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Tag: Instructional support

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Published Document Title Authors Pages Abstract
October 2017 Academically Gifted Co-Teaching in the Wake County Public School System: Implementation, Perceptions and Achievement Lenard, Matthew
Townsend, Megan

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Following the recommendations of a 2013 instructional audit, the Academically or Intellectually Gifted department implemented a co-teaching instructional strategy in 41 volunteer schools starting in the 2014-15 school year. Implementation data and discussions with central office staff suggest that while implementation fidelity was relatively strong in the first year, it declined in 2015-16. Still, the first year of implementation offered evidence to guide any future co-teaching implementation. First, the “one teach, one assist” method of co-teaching was most frequently observed, suggesting that co-teachers may have defaulted to one of the less optimal instructional strategies under the model. Second, AIG teachers and co-teachers perceived the initiative similarly but differed on a few particularly meaningful survey items pertaining to the perceptions and role of the specialist. Third, AIG students and non-AIG students in co-taught classrooms were similarly engaged. Finally, students in co-taught classrooms significantly outperformed their non-co-taught peers in science, but not in math or reading.

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April 2017 Communities in Schools Graduation Coaches in WCPSS, 2015-16 Baenen, Nancy
Rhea, Anisa

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This is the third and final of a series of evaluation reports the Data, Research, and Accountability (DRA) Department has conducted on the Communities In Schools (CIS) Graduation Coach program within the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). In 2015-16, Graduation Coaches served approximately 600 students across eight WCPSS elementary, middle, and high schools. Of these program participants, 62% met the selection criteria for attendance, behavior, and/or academic areas of need which were established by WCPSS and CIS Wake staff for students. Students were most often served for academic reasons. Within all areas, students who met the selection criteria were more likely to meet the corresponding goals compared to students who did not meet the criteria. However, results also show that program students who met the selection criteria had similar outcomes to students who also met the selection criteria yet were not served by Graduation Coaches. Thus, effectiveness of the program’s services was not evident. The program is funded by the district at $350,000 annually. Should WCPSS continue this program, DRA offers the following recommendations: 1) broaden the behavior selection criteria and serve students who meet the attendance, behavior, and/or academic criteria; 2) provide services that are more intensive and directly related to students’ needs; and 3) improve the tracking of service-delivery data.

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April 2017 Effective Teaching Framework (ETF): 2015-16 Baenen, Nancy
Jackl, Andrew
Regan, Roger

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The Effective Teaching Framework (ETF) initiative was designed to provide a common language and lens for understanding the skills, strategies, and resources needed for teachers and school leaders to create an optimal learning environment for all students. ETF training consisted of six full days of training for principals, assistant principals (APs), and selected Central Services staff, as well as an abridged version (24 hours) for Instructional Resource Teachers (IRTs). Beginning and mentor teachers also received some training. Training was provided to all cohorts as planned. Generally, the training sessions were well-attended and highly-rated by the participants; in 2015-16, 92.7% agreed it helped them become more effective in their roles. The trainings were supplemented by an ETF website that provided a wide range of online resources. However, the website was underutilized, with only 26.3% of teachers indicating that they used the website to improve their teaching. In most cases, implementation of ETF was limited to individuals applying their learning to classroom observations and teacher evaluations. Based on focus group interviews with APs, barriers to school-wide ETF efforts included: a) confusion about expectations for orchestrating an ETF “rollout” at their schools, b) lack of communication and follow-up from Central Services staff, c) leadership changes, d) lack of communal training and planning time among the schools’ administrative teams, and e) lack of grassroots support for the initiative at the school level. While training quality was high, building stronger buy-in before implementation, communicating clearer expectations, and implementing structures to support long-lasting roll-outs at the school level are recommended.

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December 2013 High School Retention Rate: 2011-12 Paeplow, Colleen

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Retention means repeating one or more courses in high school, rather than a full grade. Over 3,500 high school students were retained in 2011-12 in WCPSS, with the largest numbers in grades 9 and 10. Some students enter high school below grade level. In 2011-12, half the WCPSS high schools had greater than 30% of students entering 9th grade below grade level in reading and greater than 20% below grade level in mathematics based on EOG scores from grade 8. Of retained students in grade 9: nearly two thirds failed English I; more than half failed science and social studies; and nearly half failed mathematics. In addition, 1 in 5 retained students in grade 9 passed English I, but were missing credit in another course subject. While high schools have resources for students performing below grade level (e.g.,"bridging" courses and general supports) the supports examined were limited and/or underutilized, with the exception of mathematics support courses. Fewer than 15% of students who entered high school below grade level were enrolled in a reading support course. Based on the study's findings, it is recommended that staff: identify and utilize early indicators to determine students in need of extra support; find ways to increase the availability and usage of middle and high school supports for struggling students and monitor their success; and examine practices that may help lower retention rates.

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May 2013 Formative Assessment with Technology 2011-12: Second Year of Implementation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina
Talbot, Troy

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The second year (2011-12) of the Formative Assessment with Technology Project in three WCPSS schools was studied to determine the fidelity of implementation of the formative assessment practices and the project's impact on student achievement. Classroom observations and surveys of teachers and students showed that implementation was moderate, and it varied widely across teachers. Certain targeted practices were reported or observed much more often than others. High turnover in the teachers participating in the project likely contributed to the uneven implementation. High school staff had the highest level of implementation of training concepts as well as the highest use of the electronic response tools for assessment. Full implementation and impact on state achievement test scores was expected to take two years to be evident. Since only nine teachers participated and had data for two years, impact could not be reliably assessed. This pilot training model would be too expensive to roll out district-wide in WCPSS. More cost effective models may be used to encourage appropriate use of formative assessment.

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May 2013 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-08 to 2012-13 Jackl, Andrew

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WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, remaining at high levels for the past six school years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-08 to 2012-13 show: The percentage of positive agreement to each of the High Five PLT Survey themes increased between 4 and 11 percentage points since baseline data was first collected in the 2007-08 school year. When the survey data were disaggregated by the six PLT themes, only "collaborative culture/team processes" showed a decline (two percentage points). When the survey items are examined individually, the percentage of respondents marking that they "strongly agree" almost universally decreased from 2011-12, while the percentage marking "agree" showed a corresponding increase. Administering the High Five PLT Survey at less frequent intervals is recommended, as well as standardized PLT training for all new staff.

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March 2013 Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Program: Wilburn Elementary School, Year 2 2011-12 Baenen, Nancy

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Wilburn was in its fourth year of implementing Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in 2011-12, which is designed to attract, retain, and motivate quality teachers and increase student achievement. It was in the second year of TIF funding to provide performance pay for improved student performance. Analysis of EOG reading and math test scores for 2011-12 showed increases in student performance (where different cohorts of students are compared over time) and growth (when a student is compared to him- or herself over time). All staff earned some performance pay based on the TAP model formulas (unlike the previous year). Recommendations are to provide more ways for teachers to share their perceptions of TAP, to start observations earlier in the year, and to improve training by focusing on the application of the rubric and differentiating training (for teachers new to TAP and those with experience).

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January 2013 2011-12 District Improvement Initiatives Evaluation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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Seven District Improvement initiatives were implemented in 2011-12 in WCPSS. All were well designed and coordinated, with common goal setting processes and use of common monitoring tools. All initiatives either met or partially met 2011-12 goals. Some were more successful in showing student outcomes, with the most positive initiatives being elementary mathematics and adolescent literacy. These results should be used to influence future decisions about continuation or strengthening of these efforts. New components that were well received and implemented by those trained (but which did not have achievement results as yet) should also be considered for future funding.

