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Project: Networked Improvement Community with Kentucky Department of Education



The Kentucky Department of Education's (KDE) Office of Education Technology, in partnership with the Kentucky Online Learning Experience Collaborative (KyOLXC), is dedicated to the implementation of a continuous improvement model that supports the online learning experience for full-time, enrolled students. To accomplish this, our R5CC team will build on the work developed by our regional project to implement a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and provide technical assistance to KDE and districts to build their capacity to: 

  • Work and communicate effectively as a team
  • Embed a continuous improvement model using the NIC process with districts providing online learning experiences for Kentucky students 

High-Leverage Problem

Commissioner Glass and the Kentucky Board of Education have articulated a desire to align initiatives to the United We Learn vision for public education in Kentucky. The three principles are to create "a more vibrant experience for every student, encouraging innovation in our schools-especially when it comes to assessment, and creating a bold new future for Kentucky's schools through collaboration with our communities" (United We Learn, 2022). Because the KyOLXC participants represent online virtual school programs across Kentucky, many of the programs' leaders have indicated that they are operating in siloes, with varying systems and structures in place, and would benefit from a network of peers, working to establish a sustainable system for continuous improvement that enables them to strengthen student and family engagement, increase enrollment, and ensure high-quality instruction for all full-time enrolled students. KDE seeks to provide high-quality online learning experiences for enrolled students through the NIC process and we will support these efforts. This work is indicated in Kentucky's submitted American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP states that, "KDE also provides a series of opportunities to help expand participation in ARP ESSER-related programs. Each has their own data collection source. [One such is to] Establish Online/ Virtual Schools Network (full-time enrollment in 100% virtual schools/academies): Incentivized establishment of a regional network design, with additional district funding needed to establish the regional Online and Virtual Schools in the network” (ARP, 2021). 

Approach to Capacity-Building Services

In Year 5, we will build the capacity of KDE and school program leaders to implement and sustain a continuous improvement model through a NIC, utilizing evidence-based coaching and collaborative structures that enable schools to solve problems of practice and improve student outcomes. We will collaborate with KDE to adapt/develop and present learning session materials and activities through a shared digital workspace that engages and supports the development of strong systems for teams to address problems of practice through the implementation of Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles.