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About REL West

Regional Educational Lab (REL) West partners with key stakeholders in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah 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 West is partnering with six higher education institutions within the northern region of California —Shasta College, Sierra College, College of the Siskiyous, the Yuba Community College District, California State University Chico, and California State University Sacramento—to advance their efforts to increase the number of individuals with “some college, no degree” or “near completers” who return to college and complete their credentials. Because this population is disproportionately composed of low-income, first-generation college students and people of color, improving degree completion can also help advance educational and workplace equity. Through coaching and applied research, REL West will support the partner institutions to identify and reengage adult learners, learn about evidence-based strategies, gather evidence about their progress, and identify ways to broaden the implementation of evidence-based adult reengagement and support strategies across the California State University and community college systems. Learn more
REL West and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) are working to accelerate the necessary conditions for Black students to learn and succeed, and to address disparities in disciplinary treatment of Black students in the district. Through the partnership projects, REL West will help SFUSD create a systematic process for identifying, testing, and refining evidence-based practices to achieve equitable discipline outcomes for Black students. Learn more
The Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and REL West are partnering to reduce school mobility and absenteeism of K–12 students in foster care. The partnership uses data and evidence to improve education outcomes given that high rates of school mobility and chronic absence are related to disruptions in learning, relationships, and supportive services for these students. Partnership activities focus on examining and strengthening LACOE’s Educational Passport System (EPS), a data system that links information across child welfare and education agencies to better serve students. By building LACOE’s capacity to use the EPS, the partnership will increase its use of data for policy and practice decisionmaking and will generate new evidence to address school mobility and attendance challenges for students in foster care. Learn more
Teacher turnover is fiscally and academically costly, and attrition from the profession is highest in teachers’ initial years on the job. More than 40 percent of Utah teachers leave the profession within their first five years with patterns varying regionally across the state. This multi-year partnership between REL West and the Utah State Board of Education will engage a set of Utah school districts to understand and address the root causes of early career teacher attrition through new local data collection, and analysis and applied research. Learn more
REL West has partnered with Washoe County School District (WCSD), working with and through three of the districts’ departments: the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Department, the Intervention Department, and the Research and Evaluation Department. In the district’s Office of Strategies, REL West will launch its coaching work with leadership staff in the MTSS and SEL Department. This department is charged with developing the district’s capacity to create, support, and sustain school climates that are safe and engaging to optimize student learning, which starts with regular school attendance. Learn more
Supporting Integrated English Learner Instruction - In Development

REL West has partnered with Victor Valley College (VVC) and Abundant Living Mission High Desert (ALMHD) to support their A New Hope initiative that provides education services to justice-impacted individuals who are reentering their communities, families, and the workforce. Ultimately, the partners seek to increase the proportion of justice-impacted individuals reentering the community in the High Desert region of San Bernardino County who earn high school equivalency credentials, complete non-credit workforce and personal skill development certificates, and pursue postsecondary education, thus contributing to reducing overall recidivism in this community.

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Santa Ana Unified School District Expanded Learning - In Development
Evidence-Based Early Literacy Practices in Sacramento County - In Development
Teacher Retention in Maricopa County - In Development
Middle School Multilingual Learners' Math and English Language Skills – In Development
This partnership addresses student underperformance in grade 3 literacy with a group of local education agencies in the Sacramento County Office of Education’s (SCOE’s) jurisdiction. The partnership will integrate evidence-based practices from What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides through a “Joyful Literacy” approach that is grounded in culturally and linguistically sustaining, whole-child strategies. REL West will provide coaching and resources that incorporate practices from the WWC practice guides, and evidence-based social-emotional learning and creative expression strategies. This partnership will align with, complement, and amplify efforts already underway at SCOE to improve literacy performance across the county. Learn more


REL West is led by WestEd with support from the following partners:

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Analytica
  • Basis Policy Research
  • Decision Information Resources (DIR)
  • Policy Studies Associates
  • RAND
  • Westat Insight

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The REL Governing Board helps REL West 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 West Governing Board members represent diverse expertise and experience.

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This coaching project will document the context to the development of the VVC reentry education curriculum, ensure evidence-based components are incorporated into the education curriculum, and develop a logic model to guide data collection and evaluation endeavors.
The purpose of this coaching project is to design and conduct an inventory of K–12 student academic, attendance, behavioral, and mental health interventions used in schools across the district in order to obtain an accurate accounting of the district’s tiered interventions and description of implementation of its Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework. The inventory will help the district make decisions, specifically related to strengthening MTSS practices and using evidence-based interventions to reduce chronic absence.
This technical support project builds local capacity to use data to examine Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) referrals. The first phase focuses on co-analysis of the SARB referral forms to document the interventions used and requested to support chronically absent students referred to SARB. The second phase uses administrative data to produce a descriptive profile of referred students, reporting demographic characteristics and attendance outcomes in the years preceding the referral. This project lays the groundwork for a complementary research project that will rigorously investigate the relationship of attendance outcomes and student and school characteristics with SARB referral rates and possible disproportionalities.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education’s (LACOE’s) Educational Passport System (EPS) collects and links cross-sector data in education, child welfare, and juvenile justice across LACOE’s 80 school districts, This analytic technical assistance project is designed to (1) assess the data quality and comprehensiveness of the EPS for monitoring and reporting on school mobility and chronic absence; (2) improve the EPS so that it can be used effectively to address a co-developed research agenda on school mobility and chronic absence for students in foster care; and (3) develop a set of research questions that focus on examining school mobility and chronic absence for LACOE students in foster care.
This randomized controlled trial will test two promising strategies (Empathic Instruction and Self-Affirmation) for creating equitable discipline outcomes at grades 4 and 5. The goals of the project include testing evidence-based strategies designed to mitigate the effects of bias and stereotype threat on disciplinary practices and outcomes among Black students. This work is grounded in the guiding principles of the district’s African American Achievement and Leadership Initiative and was developed to help the district overcome persistent barriers to reducing disparities in disciplinary outcomes.

This project includes a series of training sessions focusing on orienting LEA leadership teams to the Joyful Reading and Creative Expression with Young Children Planning Guide. The goal of the trainings is to help participants understand the relevant research base and how the guide, which includes family engagement resources and activities, can be used in practical ways that are tailored to specific contexts.

No projects at this time.

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