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Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center

Ohio Record of Services

Summer 2011

State Manager: Mark Mitchell

District and School Improvement

Credit Flexibility Implementation
. On May 26, 2011, Great Lakes East facilitated a Credit Flex Community of Practice (CoP) State Team Meeting in Columbus. The purpose of the meeting was to update team members on the development of the Shared Work site hosted by the IDEA Partnership, to review the design and draft content of the wiki template pages, and to discuss strategies for launching the Shared Work site to the field.

On July 13, 2011, Great Lakes East and two communications representatives from the Credit Flex CoP State Team met to develop a draft communications and engagement plan for the rollout and outreach of the CoP in 2011–12. The draft plan outlines groups of intended audiences and stakeholders (e.g., professional associations and organizations, former registrants of credit flex Web conferences, districts and schools, parents, and the general public); key messages for each group; a timeline for communications; and people responsible for these communications.

Following this meeting, the focus of the work shifted to preparing for the CoP moderator training and working with the IDEA Partnership to make the wiki pages work on an interim basis because the information was scheduled to be migrated onto a new Shared Work site by the end of August. On August 9, 2011, members of the CoP State Team, along with invited guests, met with Joanne Cashman and Patrice Linehan of the IDEA Partnership and Great Lakes East staff. The need for community building and a different relationship with the field was discussed as part of this move toward CoPs. During the training, the team discussed communication strategies with regional and statewide associations, practiced registering on an early version of the Shared Work site, and reviewed some of the site’s features. A makeup training was held on August 22, 2011, and a follow-up meeting with the full state team was scheduled for August 26, 2011, to finalize launch details.

Ohio Safe and Supportive Learning Environments. As an additional support this year, Great Lakes East has offered to provide assistance to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Office of Family and Civic Engagement to design and host 16 regional meetings in fall 2011. These meetings are structured to be held by means of Web conferences but will include a group discussion on each site supported by on-site facilitators. The purpose of these meetings is to increase awareness across Ohio about initiatives focused on prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying; school climate; and learning supports. Great Lakes East anticipates the need to train on-site facilitators on how to use the Adobe Connect system prior to these meetings. Great Lakes East also will support the design of a pre- and postevent survey and provide a summary report to ODE at the completion of all 16 regional meetings. Registration for these meetings has been active for a few weeks. Dates have been set for all meetings; the first one was scheduled for August 25.

Race to the Top (RTTT) Communication Plan. On July 13, 2011, Joan Nichols, director of communication for RTTT; Emily Busar at ODE; and staff from Great Lakes East met in Columbus to develop a draft work plan for communications support and to discuss how the two organizations can effectively work together. Out of this meeting came an outline for how to proceed with the design of an RTTT annual survey. ODE requested assistance in the design and administration of an annual survey to 478 RTTT districts. In addition, a Web conferencing guide is being designed by Great Lakes East. The guide is based on the work done supporting credit flex Web conferences, but it will be adapted and available to RTTT staff for a regional specialist and coordinator training in early September. Great Lakes East has been asked to help build the capacity of RTTT regional specialists and coordinators to plan and facilitate Web conferences for regional stakeholders; the use of this guide in a training context will support this work.

Statewide Systems of Support and Sustaining the OIP. The phrase “statewide system of support” (SSOS) has been used in conversation almost interchangeably with the “Ohio Improvement Process” (OIP). The use of these titles has evolved as the substance behind them has matured. Now, the phrase “SSOS” is directed toward the work of state support teams (although it is understood that the state, districts, and schools are all part of this system). There are 16 state support teams in Ohio charged with supporting districts and schools in their regions. The work of state support teams has evolved as well in response to the Differentiated Accountability Model and a focus on high- and medium-support districts. Lately, budget cuts to educational service centers have narrowed the range of support once provided by state support teams. At the same time, support for early childhood and special education improvement has become more assertive, along with OIP support. In response to budget reductions and a greater emphasis on improving and sustaining the work of state support teams, Great Lakes East has provided both technical assistance and facilitation support to ODE as it builds greater monitoring and accountability into the system.

The narrowing range of OIP support provided to districts by state support teams and the emphasis on greater integration of early childhood and special education into the OIP have led to a rethinking of the audience and some of the content for the OIP Facilitator Guide and Resources. Now and in the future, there will be greater emphasis placed on district internal staff assuming a larger facilitative role. There also will be far fewer opportunities for centralized training and professional learning for state support teams and internal facilitators; this requires a rethinking of how content and training related to the OIP are delivered.

To respond effectively to the changing SSOS and to changes in the work and emphases of the state support teams, Great Lakes East has had to change how our work is organized and facilitated in collaboration with ODE. The following are some updates from our collaborative work:

• The Performance Agreement indicators for special education, early childhood, and school improvement supports to districts and schools were included in the 2011–12 State Support Team Performance Agreement. These indicators establish a foundation for monitoring the effectiveness of the SSOS.
• One of the measurement tools noted for the district and school improvement indicators is an OIP Implementation Rubric, which was finalized during the July 14 SSOS meeting in Columbus. Earlier in the year, Great Lakes East had introduced ODE leadership to the school improvement work of the Center for Innovation & Improvement (CII). ODE noted the Indistar tool used by approximately 20 states to monitor district and school improvement efforts. There was not an existing online platform in Ohio for systematically collecting data from districts and schools regarding implementation of OIP, so Ohio turned to CII for assistance. CII agreed to accommodate Ohio’s indicators within the Indistar platform; this work continues and is referred to as the “dashboard.”
• Great Lakes East is working with the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC), Battelle for Kids, and the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) to ensure that the OIP Facilitator Guide and Resources and existing and new OIP and leadership team learning modules are cohesive and aligned. OCALI is responsible for redesign of the OLAC website; in the future, this site will house all of the OIP resources.
• Battelle for Kids is working to integrate value-added data into the Decision Framework tool used in stage 1 of the OIP to identify critical district needs and possible causes.

There is much work yet to be done, especially with regard to piloting monitoring processes at the district and school level; this work will continue through fall 2011.
 

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