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October 2012 WCPSS Teacher Working Conditions Survey Results: 2011-12 Halstead, Elizabeth

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During the spring of 2012, over 100,000 educators across the state took the North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions (TWC) survey. WCPSS teachers responded more positively to 46 of the 85 survey items in 2012 than did teachers statewide. On 14 items, WCPSS teachers' responses were less favorable than those of teachers statewide, and on the remaining 25, there was no statistically significant difference. Results from this survey are discussed.

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July 2012 High Five PLT Survey Results, 2007-12 Jackl, Andrew

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Summary - WCPSS PLT survey responses have been positive over time, reaching a high plateau for the last three years. Analyses of High Five PLT Survey data from 2007-12 show: In 2011-12, high percentages (87.2%) of WCPSS teachers responding to the High Five PLT Survey provided positive responses to the items. Responses have been positive from 2007-08 to 2011-12, with small increases over time. Overall, WCPSS has shown an improvement in its PLT Performance Index of 5.7 percentage points over five years. The elementary, middle, and high schools have shown gains of 4.2, 7.5, and 9.1 percentage points, respectively. The implementation of dedicated time for PLT work (Wake Wednesdays) correlated to slight increases in PLT indices at the elementary and middle school levels; only the elementary level saw a slight decline when dedicated time was no longer provided.

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April 2012 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2010-11 to 2011-12 School-Based Policy Study Jackl, Andrew
Lougée, Aimee

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Professional Learning Teams were first introduced in WCPSS in 2003. Implementation checks, first done in 2007-08, showed most teachers (81.5%) reported involvement in PLT work. These high percentages improved slowly over time, with 87% positive responses to items by fall of 2011. In terms of impact, 81% of teachers indicated students learned more because of their PLT work. Student retention rates, classroom grades, state test performance, and graduation rates have all improved over time. Regression analyses indicated those schools who utilized PLTs the most had greater decreases in student retention rates than those with lower implementation. Similar analyses for student growth on test results just missed statistical significance. While it is difficult to separate out the impact of PLT work from other initiatives, these analyses suggest PLTs have contributed to improvements in WCPSS outcomes despite tough economic times and increasing challenges for teachers.

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December 2011 District Improvement Outcomes: 2010-11 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2010-11, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) was in district-wide improvement as a result of failing to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in mathematics at the district level for the second consecutive year. This report examines overall student outcomes in 2010-11 as well as overall teacher outcomes and longitudinal results for schools targeted for three consecutive years of SIOP® training and support compared to matched schools who were not involved. SIOP® schools had a greater increase in students reaching growth targets than in the district overall. Increases in reading and mathematics proficiency at SIOP® elementary schools and reading at SIOP® middle schools were similar or slightly higher than for WCPSS. Overall mathematics results were not positive for SIOP® middle schools; however, matched school analysis by subject and school level found targeted student subgroups (i.e., Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American, Limited English Proficient, and economically disadvantaged) did benefit from attending SIOP® targeted schools. 2010-11 represented the first year of implementation of the Secondary Literacy and Secondary Mathematics Initiatives. The demographic similarity of schools implementing Secondary Mathematics with WCPSS coupled with the weak results indicates, as with Secondary Literacy, the results of this initiative could be strengthened by more selective process of targeting schools to receive training.

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December 2011 WCPSS District Improvement Implementation 2010-11 Baenen, Nancy
Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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Instructional strategies aimed at improving achievement of low performing student subgroups in need of support were selected by the District Improvement Advisory Committee, so that WCPSS could exit District Improvement status. Impact of each initiative, which often included teacher training and coaching is examined in this implementation report. Recommendations are made including setting strategic goals and systematically monitoring implementation; targeting schools or teachers with high numbers of AYP groups of students in need of support; being intentional in coaching efforts and structuring coaching models based on the SIOP® experience; building ownership and commitment at the school level; and coordinating new and existing efforts to optimize effectiveness.

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August 2011 Evaluation of WCPSS Central Services Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): Spring 2011 Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board policy indicates that central staff are to support school implementation of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and to participate in PLTs at the central level. Central Services supported PLT work in the schools in a variety of ways. The percentage of principals who saw this support as adequate dropped from 85% to 70% between spring 2010 and 2011. Within Central Services, 86% of survey respondents reported participating in at least one PLT. Of those responding to the Spring 2011 PLT survey, responses remained overwhelming positive about implementation and effectiveness. However, without exception, the strength of agreement decreased, with the percentage of respondents who "strongly agreed" dropping between 2010 and 2011.

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July 2011 Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) at Wilburn Elementary School: Year 3 Evaluation Report Baenen, Nancy

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The Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) is a model for training, teacher advancement, and instructional strategies. Based on interviews and observations, the four TAP principles were implemented with fidelity during the 2010-11 school year, with one exception--teacher evaluations. Feedback was slow, and teachers had concerns about the reliability of the ratings. The impact on teachers was negative. Compared to 2009-10, reading and math proficiency improved in grades 3 and 5 in 2010-11 but not grade 4. However, compared to proficiency before TAP began, only Grade 5 had improved reading proficiency and none of the grades (3, 4, and 5) had higher proficiency in math. Grade 4 had positive trends for Academic Change (growth) in both reading and math.

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July 2011 Title I Preschool Program in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS): Short- and Long-Term Outcomes Baenen, Nancy

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The longitudinal study of the 2005-06 preschool in WCPSS found short-term gains during the preschool year, but limited impact by kindergarten and no average impact by the end of 3rd grade on achievement, retention rates, special education placements, or attendance. Small sample sizes limit conclusions that can be drawn; a larger study with a stronger research design is recommended for next year. The larger 2010-11 preschool program provided strong evidence of short-term gains on achievement after the preschool experience. Teachers and parents were generally satisfied with the program. Teachers suggested higher student attendance and greater parent involvement would be helpful. Teachers used Creative Curriculum materials with varying frequency; they also viewed some components of the curriculum as more effective than others.

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June 2011 Outcomes for Supplemental Education Services (SES): 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report, the third of three reports examining Supplemental Education Services (SES) within the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), focused on the long-term goal of improved student achievement by the end of the school year. In 2009-10, 508 students participated in SES at the five schools offering SES: Brentwood, Fox Road, Poe, Wendell, and York. The vast majority of students (83%) participating in SES received tutoring services in both reading and mathematics. Overall, this study did not support the value of SES in promoting higher achievement (beyond what matched students achieved).

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April 2011 WCPSS 2010-11 High Five Professional Learning Teams (PLT) Survey Results: Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. Over each of the last four years, a survey of educators was conducted in WCPSS and the other four High Five districts. As in previous years, this year's data showed strong support among teachers for the PLT model; between 73% and 91% of respondents indicating that they "strongly agree" or "agree" with the statements pertaining to the six PLT themes. Viewed longitudinally, positive responses for each theme have increased between four and eight percentage points since 2007-08. When 2010-11 results were compared with 2009-10, the results were less dramatic, with smaller changes in the percentage of positive responses.

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March 2011 Implementation of Supplemental Education Services: 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report, the second of three reports examining Supplemental Education Services (SES) within WCPSS, focused on the implementation of SES, and the degree to which short-term and intermediate goals were met. In 2009-10, the SES program was largely implemented with fidelity, with some areas needing refinement related to communication and monitoring. Monitoring reports noted appropriate instruction based on learning plans was occurring. SES has 13 implementation requirements for the Local Educational Agency (7), providers (2), and parents (4). Nine were fully met, with four partially met. The two short-term goals--student enrollment in SES and providers pre-assess all participants--were met. Three of the six intermediate goals were met (progress reports given to parents, minimum of 30 hours offered to each student, monitoring showed implementation occurring) and two additional goals were partially met (attendance at SES and post-assessments given to completers).

