External Providers of Technical Assistance and Professional Development

  • 24. Q: What is the difference between what WestEd will be doing and what Action Learning Systems will be doing?
    A: WestEd will play a key role in developing and helping to implement Action Plans with each school site. They will also provide support to the principals and school leadership teams and conduct professional development and coaching with teachers in areas not related to Direct Interactive Instruction, including:
    • On-site training, support and coaching to principal, instructional coaches, and district staff focused on developing capacity to sustain improvement efforts;
    • On-site training in the implementation of Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT), an intentional, systematic means of increasing student academic achievement by improving the quality and quantity of parent-teacher communication and interaction;
    • Frequent monitoring visits to assess implementation of SIG plans;
    • Monitoring the entry of reports in the California Accountability and Improvement System (CAIS).
    • Ongoing support for the use of CAIS.
    WestEd also will prepare an annual SIG implementation evaluation report and updated needs assessment for each SIG school and assist at the district level by facilitating a Turnaround Collaborative Team, a task force on Increased Learning Time, and a task force on Teacher and Principal Evaluation.
    Action Learning Systems, by contrast, will provide the following site-level professional development in Year 1:
    • Ensure implementation of Direct Interactive Instruction (DII) as a strategy to fully implement core curriculum in English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics
    • Provide more intensive PD in DII (and initial training if needed): 2 days for each of 3 cohorts (K-2 and 3-8 ELA and 7-8 Math)
    • Conduct Demonstration Lessons: 1 day per year per grade level
    • Provide comprehensive Coaching to include Co-Planning/Co-Teaching and Observation/Feedback: 2-3 days per designated week
    • Conduct Student-Led Conferences: 1 day per year
    In Years 2 and 3 ALS will provide similar PD but at a more advanced level.

    25. Q: What kinds of services can we expect from West Ed on a regular basis?
    A: WestEd will help school leadership teams develop detailed Action Plans, assist in implementing these plans, facilitate professional development and coaching, and promote parent and community involvement. WestEd also will collect data regularly on school climate, student progress, and quality of support provided by District, WestEd, ALS, principal and any others who should be accountable for the success of the project.

    26. Q: What will the West Ed specialist assigned to our site do?
    A: The Director of District Turnaround will work with the WestEd specialist and ensure that school needs are being met. Some of what the specialist will do is noted in the question above. WestEd staff are “partners,” providing support on all aspects of the commitments made in SUSD’s SIG application to the state.

    27. Q: How will the WestEd specialist fit into our site's budget? Will they be paid a lump sum or hourly? Is the time WestEd spends at our site negotiable?
    A: WestEd being paid a lump sum from the grant; this amount was divided equally among the seven schools’ budgets. Using these funds WestEd will hire FTE specialists in order to provide site level assistance to SIG schools; each specialist will serve 2 SIG schools. Some of the specialists’ time will be spent doing preparation work and meeting off-site with other district staff. The district’s contract with WestEd will specify a minimum number of hours of service.

    28. Q: Will West Ed provide us with professional development and, if so, how often?
    A: Yes. Content will depend upon the needs of teachers and students. PD will be provided as often as needed.

    29. Q: When is the earliest time we can have someone from WestEd begin to work with us at our school?
    A: WestEd is happy to begin to help our SIG sites now. If you would like to begin that process, please contact either Asst. Supt. Dan Wright or Asst. Supt. Kirk Nicholas.

    30. Q: If more than one SIG school is going to contract for the same outside training, is it okay to combine efforts and get the training at the same time?
    A: Yes. Schools whose SIG budgets include contracts for the same external provider training (e.g., No Bully) may want to try to schedule these trainings at the same time in order to save costs. Of course, this will depend on individual contractors’ willingness to train a larger number of individuals at the same time.