Regional Educational Lab (REL) Southeast partners with key stakeholders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to develop evidence that can inform consequential decisions about policy, programs, and practice. Key stakeholders include organizations with decision-making authority and the ability to influence education policy and practice, such as state and local education agencies, school boards, institutes of higher education, and student, family, and community organizations. RELs partner with these organizations on applied research and development; training, coaching and technical supports; and dissemination. Click here to learn more about the REL Program.
REL Southeast is led by Florida State University with support from the following partners:
The REL Governing Board helps REL Southeast prioritize the education needs of the region, provides strategic guidance on REL work to maximize local effectiveness, and leverages members’ regional networks to amplify and disseminate REL products. REL Southeast Governing Board members represent diverse expertise and experience.
This training and coaching project addresses the need of increasing the literacy skills of students in grades 6-12 in Canton Public School District, Columbus Municipal School District, and Laurel School District by boosting the amount of support they receive in literacy throughout the school day. The need for this project was identified by the Mississippi Adolescent Literacy Partnership members based on grade 4 and grade 8 student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the performance of grade 4, grade 8, and students enrolled in English II (typically in grade 10), on the Mississippi English language arts assessment. The project will address this need by training content area teachers to incorporate evidence-based literacy practices into their courses, which may help students improve their ability to read and comprehend text, expand their vocabulary, and increase their skills in communicating orally and in writing. In addition, the project will provide training and coaching for administrators and coaches, wo they are able to confidently identify evidence-based literacy practices when implemented in the classroom. If administrators and coaches are able to identify these practices in the classroom, they may be able to provide guidance and support to teachers. Partnership members have expressed an interest in expanding this project to districts beyond the three initially identified in an effort to provide training to content area teachers statewide.
This training and coaching project addresses the need of increasing the literacy skills of students in grades 4-8 in Canton Public School District, Columbus Municipal School District, George County School District and Laurel School District by improving the quality of instruction students working below grade level receive during intervention. The need for this project was identified by the Mississippi Adolescent Literacy Partnership members based on grade 4 and grade 8 student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the performance of grade 4 and grade 8 on the Mississippi English language arts assessment. To address this need, a professional learning series will be developed to improve interventionists’ knowledge and implementation of intensive reading intervention for students in Grades 4–8 who are performing below grade-level expectations. The content of the sessions will address working with multi-syllabic words and vocabulary and will be drawn from two IES practice guides, Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Intervention in Grades 4-9 and Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School. Sessions will also be provided for administrators, so they are better able to support interventionists in implementing evidence-based practices.
The North Carolina Competency-Based Education (NC CBE) school coaching work will focus on supporting two high schools in North Carolina (Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies and North Edgecombe High School) with their CBE implementation. The short-term goals for the schools focus on clarifying vision and creating a roadmap and/or strategic plan for scaling or expanding CBE related practices. Once there is a clear vision and plan in place, the medium-term goals focus on building capacity and creating champions for the CBE work within the school and with families and community members connected to the schools. Achieving the medium-term goals will involve providing coaching support on specific CBE topics and supporting the development of communication plans and stakeholder engagements to share the progress of the work and the benefits for all students. Both schools will participate in the NC CBE partnership and will share ideas as well as learn from other educators across North Carolina who are interested and/or already engaged in some level of CBE implementation.
This project will focus on intensive coaching to implement the PLC-EL through a small cohort of demonstration sites and build stakeholder capacity to understand and address barriers and facilitators to implementation. Each demonstration site will have a leader (for example, an executive director or principal) who will support the implementation of the full PLC-EL, a facilitator who will have participated in a facilitator training and demonstrates readiness to implement PLC-EL at their site, and teachers who will participate in the PLC-EL sessions. REL Southeast will work intensively with the demonstration site teams over the course of a full school year to implement all 12 PLC-EL sessions. A major part of this project will be to work with the demonstration site facilitators as they conduct sessions to strengthen their facilitation practice, learn about implementation challenges, troubleshoot challenges, and capture strengths. At the same time, REL Southeast will support the demonstration site administrators and teachers as they work through implementation challenges related to infrastructure and resources and support classroom application. During the coaching activities, REL Southeast will engage in improvement cycles with the demonstration site teams to inform partnership activities and conduct needs sensing. Demonstration site teams will work with the REL Southeast and core partners to implement the PLC-EL, operate as a community of practice, examine implementation drivers, establish a feedback loop, advise and support the partnership’s research study, and serve as an advisory board to partners. The cumulative knowledge gained from these sites will ultimately support scaled implementation across the state.