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February 2011 Supplemental Education Services: 2008-09 & 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report describes SES within Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in terms of the schools, providers, and student participants in 2008-09 and 2009-10. It is the first in a series of three reports related to SES. NCLB requires schools receiving Title I funding in their second year of school improvement to offer eligible students Supplemental Educational Services (SES) in addition to existing Title I services. The SES programs for WCPSS in 2008-09 and 2009-10 were in compliance with federal guidelines to make available an SES program, enroll only FRL students, and to use state-approved vendors to deliver the program. SES is designed to improve the achievement of FRL students who score below, at, or above grade level. Therefore, service to some students may help schools reach AYP standards while service to others may help individual students and schools reach ABCs and other standards of academic success.

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January 2011 Academy of Reading® (AoR) 2008-09 and 2009-10 Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Lougée, Aimee

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Academy of READING (AoR) is designed to improve students' foundational reading skills; it is used in almost all Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) secondary schools. Central staff recommended students with prior End of Grade/Course (EOG/EOC) scale scores placing them high in Level II or low in Level III have first priority for service; many students served scored below this range (second priority). Program completion rates increased from 2008-09 (26%) to 2009-10 (41%), but were still considerably lower than desired (100%). Growth for 2009-10 AoR participants on End of Grade reading/English tests was strong (with the percentage of students reaching their growth targets increasing from 37.5% before service to 60.1% afterwards). This improvement is educationally important. Program completion gave students only a slight advantage in terms of EOG growth. The program appeared to be helpful, with patterns generally favoring middle school over high school students.

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December 2010 Foundations of Algebra: 2009-10 Paeplow, Colleen

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This report examined the implementation of Foundations of Algebra, a course designed to provide high school students with low mathematics performance an extra opportunity to review and study foundational mathematics concepts prior to enrolling in Introductory Mathematics and subsequently Algebra I. In the fall of 2009, 877 high school students participated in Foundations of Algebra while another 774 students were enrolled directly into Introductory Mathematics in the spring of 2010. 1,600 students enrolled in Introductory Mathematics in 2008-09 were used as a comparison group. Eighty-two percent of Foundations of Algebra students were Level I or II; however, less than two-thirds of students (63%) scored Level I or low Level II--the program's criteria. Twenty-seven percent of students enrolled directly into Introductory Mathematics met the recommended criteria of high Level II scores. A higher percentage of students who participated in Foundations of Algebra enrolled in Algebra I and Algebra I Part I than did comparison students.

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December 2010 WCPSS Alternate Assessment Results, 2009-10 Holdzkom, David
Regan, Roger

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The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction revised the alternate assessment system for students with disabilities (SWD) and/or limited English proficiency (LEP) in 2009-10. On the three alternate assessments that were given in 2009-10, results for WCPSS students were mixed. On the NCEXTEND1 assessments, which are taken by students with significant cognitive disabilities, proficiency rates for 479 Grade 3-8 students ranged from 46-70% in reading and from 48-79% in math, both up from last year but still generally lower than statewide rates. The NCEXTEND2 EOG assessments, administered to students with moderate intellectual or learning disabilities, were taken by the largest number of WCPSS students (2,106). Results on these modified EOG exams were slightly higher than those of the two previous years but proficiency rates across grade levels remained low in both reading (25-42%) and mathematics (43-54%). At the high school level, 412 students took NCEXTEND2 OCS assessments, which are based on the Occupational Course of Study and serve as alternates for required assessments in reading, mathematics, and science. The percentage of students achieving proficiency on the exams ranged from 68% in English, to 70% in mathematics, and 61% in Science, all up significantly from last year and closer to statewide rates.

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November 2010 WCPSS Professional Learning Teams (PLTs): 2009-10 School-Based Policy Implementation Study Baenen, Nancy

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As a result of Board Policy 3610, PLTs were implemented across WCPSS in a consistent fashion in 2009-10. Data show that implementation improved and teachers spent more time engaged in collaborative work. School staff cited numerous benefits for teachers and students. Regression analyses showed a reasonably strong correlation between high levels of PLT implementation and students' academic achievement, attendance, and their overall level of satisfaction with their schools. Essential characteristics of PLTs were illustrated in case studies of high-performing PLTs' in the district. While collaborative cultures have been well-established, most teams could benefit from additional training on ways to use data, and on ways to evaluate the success of their efforts. Communications with school communities could also be more consistent across schools.

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November 2010 Year 3 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Annual Progress Report Brasfield, Jon
Cárdenas, Virginia

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The three MSAP schools; East Garner International Baccalaureate Magnet Middle School (EGMMS), Garner International Baccalaureate Magnet High School (GMHS), and Southeast Raleigh Leadership and Technology Magnet High School (SRMHS) showed progress on MSAP performance measures during the 3rd year of the grant. Data on 16 performance measures collected relate to "Desegregation and Choice" (6), "Building Capacity" (2), and "Academic Achievement of Students" (8). Overall, half the targets were met, with the most variability across schools for the Desegregation and Choice measures. Observations and survey results revealed increased efforts to implement innovative educational methods and programs at all three MSAP schools. Each school established strategic processes to address targets in each goal area. Although progress was made, much work remained to be done to achieve the original goals of the MSAP grant. The district requested and received a no-cost extension to run through the 2010-2011 school year.

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September 2010 WCPSS District Improvement: 2009-10 Implementation Status Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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In 2009-10 Wake County Public Schools System (WCPSS) exited District Improvement in reading and remained in level one for mathematics. All District Improvement efforts gained momentum. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP®) continued as the primary focus to meet the needs of limited English proficient (LEP) students in elementary and middle schools. The high school component was modified and addressed both literacy and mathematics. The number of trained SIOP® teachers considerably increased (from 588 in 2008-09 to 956 in 2009-10), follow-up coaching to support application of training reached more teachers, training implementation and buy-in strengthened. All SIOP® training, coaching, and implementation objectives for in 2009-10 were met or partially met. The number and use of SIOP® modified focus lessons increased substantially, but awareness could still be improved.

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June 2010 Middle School Mathematics: 2006-07 to 2008-09 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2006-07, seven Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) middle schools piloted Algebraic Thinking as an alternate approach to teaching middle school mathematics. Algebraic Thinking was developed to help students in grade 6 reach higher mathematics courses by combining the regular and advanced middle school mathematics courses into one heterogeneously grouped class and differentiating instruction. Of the 1,493 grade 6 students enrolled in one of the five pilot schools, 1,087 were still enrolled in Algebraic Thinking in 2008-09 and were therefore included in the study. A comparison cohort of 1,078 grade 6 students enrolled from 2006-07 to 2008-09 was selected from five matched schools. While both cohorts of students improved academically, overall findings suggest that participation in Algebraic Thinking did not have a greater positive impact on students' mathematics achievement as measured by EOG proficiency or growth. However, a significantly higher percentage of Algebra I students at the Algebraic Thinking schools met their Algebra I growth target.

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May 2010 WCPSS 2009-10 High Five PLT Survey Results: Professional Learning Team (PLT) Implementation Over Time Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) as a research-based method of improving teacher effectiveness and increasing student achievement. High Five PLT Survey results from 2007-08 through 2009-10 showed a strong level of support for the PLT oncept. The 2009-10 results revealed 73% to 92% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with all statements pertaining to each of the six core PLT themes. Generally, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2009-10 than in previous years. The percentage of teachers meeting weekly for over an hour increased greatly over prior years after implementation of the Board policy on PLTs. In short, survey results suggest strong implementation, with slow but measureable progress towards full functioning of all components of the model.

