The Region 5 Comprehensive Center (R5CC) recently held its Advisory Board Meeting where participants reflected on the past two years, while looking to the future as we kick off our third year supporting educators across KY, TN, VA and WV.
During these trying times, the COVID-19 pandemic created several unique challenges throughout our region and across the country. For instance, a board member shared that through their data, they noticed schools were dealing with a dual pandemic – one with COVID-19 and one with racial inequity. The trauma caused by this ‘racial pandemic’ is different than other forms of trauma, and the challenge lies in trying to effectively address these ‘two pandemics’ simultaneously.
Similarly, another board member shared that as diversity and equity have taken center stage during the pandemic, more initiatives are needed to include multilanguage speakers, as well as the deaf and hearing-impaired community. Many board members echoed the challenge of needing to continue addressing diversity and inclusion while dealing with the effects of the pandemic.
During the meeting, the R5CC team was excited to highlight a few initiatives in progress from Year 2.
In Kentucky, state agency staff helped schools revise their science standards and aided in work around an accelerated learning framework. Further, the R5CC team responded to a Kentucky Department of Education request to help local school district staff better understand budgeting. A strategic budgeting initiative came from these discussions and includes a blog series and virtual “office hours” for conversations with district leaders and school business officials.
Tennessee prioritized establishing a structure for providing and assessing consistent professional development. These efforts resulted in the development of a framework for designing professional learning experiences grounded in adult learning theory. Resources including a toolkit were created to accompany the Adult Learning Framework (ALF), and a pilot program is training state education agency staff members on this work. Find more information on the ALF and associated resources on the R5CC website.
Over in Virginia, an initiative has expanded to support vetting high-quality instructional materials. The current focus is on developing a Virginia-specific vetting process for primary instructional materials and online resources.
In West Virginia, staff has facilitated a state task force on teacher preparation and a teacher leadership project. The R5CC team is supporting state agency staff tackling issues like educator shortages and educator barriers in the task force while providing technical assistance with a framework around the teacher leadership project.
Learn more about the Region 5 Comprehensive Center and its support for states, regional, and local education agencies by logging on to https://region5compcenter.org.