This project will evaluate the implementation and impact of PLC-EL on teacher and student outcomes. Specifically, the applied research study will evaluate the impact of PLC-EL on teachers’ knowledge and instructional practices; on students’ print knowledge, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and oral language skills; and on students’ school readiness measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. The study will also identify and describe conditions, facilitators (for example, infrastructure), and barriers (for example, inadequate supports) that affect the implementation of PLC-EL at pre-kindergarten sites, as well as moderators of child performance. This study will utilize a partially nested, cluster randomized controlled trial design within an embedded- mixed-methods approach.?Both quantitative (for example, survey) and qualitative data (for example, individual and focus group interview data) will be collected and analyzed concurrently using traditional quantitative and qualitative methodologies to enhance the overall design.?The small number of demonstration sites participating in the coaching project will not be included in this project.
REL Southeast is conducting a coaching project with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to conduct analyses to better understand the relationship between school climate and literacy. This project will build GaDOE staff’s capacity to conduct research on the relationships between school climate and literacy. The project also will build GaDOE staff’s knowledge of the relationships between school climate and student literacy outcomes and build GaDOE staff’s capacity to communicate findings about the relationship between school climate and literacy to others within their department and to educators in school districts.
This project will offer three academy strands to provide evidence-based literacy practices for literacy educators in Florida Panhandle elementary schools. The first strand will focus on improving implementation of third grade summer reading camps through training on the use of the Summer Reading Camp Self-study Guide for first district literacy leaders and then school-based teams. The second strand will focus on providing training on evidence-based practices for content area literacy instruction for teachers in grades 4 and 5. The final strand will provide training sessions on how to implement differentiated Tier 1 literacy instruction in grades K-5.
The Toolkit for Differentiating Reading Instruction in Grades K-3 (Toolkit) will be based on the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide, Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades. While the practice guide addresses the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and provides several recommendations for that model, this Toolkit focuses on Recommendation 2 from the practice guide: Provide differentiated reading instruction for all students based on assessments of students’ current reading levels (tier 1). This Toolkit will be designed to promote change in teacher practice and student outcomes by supporting teachers in how to differentiate tier 1 instruction to help improve reading instruction for ALL students. Professional learning opportunities for teachers, facilitators, and educational leaders will focus on collecting and interpreting student data in order to plan and implement differentiated instruction. Professional learning resources include self-reflection checklists, action plans, videos of classrooms in action, resources to dig deeper about how to differentiate instruction, and more.
Based on ongoing needs in Alabama, REL Southeast has formed a partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) and 11 districts to build on their current work to improve English learner student outcomes in the state. This REL Southeast project will train 11 ALSDE regional English learner coaches and district site facilitators on four evidence-based instructional recommendations found in the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle Schools. REL Southeast will use the companion document, The Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Facilitator’s Guide, as a professional development delivery model and tool to support implementation. Between these monthly trainings, the regional English learner coaches and district site facilitators will co-plan and co-deliver the trainings to partnering school PLCs consisting of three teachers and an instructional specialist or administrator. REL Southeast will provide on-site and virtual coaching and implementation support over this 18-month project.
This project provides coaching to help FLVS leaders and teachers strengthen their knowledge and application of evidence-based practices in elementary literacy and their support of parents' knowledge of literacy-focused evidence-based practices.
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