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April 2010 Your Child and the Kindergarten Initial Assessment Baenen, Nancy

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Describes the Kindergarten Initial Assessment which all students are given as they enter kindergarten to assess their beginning skills. Also describes the kinds of skills that are helpful for students to have in kindergarten.

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January 2010 NovaNET 2008-09 Evaluation Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

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NovaNET is a technology-based teacher-facilitated educational approach used at schools to support students at risk of not meeting graduation requirements to accrue credits in a variety of subjects. NovaNET contributes to the WCPSS goal of closing achievement gaps and creating opportunities for all students to graduate on time. In 2008-09, 38 NovaNET courses were offered districtwide. All high schools offered credit recovery (CR) courses. Six schools offered remediation opportunities, and 11 offered new credits. Based on summer courses, NovaNET had a high success rate in helping students earn credits towards graduation. Based on high summer pass rates, it is recommended to encourage use of NovaNET to earn course credits, examine ways to enhance EOC performance, designate use of NovaNET within course codes, streamline reporting methods, and enhance monitoring of success. Consider expanded use of NovaNET as a supplement for regular courses. Based on cost-effectiveness, expand student access to NovaNET in summer if feasible.

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October 2009 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) Grades 3-5: Evaluation 2007-08 Baenen, Nancy
Lougée, Aimee

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ALP 2007-08 was designed to primarily support Level I and II student below grade levels, with others supported as funds allowed. Evidence indicates many students scoring proficient were served (especially in literacy) while some students scoring below grade level received no documented support. ALP reached less than half of students scoring below grade level in literacy and in mathematics. Literacy achievement growth outcomes for Level I-II students below grade level were about the same as for other Level I-II students (many of whom received other services); ALP results were less positive for students who scored at grade level prior to service than for similar students. Mathematics proficiency results were less positive than for those served in other programs or not served. Achievement outcomes were similar for students served during the school day or outside of the school day.

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October 2009 Intervention Months Grades 6-8: Elective Results 2008-09 Paeplow, Colleen

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North Carolina Student Accountability Standards require targeted intervention be provided to students who fail to meet statewide accountability standards. Intervention Months of employment were allotted to middle schools to help them provide intervention to students who are struggling academically. In 2008-09, Intervention Months 6-8 allotted Wake County Public School System's (WCPSS) 32 middle schools 762 months of employment to be used along with other resources to provide targeted supplementary assistance to students requiring academic intervention beyond that provided in the regular classroom. In 2008-09, 3,155 students participated in an intervention elective. Findings suggest that participation in an intervention elective did not have a positive impact on reading achievement as measured by EOG proficiency or growth. The percentage of intervention elective participants at or above grade level increased more for mathematics than reading. A statistically significant higher percentage of students who participated in a mathematics intervention only made growth than did academically similar students not enrolled in the intervention elective.

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October 2009 Year 2 Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) Brasfield, Jon

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In Year 2 of the MSAP grant, significant progress was made by each school and its community to implement the grant objectives. Year 2 represented an amalgamation of Year 1 activities that were not implemented due to a delay in hiring key personnel, original objectives assigned to Year 2, and several activities that arose from improvement sessions. Each school had a blue print that captured their performance measures, target outcomes, yearly activities, staff development activities, and resources along with a customized yearly time line. The 16 performance measures were grouped into three categories. The "Desegregation and Choice" category was the most difficult for schools to attain (with three or four of the six measures met by each school). All schools achieved both "Building Capacity" performance measures. In the "Academic Achievement" category, SRMHS achieved 5/8 targets, GMHS achieved 4/8, and EGMMS achieved 6/7 (4-year graduation rate is measured for the two high schools, but not for the middle school). In all, SRMHS achieved the stated target on 10/16 performance measures, GMHS on 10/16, and EGMMS met 12/15.

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June 2009 Helping Hands Results 2007-08: Grades 3-8 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2007-08, Wake County Public School System's (WCPSS) Helping Hands program served 419 students. Helping Hands is a mentoring program that targets Black/African American male students enrolled in grades 3-8 who are academically marginal. Results are based on the 385 students in grades 3-8 with available data. The mission of the Helping Hands program is to provide services to African-American male students to promote personal development and academic achievement. Helping Hands has academic, behavioral, and attendance goals. Overall, findings suggest that Helping Hands did not have a positive impact on academic success as measured by EOG proficiency or growth. However, Helping Hands did appeared to have a positive impact on suspension trends and excessive absences (10 or more days) relative to Black/African American male students.

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June 2009 PLC Survey Results by Years of Experience Baenen, Nancy

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On the High Five PLC Survey, most teachers, regardless of years of experience, viewed PLCs as having a positive impact on their work environment and student learning. Beginning teachers tended to have the highest percentage of agreement. The percentage of teachers agreeing that PLCs were having the desired impact increased between 2007-08 and 2008-09 for both beginning teachers and those with more experience. Thus, trends were in the desired direction.

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May 2009 Comprehensive List of WCPSS Programs 2008-09 Baenen, Nancy
Lougée, Aimee

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WCPSS needed a consistent system for creating an inventory of programs to build capacity to evaluate all program efforts. For this inventory, "program" was defined as any planned and sustained educational effort designed to improve learning outcomes or school/classroom conditions. Overall, 29 centrally coordinated and 187 school-based programs were identified. Supports targeting academic achievement were more common than those for behavior or climate. Centrally-coordinated academic interventions at the elementary level impacted a greater number of students in literacy than in mathematics; these counts were more evenly distributed at both the middle and high school level. School-based programs tend to address literacy and mathematics at similar levels.

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May 2009 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation: WCPSS 2008-09 High Five PLC Survey Results Jackl, Andrew

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) continues to implement Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as a research-based method of increasing student achievement and improving teaching effectiveness. Teachers were surveyed in 2007-08 and again in 2008-09 to obtain data about the status of PLC implementation efforts within the district. The 2008-09 results showed a strong level of support for the PLC concept (71% to 89% of the survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements pertaining to each of the six core PLC themes). In most instances, teachers responded more positively to the survey items in 2008-09 than they did the year before. In short, survey results suggest that the district is making progress towards its goal of full PLC implementation.

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April 2009 The Relationship between Quarterly and End-of-Grade Reading Assessments 2007-08 Boykin, Anne-Sylvie

6 View Abstract

Elementary and middle schools in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) are given the opportunity to use periodic assessments throughout the year as a tool to determine how well their students are learning the curriculum. The students then take the required End-of-Grade (EOG) test at the end of the year. An analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between those two means of assessment. This study showed high correlations between the two types of assessments, emphasizing the value of using assessments year-long in order to identify students in need of extra help.

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February 2009 North Carolina Virtual Public School in WCPSS Update for Fall 2007, Spring 2008, and Summer 2008 Baenen, Nancy
Bulgakov-Cooke, Dina

33 View Abstract

North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) has changed since summer 2007, with more traditional courses and fewer credit-recovery courses. Total NCVPS initial enrollments of Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students were much lower in Fall 2007 (139), Spring 2008 (198), and Summer 2008 (430) than in Summer 2007 (1,378). Students were more likely to complete courses after Summer 2007. However, students enrolled in Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 were more likely to drop courses with failure after the deadline than to do so before the cutoff date. Percentages of final enrollments with passing NCVPS course grades increased from 47% in Summer 2007 to 64%, 84%, and 70% in the fall, spring, and summer, respectively. In Summer 2008, pass rates for EOC courses were somewhat lower than for other courses, with relatively low pass rates on EOC tests.

