The Olympic ESD is changing the direction of their school improvement support. A system that has constantly evolved, this year, focus will be on data analysis to detect trends and direct attention and resources to addressing these trends.
As a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must meet requirements at the state and federal level. One of the components of this requirements is that 100% of students in any given district be proficient. Recently, Washington applied for an ESEA Flexibility Request allowing schools and districts to continue working toward improvement and receiving a waiver from certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA 1965). Federal dollars have been directed to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to disperse to educational service districts to provide regional support. This support focuses on specific needs of struggling schools, as well as deliver high-quality professional development and technical assistance to all districts.
Through the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, OSPI has identified schools as Priority, Focus or Reward Schools. Based on statewide assessments, priority schools are among the lowest five percent of Title I schools in the state, and no Olympic ESD schools are identified in this area. Focus and emerging schools are among the lowest ten percent in the state and are provided an improvement coach from OSPI. The ESD works with these schools to look at data and devise a plan focused on the data, like looking at gaps in learning and how to bridge those gaps.
As part of looking at the data and determining goals, schools and districts may call on the ESD School Improvement Team team. The Olympic ESD's team includes the Special Services Director, Literacy Coordinator, Math Director and Educational Technology Director to help analyze and develop plans. Data from statewide assessments, school demographics and district trends can be analyzed to review for patterns. Several of these individuals will be certified as data coaches to support our districts and this will help to devise professional development and instructional strategies geared toward specific deficits.
Additionally, the ESD will build and maintain leadership capacity. This is being done through statewide meetings, conducting regional meetings and working with leaders and schools to ensure school plans align with statewide initiatives like the new Teacher Principal Evaluation system in our state, WaKIDS and Common Core State Standards.
For more information on school improvement initiatives and support, contact Stephanie Parker, Executive Director of Instructional Services and Support at email@example.com