The South Carolina Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy Partnership (SC PLC EL) is a collaboration between key state education agency representatives, select demonstration sites, and the REL Southeast. The goal of the partnership is to explore the implementation of Professional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy (PLC-EL) and learn about impacts on teacher practice and student outcomes to inform scaling across South Carolina. The partnership seeks to learn about the conditions, facilitators, and barriers that affect implementation. The partnership will engage in two primary projects: 1) intensive coaching with a small cohort of demonstration sites to implement PLC-EL to understand and address barriers to implementation, and 2) an applied research study to evaluate the implementation and impact of PLC-EL on teacher practice and student outcomes.
Partner organizations: South Carolina Department of Education Office of Early Learning and Literacy, Chesterfield County School District, and Darlington County School District
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.
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