York County School District, Virginia
Balanced Literacy, 2015-2020
Balanced Literacy is rooted in the theory of a gradual release of responsibility from teacher directed to student led learning. This project is founded in the belief that student self-efficacy will increase through the attainment of self-determined goals in highly effective classrooms utilizing a balanced literacy instructional approach. The project sought to address the reading and writing needs of kindergarten through 12th grade students in 19 schools. The project used two primary strategies: in-class supports and tutoring. In-class supports consisted of professional development for teachers to implement various components of a Balanced Literacy model developed and adopted by the division. The professional development aimed to equip teachers with the tools to provide direct instruction and personalized feedback to improve students’ reading and writing skills. The school system used a train-the-trainer model to help sustain professional development efforts through the life of the grant and beyond. Tutoring strategies included a summer enrichment program focused on improving reading and writing for students K-12. SEG evaluated the project, tracking fidelity of implementation and conducting formative and summative evaluation. Project funding was provided by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
Environmental Literacy Initiative, 2015-2018
The YCSD Project Based Environmental Literacy (PBEL) initiative was designed to improve the environmental stewardship of students by increasing student engagement and achievement in science, improving student scientific inquiry skills, and increasing awareness of local watershed issues through systemic Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE). PBEL provided ongoing professional development, coaching, and support for cohorts of teachers to learn the skills needed to design and implement project-based MWEE lessons that incorporate scientific inquiry. The evaluation design included a single group, pre-post design to respond to the key research questions, with the primary sources of data being student achievement data collected through the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments; a student survey with scales from the NOAA B-WET Evaluation System Student Item Bank on science outcomes, watershed literacy, and environmental stewardship; and a teacher survey to gather data on teacher pedagogical beliefs (Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs, STEBI) and development of inquiry teaching pedagogy (POSIT). An annual report was prepared and submitted to YCSD to support their annual grant reporting. Key findings included a statistically significant increase in scientific inquiry, environmental stewardship knowledge of actions and locus of control for students enrolled in the classrooms of participating teachers during the 3-year project period. Project funding was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Tiered System of Supports Initiative, 2014-2018
The project design focused on the division-wide development of a Tiered System of Supports (TSS) that included professional development for general education classroom teachers, intensive coaching, and professional development for interventionists. The initiative’s strategies supported special education teachers delivering targeted interventions with additional resources and professional development, while simultaneously supporting administrators and general education teachers in the delivery of differentiated classroom instruction. The comprehensive evaluation design included training observations and participant feedback, classroom observations using a standardized protocol, lesson plan reviews using a rubric aligned with the TSS model, a teacher survey that assessed the reach of professional development, satisfaction with training events, and degree of classroom implementation, focus groups with school staff, and interviews with project leadership. Each year, three semester reports were provided to project leadership, and an annual report was prepared and submitted to DODEA. Key findings demonstrated the continued use of a division-wide TSS Model created common expectations and accountability across schools. The consistent division TSS trainings, in combination with specific intervention resources provided to special educators, facilitated implementation of differentiated instruction and positively impacted the achievement of students with disabilities. Project funding was provided by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
Transformative Learning, 2012-2015
This project relied on building capacity for leadership and learning within a framework of sustained professional development and integrated technology. Performance tasks in STEM content, targeted to meet the needs of a diverse and changing military population, along with appropriate professional development were designed to create capacity and a culture to sustain the initiative. SEG served as the external evaluator for this initiative, developing and implementing an evaluation plan that included student and staff surveys, professional development and classroom observations, and focus groups and interviews with key stakeholder groups. Project funding was provided by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).