South Carolina Department of Education Literacy Specialist Coaching Conference. Literacy specialists from throughout the state participated in several activities throughout the three-day professional development training sessions. REL Southeast staff shared literacy tools based on rigorous research to be shared with district- and school-level practitioners. These interactive sessions focused on the research-based roles of literacy coaches and tools for coaches such as the Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade practice guide and accompanying Professional Learning Communities Facilitator’s Guide. Additional sessions focused on the School Leader’s Literacy Walk Through Tool for Grades K-3, the Self-Study Guide for Implementing Literacy Interventions in Grades 3-8, and the Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Ask A REL

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.

Product Spotlights


Considerations for Scheduling Early Literacy Interventions

Considerations for Scheduling Early Literacy InterventionsMembers of the REL Southeast Governing Board recently suggested the development of an infographic addressing evidence-based considerations for scheduling early literacy interventions to assist stakeholders when scheduling time blocks for instructional interventions. Therefore, we developed the infographic, Considerations for Scheduling Early Literacy Interventions, based on the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance resource Self-Study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions.

Download the infographic here.


The Ready School

The Ready School infographicThrough the collaborative effort of the Cross-REL School Readiness Working Group, the REL Southeast has designed a suite of infographics to provide state-, district-, and school-level educators with information on evidence-based research and resources related to school readiness. The first infographic of the suite, Preparing a School-Ready Childfocuses on school readiness as a whole and answers the question of “What is school readiness?” The other infographics explore the components of school readiness: the ready child, the ready school, the ready community, and the ready family. This month we’re spotlighting The Ready School. Explore resources embedded within the infographic that will help prepare families and educators to support a successful school-ready child.

Download the infographic here.


Tracking the Evidence, Guiding the Future: How Can SEAs and LEAs Apply Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning to Policy and Practice?

It is critical for states to have access to current research about online learning’s impact on students with different needs and maximizing virtual education’s quality and effectiveness. The REL Southeast region is home to the nation’s largest state virtual school (Florida Virtual School), and every state served by the REL Southeast has a state virtual school that is facilitated by the SEA. States and districts also need resources that are geared toward applying research to policy and practice as they continue to work toward improving their online offerings and policy decisions related to virtual education. REL Southeast produced the audio file, Tracking the Evidence, Guiding the Future: How Can SEAs and LEAs Apply Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning to Policy and Practice?, to address this need.

This audio file is moderated by Dr. Diana Sharp, manager of the REL Southeast’s partnerships with Florida Virtual School and South Carolina’s state virtual school (VirtualSC). Featured is Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, co-editor of the freely-available Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning, and a member of the REL Southeast’s Technical Working Group for a project of the Florida Virtual School Partnership on Student Success in Online Learning. Dr. Kennedy answers questions about the need for explicit connections between research, policy, and practice in the area of virtual education, especially for state and district staff, and how her team approached this need.

Listen to the audio file 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

April 16, 2019

REL Webinar: Using Teacher Feedback in School Leader Evaluations

This webinar may be of interest to some readers.

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

REL Webinar: Using Teacher Feedback in School Leader Evaluations

Join REL Mid-Atlantic on May 13, 2019, for a free webinar on using teacher feedback in school leader evaluations.

School leader evaluation systems must be objective, fair, and apply to a range of leadership styles. They must also differentiate between effective and ineffective school leaders. Yet many existing evaluation systems fail to do so.

This free webinar will review some measures of school leader performance that may successfully differentiate principals and provide valuable feedback for improving leadership. Presenters will discuss (1) teacher survey instruments districts and states are using as input for school leader evaluations and (2) notable research on the characteristics, use, and effects of these instruments. They will also review the experience of one district with a teacher survey instrument for evaluating school leaders.

This webinar is designed for superintendents and assistant superintendents, state and local education agency staff, principals, and others interested in school leader evaluations. Submit your questions for the presenters in advance by emailing RELmidatlantic@mathematica-mpr.com. You will also have an opportunity to ask the presenters questions during the webinar’s Q&A session.

Using Teacher Feedback in School Leader Evaluations
May 13, 2019
1:00–2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

*****
The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) build the capacity of educators to use data and research to improve student outcomes. Each REL responds to needs identified in its region and makes learning opportunities and other resources available to educators throughout the United States. The REL program is a part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. To receive regular updates on REL work, including events and reports, follow IES on Facebook and Twitter. To provide feedback on this or other REL work, email Contact.IES@ed.gov.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

April 6, 2019

REL Webinar: Using Evidence-Based Research In Different Contexts

This webinar may be of interest to some folks.

