Florida and the Islands Regional Comprehensive
Center

Current Projects

Florida — Lesson Study

In the fall of 2009, FLICC — in conjunction with the Florida Department of Education — designed and delivered a series of institutes across the State of Florida focusing on lesson study. The idea was to take Professional Learning Communities to the next level by having regional personnel, district staff and teachers trained in the art of lesson study.

Lesson study is a potent embedded peer-to-peer professional learning strategy. It requires teachers and other educators to work collaboratively to strengthen a given lesson until it has been refined as much as possible and then teach it to get powerful data about how well the lesson works. In a colloquium after the lesson is taught, the teacher (who can be anyone in the lesson study group) reflects on the lesson first, and then the other members of the lesson study group share data they collected during the lesson. Lesson study groups make a decision about whether to revise the field-tested lesson and teach it again or simply apply what they have learned to another lesson.

In addition to understanding the basics of lesson study and engaging in three lesson study experiences, participants learned about lesson study variations. They also planned the implementation of lesson study in their regions, districts and schools, and how they will work together to solve problems related to implementation.

In the 2010–2011 and 2011–12 school years, ETS focused on district level implementation of lesson study and provided several rounds of regional and SEA training. During this time, ETS provided materials developed by the Developmental Studies Center, a non-profit based in California, to make lesson study implementation more concrete for districts. Over the course of almost two dozen institutes, ETS provided training to build the capacity of Florida's regional differentiated accountability personnel (in all five regions), SEA staff, and almost all of the State's school districts to improve the quality of instruction. Over 750 lesson study facilitators were trained during 2011 alone.

In addition to the regional training, ETS also provided more intensive support for six districts so that they could be models for surrounding districts interested in implementing lesson study. This support — in the form of coaching — was provided at the end of the 2010–2011 school year and for three complete lesson study cycles in the 2011–2012 school year. A blog (floridalessonstudy.blogspot.com) was also used to support the Florida network of lesson study facilitators trained by ETS.

For more information on this initiative please contact Dr. John Lockwood at jlockwood@ets.org.

Materials from the Institutes:

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Florida — Executive Leaders Program

During the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 school years, in conjunction with the David C. Anchin Center, College of Education, University of South Florida, the Executive Leaders Program (ELP) is being offered to a variety of districts in Florida. The program is designed to provide research-based leadership training and development for current and potential district leaders. Each cohort was required to commit to a nine-month program that spans the school year from September to May. This year was ETS's second cohort of executive leaders.

ELP's primary emphasis is to create organizational cultures focused on improving student and employee performance. The program is designed to address leadership competencies identified as essential for meeting the present-day demands of educational leaders. It is conducted via face-to-face with highly interactive sessions supported by scheduled coaching. In addition, online assessments are used throughout a nine-month timeline.

The program examines leadership through three lenses: leading from within, leading through others and leading through the organization. ELP's critical components include:

  • Diagnostic assessment and 360 degree feedback
  • Coaching from former successful education leaders who provide practical advice and assistance
  • Program facilitators who are experienced in district and school leadership positions
  • On the job application for incorporating relevant learning

For more information on this initiative please contact Dr. John Lockwood at jlockwood@ets.org.

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Puerto Rico — School Improvement and the Statewide System of Support

The Florida and the Islands Comprehensive Center (FLICC) is assisting the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) in building capacity to support school improvement at all organizational levels through a comprehensive, aligned Statewide System of Support (SSOS).

SSOS and school improvement efforts are guided by a committee representative of all major departments in the PRDE, as well as regional, district and school administrators, and parent, university and community representatives. FLICC’s assistance with this collaborative initiative includes planning and co-facilitating regular meetings in which practitioners share research-based strategies, and the results of school improvement interventions by the SSOS and external contractors are analyzed and redirected, as needed.

A comprehensive plan and SSOS Operational Manual were developed after extensive needs assessments were conducted at the state, regional and district levels; SSOS models and practices were reviewed and the Comprehensive Center for Innovation and Improvement (CCII), USED, and other state and federal resources were consulted. The plan and operational manual were developed delineating the structure, personnel, resources and processes recommended to provide differentiated support to schools in improvement.

Working collaboratively with the SEA and Regional Office Administrators, FLICC provides technical assistance, guidance, resources and support to the District School Support Teams (DSSTs) charged with supporting school improvement in Puerto Rico’s seven educational regions. Capacity building activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance with meeting federal compliance requirements
  • Training and professional development
  • Individual modeling and coaching
  • Strategic planning facilitation
  • Process and procedure development
  • Collaborative development of instruments, guides and training material development
  • School Improvement Grant (SIG) application development
  • Provision of school improvement research and models
  • Access to Federal and state resources such as Content Centers
  • Meeting planning and facilitation
  • School site review process
  • Data analysis
  • Conference attendance support
  • Successful school site visit support

For more information on this initiative please contact Dr. Bridget McGilvra at bmcgilvra@ets.org.

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U.S. Virgin Islands — School Improvement Planning

Establishing an aligned, system-wide process to improve student achievement, FLICC is helping the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) to implement a redesigned school improvement process. This dynamic new process called the Education System Improvement Process (eSIP), will align school improvement in the VIDE at all levels of the system. Based on recommendations made by FLICC in the Report of the United States Virgin Islands School Improvement Planning Process (April 2010), FLICC staff facilitated the USVI Task Force that formulated the new process and supported the completion of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education Operational Manual. This work has entailed coordinating the efforts of the U.S. Virgin Islands State Education Agency (SEA), Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and individual schools. In so doing, FLICC has increased the capacity of the USVI to support coherent school improvement planning that will have a significant impact on improving student achievement.

The eSIP works to improve achievement for all students by:

  • Creating improvement plans based on state priorities that meet program and budget requirements and timelines, and that identify responsibilities at all levels
  • Establishing a continuous system to monitor and assess progress on eSIP goals
  • Developing a system of rewards and support for schools based on their progress in meeting eSIP goals
  • Increasing communication between the state, districts and schools
  • Providing training for teachers and involving them in tracking achievement of goals

For more information on this initiative please contact Dr. Alice Lindsay at alindsay@ets.org.

PowerPoint Presentations from Task Force Meetings

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Student Photograph