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REL Southeast Coaching Supports


Laura Knapp


Partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

To ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive a high-quality, personalized education experience, NCDPI is partnering with REL Southeast to develop a statewide vision and support the dissemination of consistent information about what personalized learning can be in North Carolina. In 2018, the REL Southeast assisted NCDPI in learning about innovative CBE practices across the state, identifying challenges that hinder innovation, and developing strategies for ways to eliminate barriers to implementation.

Personalized learning is a clear priority in North Carolina. The state's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) highlights personalized learning through four pillars:

  1. A student having a "learner profile" that documents and simulates self-reflection on his or her own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and goals;
  2. A student pursuing an individualized learning path that encourages him or her to set and manage personal academic goals;
  3. A student following a "competency-based progression" that focuses on the ability to demonstrate mastery of a topic, rather than seat time; and
  4. A students' learning environment being flexible and structured in ways that support individual goals.

It is important to NCDPI to create a statewide vision for implementing CBE and personalized learning strategies in every school, for every student in North Carolina. Per the state's ESSA Plan, the guiding principle of the state's work is to transform education so that all students and educators have access to unique learning experiences based on individual needs and aspirations. The CBE research spearheaded by the REL Southeast is the first step in achieving the state's goal.

District-Level Partnerships

REL Southeast also partners with school districts across North Carolina to guide their implementation of personalized learning practices, including CBE. REL Southeast staff provide a variety of service supports to districts interested in engaging in CBE work, such as

  • creating a logic model for district-wide implementation;
  • developing a personalized learning continuum for schools across the district who may be ready to engage at different points within the CBE framework;
  • writing a strategy plan that focuses on the use of CBE practices; and
  • coaching and supporting teachers and school or district leaders to help with planning processes or implementation in schools with various aspects of CBE present.

Through continued coaching and strategic support, REL Southeast staff provide district and school leaders with the research and evidence needed to implement elements of personalized learning and CBE that will benefit every student.