Small ARCC logo  
Momentum: A Newsletter of the ARCC
July 2016
In This Issue
Resources & Opportunities
Looking for free tools to document school climate factors?  Education Week is offering a webinar Thursday, July 21 from 2-3 pm ET on "Monitoring and Improving School Climate with Student Surveys," which will explore a new online survey tool and the climate survey practices of the Austin Independent School District. Register at this link
Interested in tools for designing state career pathways systems? The College & Career Readiness & Success Center has announced a three-part webinar series on July 14, 19, and 25: Career Pathways-Leveraging CTE to Enhance Learning for All Students. Each webinar will explore key aspects of designing a career pathways system and existing tools that states can use. Register at this link.
Curious about strategies to sustain Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)? The REL Mid-Atlantic will hold a webinar on Thursday, August 25 from 3-5 pm ET, which will cover specific strategies to create effective and student-centered PLCs. Register at this link
Seeking more assistance with the implementation of ESSA? The Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation has created 3 documents on ESSA timelines and requirements for standards, assessments, and accountability. Visit this link.
In search of guidance for effective stakeholder engagement? The Education Commission of the States has released Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement, which offers a framework for engagement. 
Challenged to recruit teachers to rural areas? Another report from the Education Commission of the States, Strategies for Recruiting Teachers to Rural Areas, examines strategies that states have used. 
Join Our Mailing List

Editor: Kimberly Hambrick




"As you will read below, we recently met with our Advisory Board in Nashville. These meetings are a genuine opportunity to learn more about the good work educators across the region are doing, as well as a means to get candid feedback about our own efforts. We come away from these discussions energized and even more enthusiastic about the work at hand. 
"In fact, as all of the articles that follow demonstrate, meeting with other people doing similar work is a surprisingly fruitful way to learn more and accomplish more. When we think together through complex problems, we have access to a wider array of experience and insight than we might alone. And when we co-create strategies to address those problems, we generate further opportunities to "move the needle" on important goals. 
"So, from all of us at the ARCC to all of you working to improve education, we hope you have a rejuvenating summer, and the chance to get together with kindred spirits!" Caitlin Howley
ARCC Facilitates Peer-to-Peer Meetings for State Boards of Education 
The ARCC has initiated a line of work with state boards of education across the region, creating opportunities to come together to discuss the primary issues that dominate their agendas. Members of the Kentucky and West Virginia boards met June 2-3, 2015 in Frankfort, and were so pleased by the depth of discussion, that a subsequent meeting was held on April 13-14, 2016 at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, which brought together representatives of the boards of West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. 
"The ARCC has a unique opportunity to create a collaborative learning environment for members of state boards of education in our region. The State Boards of Education Ideas Exchange in the spring provided attendees from multiple states a safe environment to discuss pressing challenges and identify best practices for implementation," observed Anthony Marchese, West Virginia State Coordinator. "There was consensus among participants that the two-day meeting was useful and members requested additional opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange."  
Accountability was a major topic of discussion at the Greenbrier. Observed Donna Peduto, Director of Operations for the West Virginia Board, "Our board members were able to learn from other states about the benefits of the A-F school grading system, as well as lessons learned.  Board members indicated after the session that this discussion was extremely helpful as it provided valuable information that helped them feel more informed to vote on West Virginia Policy 2320."

ARCC Teams with States to Plan for ESSA 
As state education agencies gear up across the region to prepare for the transition from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the ARCC has become a key resource and ally. The ARCC is collaborating with the Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation to conduct an online discussion with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on transitioning state accountability systems to alignment with ESSA.  The discussion is planned for late July and will include staff from VDOE offices that deal with accountability and school improvement.
The new law requires states to engage stakeholders at all levels in their planning for ESSA. The ARCC recently staged a webinar panel discussion with three experts on the topic of state education agency communications, highlighting best practices from multiple states. Dr. Heather Zavadsky of Edvance opened the session with a discussion of state communications benchmarks and best practices, Dr. Diane DeBacker offered her reflections on communications during her tenure as Commissioner of Education in Kansas, and the Hunt Institute's Michael Martin offered highlights from his case studies of communications in Tennessee and Kentucky during their transitions to new assessments and standards. Visit this link to hear the archived webinar, "Best Practices in Engaging Stakeholders in the Design and Implementation of New Standards and Assessments."  
ARCC Advisory Board Meets in Nashville

ARCC web banner
The Advisory Board of the ARCC met June 27, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. Board members participated in the webinar on "Best Practices in Engaging Stakeholders in the Design and Implementation of New Standards and Assessments," reviewed above in this newsletter. After consideration of recent developments in the transition from NCLB to ESSA, they discussed highlights from state and regional technical assistance during the past year and offered guidance for future work. During lunch, board member Will Kayatin introduced a video describing the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative (ARI), led by the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, which has produced documented improvements in student achievement and teacher quality. The video is posted on the ARI homepage at this link. 
The Advisory Board meets once a year to advise the ARCC about its strategies for addressing the region's education needs, maintaining a high standard of quality, and promoting student achievement. Board members are education stakeholders nominated by their state education superintendent or commissioner and approved by their governor and the U.S. Department of Education. 
Comprehensive Centers to Meet in Midwest
The Joint Content and Regional Centers Planning Meeting will take place July 20-22, 2016 in Oklahoma. Representatives of content and regional centers, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, are invited. The purpose of the meeting is to assist with the preparation of Year 5 plans, explore more effective and productive ways that content and regional centers can work together, and consider ways that the centers can help states as they approach the new challenges posed by ESSA. The federal comprehensive center program supports 15 regional centers and 7 content centers. The priority for each regional center is to provide high-quality technical assistance that focuses on key initiatives, aligns with the work of the content centers, and builds the capacity of state education agencies to implement, support, scale up, and sustain initiatives statewide and to lead and support their districts and schools in improving student outcomes. Each of the 7 content centers focuses on one initiative area and coordinates with the regional centers. Visit this link for more information about the Comprehensive Centers.

ICF | 300 Summers St. | Suite 1240 | Charleston | WV | 25301