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January 2009 Best Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

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Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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January 2009 Overview of Practices to Promote High School Graduation Baenen, Nancy

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Significant attention and resources have been focused on reforming high schools to enhance graduation rates. The research literature supports the following practices: For struggling students, accurate identification and intensive instructional, monitoring, and counseling support For 9th graders, transition activities, personalization, and academic support strategies For teachers, intensive training to help them provide effective instruction and support, particularly for students showing signs of risk.

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October 2008 Helping High-Performing Students Achieve at Higher Levels: A Review of the Literature Yaman, Kimberly

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Helping High-Performing Students Achieve at Higher Levels: A Review of the Literature

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May 2008 WCPSS Professional Learning Communities: 2007-08 Implementation Status Reichstetter, Rosemary

62 View Abstract

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are in the implementation stages throughout the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Results from the 2007-08 High Five PLC Survey of teachers throughout the school system, as well as observations and focus group interviews in selected schools, show that strong support continues for PLC implementation overall, (66% to 87% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with statements about each PLC element). Results suggest PLC concepts and work efforts are well underway and are growing in implementation. Challenges cited include finding time for PLC team work and remediation of student skills, increasing the understanding of all staff of PLC concepts, and increasing teachers' skills in developing and using quality formative assessments.

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April 2008 Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID): WCPSS Program Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Lougée, Aimee

57 View Abstract

This evaluation examined the implementation and effectiveness of the AVID program in middle schools throughout the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). Survey results and school visits revealed considerable inconsistencies in implementation across schools. Specifically, selection criteria were not consistently understood and applied, all staff members implementing the program were not able to attend AVID training, and some schools emphasized enrollment in Algebra I in eighth grade more than others as a desired outcome of AVID participation. Attrition from the program was high, with 38% of those enrolled in grade 6 in 2005-06 continuing with the program through grade 8 in 2007-08. The stated goal of having all AVID students enroll in Algebra I by grade 8 was not met, although a higher percentage of AVID students in grade 8 enrolled in Algebra I than was true system wide (50% vs. 28%).

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February 2008 Public Issues Confronting the WCPSS Board of Education as Perceived by Focus Group Interview Participants Baenen, Nancy
Holdzkom, David

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In an effort to understand the issues that the citizens of Wake County believe confront the Board of Education, two focus group interviews were conducted in November 2007 with the Community Relations Committee (CRC). The two groups both identified population growth as a major root cause of many of the issues confronting the school system. Many of the issues identified by the interviewed groups may be thought of as nested, or embedded. The focus group interviews identified three major impacts of this rapid growth on the school district: providing high quality facilities and educational programs, creating a student assignment plan that is fair and provides some measure of predictability, and coping with the increasing diversity of the student population.

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August 2007 WCPSS Students with Multiple Academic Risks: Achievement Patterns and School Experiences Baenen, Nancy
Ives, Sarah
Paeplow, Colleen
Reichstetter, Rosemary

112 View Abstract

This study focused on effective practices for students with multiple academic risk factors (students with disabilities, students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, and/or students with limited English proficiency). Achievement performance patterns over several years differ between students making stronger and weaker achievement growth on End-of-Grade tests. Sixteen case studies of 5th and 8th graders revealed that students with positive achievement patterns were more likely to show signs of resilience in their personal characteristics, school experiences, and/or home support than were students with negative achievement patterns. Teachers of both groups used some methods recommended in national research (such as small-group work, structure, and collaboration). A specific focus on language development was not mentioned. Homework was a common problem.

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June 2007 Effective Practices for Elementary School Students with Multiple Needs Baenen, Nancy

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Document summarizes a larger study about elementary school-level practices that can make a difference in promoting the achievement growth of multiple-risk students: high expectations, positive attitudes about being able to meet students' needs with the resources available, supportive administrative leadership that allocates resources effectively, professional training, formal and information collaboration to help students, and more frequent use of teacher-led instruction.

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June 2007 Effective Practices for Middle School Students with Multiple Needs Baenen, Nancy

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School-level practices can make a difference in promoting the achievement growth of multiple-risk students. At the middle school level, effective school staffs were more likely to; focus more on how to address student needs and less on barriers to addressing needs; have more informal administrator visits in classrooms; have more positive attitudes and training in working with at-risk groups, and more frequently use resources such as assessment data, extra adults in classrooms, technology, and instructional pacing guides.

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April 2007 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Implementation WCPSS 2006-07 Baseline Survey Results Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are being developed in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) to promote continuous improvement and student success. Baseline results from a 2006-07 survey show strong support for PLC concepts/expectations among school staff (at least 88% rated themes as medium or high priority), with lower implementation levels (60-73%) per theme. Sustained implementation of PLCs was reported by 24-30% of staff for each theme. Results suggest training in PLC concepts and strategies should be well received in WCPSS, and that increased implementation is clearly possible.

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March 2007 WCPSS Elementary School Student Outcomes 2005-06 Baenen, Nancy
Holdzkom, David

99 View Abstract

This report draws together various academic performance results for elementary students in WCPSS. Generally speaking, students in grades K-5 continue to do well on most literacy measures, but there has been a decline in mathematics EOG performance, largely resulting from the State Board of Education's action to create more rigorous cut scores for achievement levels. Analysis of student outcomes is provided at the grade level as well as for subgroups. This report describes demographic trends that impact our student outcomes as well as information about students retained in grade. Finally, the report provides summaries of several research and evaluation efforts related to effective practices for promoting student achievement.

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March 2007 WCPSS Middle School Student Outcomes 2005-06 Baenen, Nancy
Holdzkom, David

84 View Abstract

This report draws together various academic performance results for middle school students in WCPSS. Generally speaking, students in grades 6-8 continue to do well on most literacy measures, but there has been a decline in mathematics EOG performance, largely resulting from the State Board of Education's action to create more rigorous cut scores for achievement levels. Results for the new test of computer skills are also a concern. Analysis of student outcomes is provided at the grade level as well as for subgroups. This report describes demographic trends that impact our student outcomes as well as information about students retained in grade. Finally, the report provides summaries of several research and evaluation efforts related to effective practices for promoting student achievement.

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October 2006 Defining a Professional Learning Community: A Literature Review Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Summarizing a nonexhaustive review of the literature, the following definition is suggested for a professional learning community: A professional learning community is made up of team members who regularly collaborate toward continued improvement in meeting learner needs through a shared curricular-focused vision. Facilitating this effort are: supportive leadership and structural conditions, collective challenging, questioning, and reflecting on team-designed lessons and instructional practices/experiences, and team decisions on essential learning outcomes and intervention/enrichment activities based on results of common formative student assessments.

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October 2006 Effective Practices for At-Risk Elementary and Middle School Students Baenen, Nancy
Gilewicz, Ed
Ives, Sarah
Lynn, Amy
Warren, Tom
Yaman, Kimberly

72 View Abstract

The students who have the most difficulty reaching accountability standards in Wake County Public Schools are those with more than one of the following characteristics: recipients of free or reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and/or students with limited English proficiency. The Evaluation and Research Department identified elementary and middle schools that differed in their effectiveness in promoting achievement growth for these students. Quantitative and qualitative analyses suggest differences in both attitudes and practices. The more effective schools had higher expectations for these students, and greater confidence in their ability to meet students' needs. Evidence suggested more effective administrative leadership/support, training, and utilization of resources. Higher-growth middle schools utilized assessments to inform instruction more frequently, and higher-growth elementary schools had more structured collaboration around student needs. Further research is planned.

