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Momentum: A Newsletter of the ARCC
March 2015
In This Issue

 Resources & Opportunities   

Interested in exploring opportunities for educating English learners in blended learning classrooms? Visit the ARCC Events Archive for the recording of our March 5 webinar and related resources on this topic.


Looking for more on blended learning? Check out the March 17 webinar on "Making the Transition to Blended Learning" at the District Administration website. 


Searching for expertise on school improvement? The ARCC is conducting a series of fireside chats on school improvement, with the next webinar scheduled April 7


More school improvement?WestEd is offering a free publication titled 2015 School & District CatalogThe Center for School Turnaround is featuring the white paper titled Leading From Every Seat: Empowering Principals to Cultivate Teacher Leadership for School Improvement. 
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Editor: Kimberly Hambrick



March has roared in and life is lively for the ARCC and its people. With new leadership taking the helm in Tennessee and West Virginia, and great momentum sustained in Kentucky and Virginia, our work continues to move forward! Please note new resources for school improvement and blended learning, and the services of the recently launched Equity Access Support Network. 
ARCC Meets with Tennessee's New Commissioner of Education
TN Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen


On Wednesday, March 4, ARCC Director Caitlin Howley and Tennessee State Coordinators Terry Lashley anCarolyn Vincent met the new Tennessee Commissioner of Education, Dr. Candice McQueen. Dr. McQueen comes to the Tennessee Department of Education from Lipscomb College, where she was senior vice president and dean of education. Under Dr. McQueen's leadership, Lipscomb's college of education and teacher preparation program were consistently highlighted as one of the top teacher training programs in the state of Tennessee. 


Dr. McQueen is continuing her commitment to teachers by visiting each district in the state to inform her work as the new chief state school officer. She expressed interest in continuation of all initiatives in the ARCC year three work plan and added two priorities of her own, early education literacy assessments and leadership development. The ARCC looks forward to working with Commissioner McQueen and contributing to her success.

ARCC Meets with West Virginia's New State Superintendent
WV State Superintendent of Education Michael Martirano


On Wednesday, February 18, West Virginia State Coordinators Tony Marchese and Sarah Sayko facilitated their first conversation with the new West Virginia State Superintendent, Dr. Michael Martirano. During the meeting, Dr. Martirano urged the ARCC to consciously promote a clear, cohesive communication approach when intersecting with stakeholders of all kinds in West Virginia. He said it is crucial that everyone understands that all efforts by all stakeholders should ultimately be working towards the embodiment of his plan, "One Voice. One Focus. All Students Achieving." If systems, policies, etc. do not work towards this end, they should be replaced with those that do. Dr. Martirano emphasized that the ARCC year three work plan intersects nicely with the work that is already underway at the West Virginia Department of Education. 

Fireside Chats on School Improvement Begin


Welcome spring by joining us beside the virtual fireplace for great conversations! The ARCC invites you to spend an interactive hour with your colleagues across the region. Our series of "fireside chats," which kicked off in March, bring together state education agency staff involved with school improvement and the authors of chapters from the Center on School Turnaround's The State Role in School Turnaround: Emerging Best Practices. We ask participants to read the relevant chapter ahead of time and come prepared to ask a question or share commentary to facilitate discussion among participants and authors.

Feet in wool socks warming by cozy fire 

The second fireside chat takes place on April 7, 12-1 pm (ET).  (Register at this link.) The chat will focus on the chapter "Building Human Capital Pipelines: Examining the Role of the State Education Agency," with chapter authors Dennis Woodruff and Cyrillene Clark, along with their colleague Amy Born. The third fireside chat is scheduled for May 14, 3-4 pm (ET), and will be with chapter co-author Alison Segal on the chapter entitled "The State of the State: New SEA Structures for a New Approach to Turnaround." 


The first fireside chat took place on March 12, featuring "Navigating the Market: How State Education Agencies Help Districts Develop Productive Relationships with External Providers," with chapter author Julie Corbett. Participants had the opportunity to learn how other SEAs have helped districts recruit and vet external providers, monitor and hold providers accountable, and to share their own experiences and dilemmas. Visit the ARCC Events Archive webpage for the presentation slides and links to relevant resources. 

ICF Insights Features Gayle Manchin and Michael Martirano 

West Virginia State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin and the new West Virginia State Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano joined Tony Marchese on Thursday, February 19 for a taping of ICF Insights
WV State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin
The program provided an opportunity for Gayle Manchin to reflect on her nine years of service to West Virginia as a member of the state board (her tenure as president comes to an end in June) and to share how the search process was facilitated for the new state superintendent of schools. The second segment of the show featured Dr. Martirano, who reflected on his extensive and diverse career in public education and how he developed his vision plan for West Virginia. The program aired on KCTV during the week of February 23 and is posted on the ARCC YouTube page as three separate videos.



In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the Equitable Access Support Network (EASN) offers a coordinated network of organizations and people to help all 50 states and their districts develop and implement plans to ensure equitable access to excellent educators for all students. Information about EASN's many resources is available on the new website, EASN Communities360, the central access point to find relevant resources and request targeted support. Among these resources is the State Plan Readiness Tool, which guides states through developing each section of their plan and assessing their progress. The tool reflects guidance from both the U.S. Department of Education and other experts on what defines a high-quality equity plan.


To support equity plan development, the EASN is also launching four communities of practice to provide opportunities for states to learn from each other and engage with experts on key areas of interest. These communities include: Policy & Programs, Data Use & Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, and Rural Access Issues & Support. To join an EASN community of practice, go to the EASN Communities360 website.