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

REL Webinar: Using Evidence-Based Research in Different Contexts

Join the REL Program’s upcoming webinar to learn about a new tool designed to help schools and districts review research literature and select evidence-based interventions that are appropriate for their local context.

The U.S. Department of Education’s non-regulatory guidance on how to identify interventions based on the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) four levels of evidence recommends that schools consider not only the strength of the evidence supporting a particular intervention, but also the relevance of the evidence – specifically the extent to which the settings and/or populations used in research studies are similar to one’s own school and students. This is especially important for small, rural, or Native-serving schools, which are often underrepresented in education research.

The ninety-minute webinar will provide an overview of the draft tool, Applicability of Evidence-Based Interventions in Different Contexts. This tool presents a series of key considerations and related questions, aligned to eight important contextual factors, to help users examine how similar their context is to that of the research and assess whether a particular intervention might meet their needs.

The webinar will be highly interactive. Participants will be presented with a scenario and set of guiding questions to work through the tool in small breakout groups. As a result of the webinar, participants will:

  • Understand how to examine an intervention to determine its applicability to their context; and
  • Discuss potential uses of the tool and offer feedback for refining it.

This webinar is designed for educators looking to choose evidence-based interventions that will be applicable to school settings less often included in the research sample for impact studies, such as small schools, rural schools, and/or Native-serving schools. Both local educators and state or regional service providers who work with those educators may be interested in this event.

Considerations for the Applicability of Research to Different Contexts
April 16, 2019
12:00–1:30 p.m. PT
Register here

*****
The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) build the capacity of educators to use data and research to improve student outcomes. Each REL responds to needs identified in its region and makes learning opportunities and other resources available to educators throughout the United States. The REL program is a part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. To receive regular updates on REL work, including events and reports, follow IES on Facebook and Twitter. To provide feedback on this or other REL work, email Contact.IES@ed.gov.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

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: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southeast/differentiated_learning.asp

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: https://youtu.be/XymBlOyXWpA

Ask A REL

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

November 12, 2018

REL Southeast Director’s Email—November 2018

This showed up in my inbox last week.  If you look at the correlational infographic, I think that the “Causal Inference” portion is particularly important – but I think that they didn’t state strongly enough that correlation does not equal causality.  Beyond that, the infographics aren’t bad.

November 2018
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Greetings from REL Southeast!

This month I am pleased to share more dissemination work the REL Southeast is conducting in regards to ESSA. Dr. Phyllis Underwood and I will be presenting Understanding ESSA Levels of Evidence and their Application to Program Evaluation at the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders (FOIL) conference in Lake Mary, Florida on November 8. The audience, including district deputy superintendents and district instructional coaches and specialists from all 67 Florida school districts, will learn how the four ESSA levels of evidence can guide educators when evaluating their programs and curriculum. Explore additional work related to ESSA the REL Southeast is conducting throughout the region, as well as new infographics that help educators understand research study design in the articles 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.


Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

Infographic Spotlight


Observing Promising Evidence: Correlational Studies

The third infographic in our series on research study design for educators  describes correlational studies and addresses associations, control variables, and causal inference. View the infographic at: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/infographics/pdf/REL_SE_Promising_Evidence.pdf.

All of the infographics in the series may be found at: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/infographics/.

Ask A REL

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.

Infographic Spotlight


Observing Evidence That Demonstrates a Rationale

The fourth and final infographic in our series on research study design for educators addresses evidence that demonstrates a rationale, including theories of action, logic models, and collecting and reporting. View the infographic at: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/infographics/pdf/REL_SE_Demonstrates_a_Rationale.pdf.

All of the infographics in the series may be found at: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/infographics/.

Understanding ESSA Levels of Evidence and their Application to Program Evaluation

November 8November 8, 2018

10:45–11:45 AM ET
and 1:15–2:15 PM ET

Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders (FOIL) conference

Orlando Marriott Lake Mary
1501 International Parkway
Lake Mary, FL 32746

The goals of this conference presentation are to provide an overview of the four ESSA levels and the ESSA and non-regulatory guidance and to show how the ESSA levels apply to program evaluation.

Learn more at https://ies.ed.gov/whatsnew/calendar/?id=3939.

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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