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October 2006 Evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services at Hodge Road Elementary 2005-06 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2005-06, four private agencies provided 252 Hodge Road students with supplemental educational services as one component of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Only students receiving free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) were eligible. More than half of those served scored at or above grade level before service, while some students who scored below grade level were not eligible. The curricular materials used were remedial and not designed to extend the learning of students scoring at grade level. At grades 1-2, the percentage of students reaching grade level in literacy increased for those served; this was not the case for not-served students. Both served and not served students improved End-of-Grade (EOG) reading performance at grades 3-5. Students who had multiple risk factors (limited English proficient [LEP] or students with disabilities [SWD] in addition to FRL) showed the greatest increases in the percentage of students at grade level. A major caution when interpreting the results is that analyses could not control for other intervention efforts that may have contributed to results found.

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July 2006 High School Redesign 2004-05 Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) strengthened the rigor, relevance, and relationships within its high schools in 2004-05; a primary strategy was the adoption on a block schedule. This progress report found an increase in more rigorous academic opportunities. Higher numbers of enrollees engaged in advanced courses and generally stable or higher academic success was achieved with End-of-Course exams, grade point averages, and credits earned. Greater relevance in coursework was evident and a wider variety of instructional practices. Staff promoted stronger student-staff relationships by emphasizing personalization. The majority of students and teachers reported fewer discipline concerns in classes, and students felt connected with their schools. Dropout and suspension rates did not decline.

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May 2006 Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) and Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) K-2 Literacy Program 2004-05 Paeplow, Colleen

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This evaluation examined 1,524 students in grade 1 at 13 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) schools that participated in the Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) study in 2004-05. It also examined their participation in the Accelerated Learning Program K-2 Literacy Program during 2004-05. Both literacy initiatives focused on identifying students in need of additional assistance and providing support to those students. Student success was measured by the PAR assessment and WCPSS instructional book levels. The PAR assessment was used to determine the benefit of PAR only and PAR plus ALP K-2, the correlation of the two instruments, and whether PAR and ALP K-2 identified the same students as at-risk. Although the experimental and control groups saw similar results overall, students who participated in the ALP K-2 program saw greater gains among the experimental group. While PAR participants showed substantial improvement on the PAR assessment, ALP K-2 participants showed similar gains on book level with or without full PAR support. There was a significant positive relationship between students' performance on the PAR assessment and book level and a substantial overlap in the students identified as at-risk of failure by both programs.

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February 2006 Project Achieve Evaluation: Year Four, 2004-05 Baenen, Nancy
Carpenter, Megan
Dudley, Kristy

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Project Achieve, a local instructional initiative used by Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), was adapted from a Brazosport, Texas model. The program grew from eight to 19 WCPSS schools over four years, and all 16 continuing schools had a higher percentage of students at or above grade level in spring 2005 than prior to the program. Fourth-year results were relatively positive. Nine of 19 (47%) participating schools met the state ABCs High Growth standard (including two of the new schools), compared to 40% of other WCPSS elementary and middle schools. Eleven of 19 schools (58%) -- compared to 35% of other WCPSS elementary and middle schools -- increased the percentage of students at or above grade level between spring of 2004 and spring 2005.

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July 2005 Student Support Team Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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Student Support Teams (SST) are designed to strengthen and support students who are experiencing academic, behavioral, family, and/or emotional difficulties that interfere with learning. SSTs develop and implement action plans using classroom-, school-, family-, and/or community-based strategies. In 2003-04, 80% of the 4,944 students served by SSTs were elementary students. Over half of the students referred for academic reasons scored on grade level before SST participation. Earlier SST meetings and family-based strategies were correlated with positive academic outcomes. Classroom-based strategies were correlated with fewer suspensions. Schools varied in their success in improving SST students' achievement. SST participants' growth in achievement was generally smaller than a matched comparison group over one year, but students could have differed in ways related to referral reasons. SST students closed the gap between their achievement and that of the district overall in some elementary grades but not at the secondary level.

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March 2005 East Wake High School Evening Program Reichstetter, Rosemary

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The East Wake High School Evening Program study focused on whether the program was meeting its original intent and was cost/beneficial. The focus changed from serving only dropouts or students likely to drop out or not graduate who participated in the extended day program to serving any student needing course grade recovery. Most attempted courses were completed with credits earned, and grade promotions of enrollees increased. However, some classes were small, which increased the cost per student. Few dropouts enrolled in 2003-04, and overall enrollment was lower than previously.

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February 2005 Block Scheduling Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

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In 2003-04, 11 Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) high schools moved from a traditional student schedule of six full-year courses to a block schedule of four courses each semester (4x4). Implementation went fairly smoothly, with 90% of teachers trained prior to the change. Academic course opportunities and course enrollment numbers increased substantially (by 24% and 46% respectively) compared to 2002-03, key desired outcomes. Academic success was marked by increases in credits earned, grade promotion rates, and twelfth grade graduation rates as desired. Maintenance of prior status was desired for other outcomes this first year. End-of-course performance and grade point averages of 3.0 or higher actually increased slightly, while Advanced Placement (AP) scores of 3 and greater decreased slightly. Student attendance and suspension rates remained the same. Generally, most of those surveyed and interviewed expressed satisfaction with the change. Exploring modified schedule options for some courses as well as continued professional development are recommended.

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February 2005 Early Start Evaluation: Summer 2004 Paeplow, Colleen

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Early Start, a pilot preschool program, offered three weeks of literacy and social skills preparation to pre-enrolled kindergarten students who have limited to no preschool experience. The percentage of participants mastering the six assessed concepts of print jumped from 5% to 52%. Entering students mastered an average of three out of six concepts of print and finished averaging five out of six. Student progress was also measured using 10 literacy and personal/social items from the Kindergarten Initial Assessment (KIA). Increases in overall proficiency were minimal due to a high number of students entering the program already proficient on the assessed items. Closer examination of these items using a four-part rubric did reveal improvements toward greater proficiency. However, participants scored similarly to demographically matched nonparticipants on the full KIA administered upon entry into kindergarten. Thus, overall results indicate growth for targeted skills. However, this growth was not sufficient to influence overall performance on the KIA.

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January 2005 WCPSS K-5 Assessment Results 2003-04 Baenen, Nancy
Lindblad, Mark
Yaman, Kimberly

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WCPSS uses K-5 assessments in literacy and mathematics to monitor student status in their learning, to guide instruction, and to assess whether students and schools are showing typical performance for their grade level. The percentage of students showing grade-level performance is generally between 77% and 87% on the reading and mathematics assessments. Percentages tend to be somewhat lower than those seen on the EOG tests. Increases in the percentage of students reaching grade-level standards in literacy and math at K-2 could help WCPSS reach Goal 2008 at grades 3 and up. WCPSS writing portfolios show more students scoring "at grade level" at K-2 (81%) than at grade 3-5 (62%). At grade 4, 57% of WCPSS students were considered at grade level based on local writing portfolios compared to 47.7% on the state assessment. Writing still appears to be the area where the most improvement is needed to reach state and local standards.

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November 2004 Fast Forword Evaluation: 2003-04 Baenen, Nancy
Germuth, Amy

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In 2003-04, 1,912 students in 16 elementary and 6 middle schools in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) participated in Fast ForWord program. Evaluation findings indicate that elementary and middle school participants made short-term gains averaging 22-55 months (approximately 2-4 years) of gain in terms of foundational listening and reading skills after nine weeks of intervention. When compared to students who had not received Fast ForWord instruction in 2003-04, both groups appeared to make similar gains on the Reading EOG over one year, although 7th and 8th graders served via Fast ForWord made greater gains on the math EOG. Over two years, students who received Fast ForWord in 2002-03 again performed similarly to their at-risk peers who had not received services in Reading EOG scores and gains. These findings suggest that Fast ForWord appears to impact foundational reading skills, but is not sufficient on its own to influence higher level reading skills and comprehension as measured by EOGs.

