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Delivering TA in a Changing Environment—Making It Work!

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented educational challenges across the country. Despite these extraordinary circumstances, IDC has continued to help states address their emerging needs in a collaborative and supportive manner. We recognize the importance of meeting states where they are, even as the delivery of technical assistance may look different in a virtual environment.  

Since last March, IDC has provided customized virtual TA to states like South Dakota, where we are assisting with the development of state-required desk guides that outline and document responsibilities for each staff role. We are exploring identifying and documenting data processes that will inform the content of the desk guides and be useful to staff in performing the role functions. While travel has not been an option, we have worked with the state staff to establish clear norms of collaboration by setting up regularly scheduled meetings, routine check-ins, and a shared workspace. As many things have this year, planning took longer than anticipated, but we are excited to be moving ahead with this project.

IDC also has supported South Dakota with reviewing and revising protocols the state uses for significant disproportionality. Our TA providers have supported the state staff in several ways. We shared examples of how other states address significant disproportionality, and, using an existing state model, we assisted with developing a new protocol for the onsite reviews with respect to identification. During the development process, we gathered feedback through a facilitated meeting with the staff to ensure that the format and content of the protocol were clear and complete.  

Through the broad range of IDC’s TA expertise and our ability to tailor supports, we are helping the South Dakota state team accomplish some of its goals. While 2020 meant shifting priorities for many and required a move to virtual TA only, IDC remains committed to designing and delivering effective services to meet each state’s diverse needs into 2021 and beyond.

–Audrey Rudick

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