The Region 3 Comprehensive Center at ETS (R3CC) will collaborate with the Department of Education of Puerto Rico (DEPR) on projects to build the capacity of the State Education Agency (SEA). The R3CC will support the DEPR staff in order to develop, implement and monitor initiatives in the areas of special education, social emotional learning (SEL), improving remote instruction, and a united DEPR.
The United States Department of Education (ED) audited the DEPR in 2019 and found some areas of opportunity for improvement within the special education division. Addressing the findings is of utmost importance in order to ensure high quality and compliant delivery of services to best support students enrolled in special education programing. The R3CC will partner with the DEPR to resolve prioritized findings in the ED audit to increase efficiency, productivity and student outcomes for students enrolled in special education programming.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
There has been an increase in the need to respond to student social and emotional well-being in response to traumatic experiences, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and COVID-19. Teachers and school personnel do not have the appropriate training to incorporate SEL principles into instruction and the school's culture to improve student social skills, self-management, awareness and decision-making skills. Therefore, R3CC will partner with and provide technical assistance to the DEPR in the creation of a train-the-trainer model for the implementation of the evidence-based principles, practices and strategies of SEL to improve student well-being.
Teachers in Puerto Rico have limited training and varying degrees of competency in delivering high-quality instruction in a remote setting. Many are unfamiliar with using various devices to provide remote instruction and many have not received training to adequately provide remote instruction. The R3CC will collaborate with the DEPR to develop an evidence-based professional development plan for remote instructional delivery, to meet all teachers at their existing competency level, and scale up for continued remote delivery for education moving forward.
DEPR's multilevel personnel lack the deep understanding and knowledge of how interdepartmental communication, collaboration and shared responsibility increase efficiency, productivity and student services. The R3CC will assist the DEPR to ensure that the Central Office, the Regional Education Offices and the Regional Special Education Centers work collaboratively to provide the best evidence-based practices, interventions and services to all students and their families, teachers and principals to increase efficiency and productivity.