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November 2004 Title I End-of-Grade Test Results 2003-04: Grades 3-5 Paeplow, Colleen

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In 2003-04, the Title I program was expanded to serve students in grades 3-5. Similar to the Title I K-2 program, the 3-5 program offered accelerated literacy intervention. The vast majority of students were served using the Fast Track Reading curriculum. Fast Track Reading combines explicit reading skills and phonics instruction with comprehension coaching and fluency practice. Fast Track is designed to accelerate student learning to raise students' performance to grade level standards. The demographics of Title I students served in grades 3-5 differs from Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) grade 3-5 students due to the focus on serving students at risk of failure. The percentage of Title I students across grades 3-5 scoring at Level III or IV (grade level) on End-of-Grade (EOG) tests doubled. Students in grade 5 showed the greatest improvement, followed by students in grades 3 and 4. Increases from Spring 2003 and Spring 2004 in the percentage of students scoring at Level III or IV were strong for all Title I subgroups compared to WCPSS overall.

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October 2004 WCPSS Outcomes Summary for 2003-04, With an Emphasis on Achievement Gap Status Baenen, Nancy
Dulaney, Chuck
Yaman, Kimberly

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has seen positive changes in patterns of achievement and dropout rates over the past several years overall and by subgroup. The most positive one-year subgroup changes related to dropout rates for Black students and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for minority, low-income, and limited English proficient (LEP) students. However, many achievement gaps remain, and the system continues to work towards optimal achievement for all students and closing achievement gaps.

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May 2004 21st Century Grant Summer Program Evaluation: 2003 Baenen, Nancy
Paeplow, Colleen

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The 2003 21st Century Grant summer program served 370 students at five elementary school sites--Carver, Hodge Road, Knightdale, Lockhart, and Zebulon. Grade levels served and program dates varied by location. The summer program provided reading intervention to students identified as in need of academic assistance. Seventy-one percent of summer program participants were free or reduced-price lunch recipients (FRL), 34% were classified as limited English proficient (LEP), 41% were Black/African American, and 39% were Hispanic/Latino students. These subgroups were over-represented relative to their percentages within the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) population. Approximately 42% of the summer program participants entered the program with below grade level scores. Academic outcomes are not yet available for analysis.

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May 2004 Partnership for Educational Success 2002-03: Implementation and Outcomes Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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The Partnership for Educational Success (PES) is a collaboration between the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) and Wake County Human Services. The primary goal of PES is for the agencies to work together to help students achieve grade-level performance. PES provides family-centered services to at-risk students and their families. In 2002-03 PES provided services to 269 at-risk students and their families. PES-funded staff also supported non-PES families, but no data was collected regarding these families. In 2002-03, over half of PES students scored at or above grade level before PES participation. These students may have been siblings of the primary referred students, who did score below grade level, although corroborative information is not available. Teacher survey data indicated that PES families are more involved with the school after PES participation. Test score outcomes of students in grades K-8 were inconclusive; results are similar to free and reduced-price lunch eligible students (FRL) as a whole. More data are necessary to provide a clear picture of the success of PES in meeting its academic goals.

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April 2004 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) K-2 Evaluation 2002-03 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2
Paeplow, Colleen

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The Title I/Accelerated Learning Program K-2 Literacy Program (ALP K-2) served 4,732 students in kindergarten, first, and second grade identified as at risk of failure and in need of assistance in language arts. For a variety of reasons, over half of the students who scored below grade level on local assessments as of spring 2002 were not served, and others who scored at grade level were served. Nearly all of the staff surveyed reported that the program was an effective method of improving students' literacy skills. ALP students' literacy skills did improve. However, the mean gains in print concept scores (for kindergarten) and book level scores (for grades 1 and 2) were no different than for similar students not served. Approximately the same percentage of students were on grade level in spring 2003 as in spring 2002.

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April 2004 From Complacency to Excellence Through School District Reform: A Case Study of the WCPSS Banks, Karen

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WCPSS has made some notable positive changes in achievement, graduation, and other outcomes over the last few years. This document summarizes trends over time in outcomes and district efforts which likely contributed.

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April 2004 Project Achieve: Adapting the Brazosport Model to a Large LEA Baenen, Nancy
Speas, Carol

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Project Achieve is a major Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) instructional initiative to improve student achievement adapted from a Brazosport, Texas model. The number of schools involved increased from 8 to 13 in 2002-03. Results were positive. All Project Achieve elementary and middle schools met the state ABCs High Growth standard both years (up from five in spring 2001), and nearly all schools increased the percent of students at or above grade level in their first year. In Year 2, compared to other WCPSS students, participation in Project Achieve was generally associated with significantly higher gains in mathematics and similar gains in reading (when background characteristics were controlled through regression analyses). Staff members also expressed more positive opinions about the academic program in their schools than in the past.

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January 2004 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) Grades 3-8: Evaluation 2002-03 Baenen, Nancy

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The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) began in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in 1999-2000 as an out-of-school time intervention to support students scoring below grade level. Since then, flexibility in use of these funds has increased, along with the percentage of schools using the funds to support low achievers during the school day. In 2002-03, over 70% of traditional calendar schools reported providing at least a portion of their ALP services during the school day, followed by after-school sessions (about 40%), and Saturday sessions (20%). At year-round schools, intersession continues to be the most common time for ALP at the elementary (82%). However, year-round middle schools provided ALP most commonly during the school day (83%), with only 34% using intersessions. Changes in use of ALP funds have made it increasingly difficult to clearly identify which students these funds supported. Although all schools reported that students who scored below grade level were supported through ALP, data on individual students suggests that the percentage of these students in ALP declined from 59% in 2001-02 to 35% in 2002-03. The lower participation rates are partially due to under-reporting, but clearer accountability for serving students is needed.

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January 2004 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results for 2003-04 Haynie, Glenda
Regan, Roger

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The percentage of reading and math tests taken by Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students in grades 3-8 that resulted in Level III or IV scores fell slightly in 2004 to 91.1% from 91.3% in 2003. However, the percentage of students scoring in Level IV remained stable at 60.4%. The percentage of students scoring in Level III or IV was slightly higher in Math (92.1%) than in Reading (90.0%). Average reading scale scores showed slight declines at all grade levels except grade 5, while average math scale scores rose slightly in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 and fell slightly in grades 3 and 8. Disaggregation of scores by race/ethnicity showed a small decline (down about two percentage points) in the percentage of Hispanic scores on grade level in both reading and math, a small rise (less than one point) for Asian and Black students in both reading and math, and mixed results for White and Multi-ethnic groups. Students from low-income families and students with disabilities showed small improvements in both reading and math.

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January 2004 Project Achieve Evaluation: Year Two, 2002-03 Speas, Carol

38 View Abstract

Project Achieve is a major Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) instructional initiative to improve student achievement adapted from a Brazosport, Texas model. The number of schools involved increased from 8 to 13 in 2002-03. Results were generally positive. All Project Achieve elementary and middle schools met the state ABCs High Growth standard in spring 2003 (up from five in spring 2001), and 10 of 13 schools increased the percent of students at or above grade level. Compared to other WCPSS students, participation in Project Achieve was generally associated with significantly higher gains in mathematics and similar gains in reading (when background characteristics were controlled through regression analyses). Staff members also expressed more positive opinions about the academic program in their schools than in the past.

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October 2003 Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant Final Report 1999-2003 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

51 View Abstract

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant (SS/HS) was a three-year grant sponsored by a collaboration between the federal Departments of Health and Human Services, Juvenile Justice, and Education. The SS/HS Grant improved collaboration and communication across community agencies. During the grant period perceptions of safety improved among WCPSS students and staff, and juvenile arrests for violence and substance abuse decreased. However, school crime and violence rates, suspensions, and security violations did not decrease as hoped. Many SS/HS funded programs showed promising results, especially Teen Court (increased participation and decreased suspensions for participants) and NovaNET (80% of courses students attempted were completed successfully). Overall, SS/HS provided resources for community change, and new ideas for addressing school safety in the future.

