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CCEIS Improvement and Implementation in Kentucky—We’re Getting Through This Together

Recently, in my position as CCEIS Consultant with the KDE, I had the opportunity to work alongside Danielle Crain, Tamara Nimkoff, and Susan Davis with IDC to develop a series of new local district trainings for CCEIS. The trainings were designed with three different segments of Kentucky’s 15 CCEIS districts in mind: new districts (districts that were experiencing significant disproportionality for the first time), experienced districts (districts in their second year of significant disproportionality), and long-term districts (districts in their third year or longer of significant disproportionality). Each of these groups presents its own opportunities and challenges for CCEIS implementation throughout the state.

When making decisions on the focal areas for CCEIS, IDC has, for the past three years, presented the IDC Success Gaps Toolkit to all CCEIS districts in Kentucky. Identified districts have been required to complete and submit the IDC Success Gaps Rubric. When considering how to redesign the next steps in CCEIS implementation throughout the state, the IDC/KDE team decided to not only present the Success Gaps Toolkit collaboratively but also to include discussion about understanding the basis for calculation of significant disproportionality, the laws and state and federal requirements for implementation of CCEIS, and the financial considerations in and around CCEIS. Given the current challenges presented by COVID 19, this new training would need to occur virtually in addition to also being a newly designed program. Throughout this work, both IDC and KDE staff insisted that districts be given the opportunity to collaborate both among their own team members and in virtual breakout rooms where experiences and expertise, as well as technical assistance, could be shared with and offered to local districts. Chiefly important to all was including a component for reflection and evaluation by districts with long-term significant disproportionality.

This overall CCEIS improvement and implementation process, as well as completion of the Success Gaps Rubric as outlined in the Success Gaps Toolkit, serve as the basis for Kentucky-defined requirements of a newly designed CCEIS IP, where districts strategically plan short- and long-range goals and outline the objective, strategy, activities, measure of success, progress monitoring, and funding sources to promote the improvement process. Furthermore, the next step in the process, entitled the CCEIS SQP, asks districts to use implementation science to outline practices and processes in the implementation of their plans, on a formative basis, while including opportunities for reflection in the process.

IDC is continuing to be part of the CCEIS improvement and implementation process in Kentucky. Districts throughout the state have been strategically placed into four distinct cadres based on experience, geography, and other commonalities. The idea is these cadres would implement the PLC model to allow for sharing of resources and allow districts a forum for common communication and support as they undertake the improvement process related to significant disproportionality. Additionally, this will allow the KDE to offer strategic support through additional resources such as IDC and regional regular and special education cooperatives to best address the needs of all staff and students. As our Governor Andy Beshear says, “We will get through this together!”

–Jarrod S. Slone, Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education  

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