Fiscal Year 2014: Executive Summary
As the CT State Department of Education (CSDE) continues to provide guidance and support for Local Education Agencies (LEAs), establishing a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) remains an integral component of district/school improvement efforts. Over the past year the CSDE had developed, administered, and is currently analyzing outcomes from a statewide implementation survey. Conclusions drawn will influence CT’s next steps. Development of a statewide system to support school level implementation of CT’s Scientific Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) Framework continues to be the primary purpose of CT’s SPDG.
The CSDE continues to partner with the State Education Resource Center (SERC) to serve as the coordinating agency for CT’s SPDG because of SERC’s strong history of evidence-based professional development, leadership regarding SRBI in the state, and effective grant management. SERC collaborates with the CSDE and various grant partners, including CT Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC), six Regional Education Service Centers (the RESC Alliance), Center for Behavioral and Education Research (CBER) at UCONN, and CT’s Birth to Three System, to align grant activities which focus on establishing a continuum of academic and behavioral support with participating district/school’s improvement efforts, including strategic plans to increase student achievement and targeted indicators of State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). Through close collaborations with Education Consultants from across the CSDE, the SPDG Management Team took concerted efforts to demonstrate alignment with roll-out of K-3 Legislation, new Focused Monitoring plans, and had strong influences in the development of CT’s State Identified Measurable Result (SIMR) otherwise known as Indicator 17. It has been determined that State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) supports to districts will be conceptually grounded using the same continuum of support as schools are providing students.
As CT increases the number of schools implementing SRBI/MTSS with fidelity through the provision of high quality professional development, it is expected that schools will improve the academic achievement of all learners, paying specific attention to the achievement of students with disabilities, students of color, and students acquiring English. In the 2014-2015 school year, the number of participating schools grew from 64 to 77. This is reflective of 7 Preschool/Early Childhood Programs, 21 Elementary Schools, 6 Intermediate Schools, 21 Middle Schools, 7 PreK-8 Schools, and 14 High Schools representing 35 districts serving almost 30,000 students (13% special ed., 30% students of color, and 7% students acquiring English). It is worth noting that 39% of participating schools are from Alliance Districts and are receiving supplemental resources and support from the CSDE.
Through the provision of job-embedded, on-site technical assistance, SERC and RESC consultants support School Leadership Team members with the regular review of data to promote the instructional and environmental changes necessary to yield improved student outcomes, particularly for CT’s most marginalized students. In Year 4, the number of Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs) decreased from 59 to 43 due to attrition. It is important to note, however, that 41 out of the 43 current TAPs have been working on the grant for several years. Building the capacity of TAPs (external coaches) and School Leadership Team members (internal coaches) to use data to foster the quality implementation of an integrated model of literacy instruction and behavior supports continues to be a grant priority.
In order to replicate and sustain programming after the life of the grant, the following fidelity drivers will be used to strengthen CT’s SPDG in Year 5:
- continue partnerships with multiple offices of the CSDE, including Academic Office and Turnaround Office, to identify, recruit, and support Alliance District schools for Cohort 5 (state supported) who are using SRBI/MTSS as a strategy for improvement (context);
- compile procedural documents and data analysis protocols into one web-based document to support TAPs with implementation and differentiation of various grant components at the school-level, PreK-12 (compliance); and
- use established website to provide timely and relevant resources, including coaching modules, for district and school level coaches/leadership to support the sustainability of established structures and practices (competency).