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September 2003 2002-03 End-of-Course Multiple-Choice Test Results Dulaney, Chuck
Haynie, Glenda
Regan, Roger

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End-of-Course (EOC) test scores in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in 2002-03 showed generally positive results when compared to prior years. Average scale scores rose in six out of ten subject areas, and the percentage of students scoring in the proficient range (Level III or Level IV) reached new highs in five out of ten subjects.

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September 2003 Fast ForWord Evaluation, 2002-03 Baenen, Nancy
Overbay, Amy

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The 2001-02 evaluation of Fast ForWord established that participants experienced short-term gains in language and reading skills, as measured by the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery. EOG results also indicated that participants made significant gains in reading achievement. This evaluation examined the reading achievement of 2002-03 Fast ForWord participants relative to a comparison group, and investigated factors that predict success on reading EOG tests. Results for 2002-03 participants indicate that participants made significant gains on EOGs, but that their achievement growth pattern was not significantly different than that of matched non-participants. The short and long versions of the Teacher Observation Survey (TOS) predicted success equally well, and no demographic characteristics predicted success consistently. Thus, no simple means of selecting the most appropriate participants were identified.

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July 2003 Annual Performance Report 2002-2003 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant Penta, Mary

180 View Abstract

Magnet Schools Assistance Program Annual Performance Report Year 2 (2002-03) From September 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003, the staff members of the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) 2001-04 Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant have successfully built upon the foundation they established in Year 1. This year they have endeavored to make up for any objectives not fully achieved in Year 1 and to attain all of their Year 2 objectives. Schools participating in the project and their magnet themes are: Brooks Elementary School - Museums, Joyner Elementary School - Language Explorations, Millbrook Elementary School - International Baccalaureate, Powell Elementary School - Visual and Performing Arts, and Moore Square Middle School - Museums. The project focuses on four major purposes and has objectives related to each. Annual benchmarks have been established to measure success in achieving the objectives. The four MSAP purposes are listed below, followed by a summary of accomplishments or deficits in meeting the Year 2 benchmarks for each purpose.

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July 2003 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results: 2002-03 Dulaney, Chuck
Regan, Roger

40 View Abstract

For the first time in the WCPSS history, the percentage of all EOG exam scores at or above grade level (Level III or IV) surpassed 90% in 2003. The composite percentage, which includes reading and math scores for all grade 3-8 students, rose from 89.4% in 2002 to 91.3% this year.

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July 2003 Has ALP Helped Low-Achieving Students? Baenen, Nancy
Yaman, Kimberly

2 View Abstract

To help accomplish Goal 2003, WCPSS allocated money in 1999 for supplemental instructional support through the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). Analyses of the program's 2001-02 results suggest that ALP was effective in promoting both achievement growth and performance at grades 3-8. ALP students showed high growth based on ABCs standards, and more than half were able to move from below to above grade level between spring 2001 and spring 2002 (compared to 38% in reading and 41% in math before ALP began).

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May 2003 High School Support to Meet Graduation Requirements 2001-02 Baenen, Nancy

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Overall, 2,422 high school students who were at risk of not graduating received some instructional assistance in 2001-02. However, the number of students who might struggle with one or more graduation requirements was high (7,810), and many were not identified as receiving instructional support beyond their regular classes. Compared to state ABC standards, those who received support showed high growth between spring 2001 and 2002. A two-year follow-up of students who had not passed the Minimum Competency requirement in spring 2000 reveals close to 60% of those still in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) were able to meet this requirement by spring 2002. However, the percentage able to attain grade level scores between spring 2001 and 2002 was similar (23-28%) regardless of whether they received instructional assistance.

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March 2003 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP): Grade 3-8 Evaluation 2001-02 Baenen, Nancy
Lindblad, Mark
Yaman, Kimberly

107 View Abstract

WCPSS initiated the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) in 1999-2000 as the major new intervention to help all students reach grade-level performance in reading and math. Analyses of the program's third year results show that overall, changes in both achievement growth and performance support the effectiveness of ALP and other assistance at grades 3-8.

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February 2003 Class-Size Reduction Program 2001-02 Speas, Carol

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In 2001-02, 23 schools were provided with 40 teacher positions through the Class Size Reduction (CSR) Program. Achievement results for students in reduced class sizes were compared to those of similar students in other CSR schools who did not choose the same grade for the project (keeping school and student demographics similar). At grades 1 and 2, WCPSS K-2 Literacy and Mathematics Assessments were compared pre (spring 2001) and post (spring 2002). These analyses yielded mixed results: (a) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the reading-book-level standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 2 but not at grade 1, and (b) an increase in the percentage of students meeting the mathematics standards was greater for students in the reduced-size classes at grade 1 but not at grade 2. As in the previous year at grade 3, the NC End-of-Grade fall pretest and spring post-test data indicate that, controlling for differences in pre-test scores and free and reduced-price lunch status of students, there were no significant differences in reading and mathematics achievement between students in reduced-size classes and those in regular-sized classes. As in previous years, WCPSS generally did not reach a class size of 18, the goal of the enabling legislation, and it was again recommended that schools receiving two CSR teacher positions should place two teachers at the same grade level to reduce class sizes at a single grade.

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February 2003 NovaNET Student Outcomes 2001-2002 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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In the 2001-02 school year, NovaNET students earned significantly higher GPAs and fewer F's than before participating in NovaNET. NovaNET students did not show significantly greater gains than students in a comparison group that had similar demographic and academic characteristics; however, analyses revealed that the two groups varied somewhat in terms of prior suspensions, so results should be interpreted with caution. Some schools had much greater participation and student success than others. Strategies used by successful NovaNET programs include individualizing coursework; supplemental counseling and behavior modification; selecting the most appropriate students; requiring students to sign a contract promising to complete the course; and giving offline assignments to supplement NovaNET. Extending successful school practices to all schools could increase overall program impact.

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February 2003 Project Achieve Evaluation Report: Year One, 2001-2002 Speas, Carol

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This is an evaluation of the pilot year of Project Achieve, a major local instructional initiative at six elementary schools and two middle schools to help reach the WCPSS goal of 95% of students at or above grade level. Participating schools had a higher percentage of low-income students and low-achieving students and slightly less stable student populations than the district as a whole. The initiative is based on the same principles and instructional process applied in the Brazosport, Texas school district, with modifications tailored to local needs and based on the NC Standard Course of Study. Project training and development did occur as planned from early 2001 to implementation in the 2001-02 school year. Participating schools did exceed ABCs growth and performance standards of the previous (baseline) year, as evidenced by annual NC ABCs Accountability System reports. Additionally, parents and staff expressed more positive opinions about the academic program in participating schools.

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February 2003 Title VI: Annual Evaluation Report 2001-2002 Overbay, Amy
Speas, Carol

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In the 2001-02 school year, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) implemented a project within an innovative assistance program area of Title VI- the provision of performing arts teachers within magnet elementary schools to provide arts education - under the "promising educational reform projects" category. Twelve arts teachers, representing between 0.3 and 1.0 FTE each, served in six elementary magnet schools: Fuller, Powell, Washington, Wendell, Conn, and Wiley. Also, in spring 2001, funding was allocated for planning and training activities for a new school improvement/reorganization effort at eight schools. WPSS Instructional Services Division identified a set of six schools showing historical patterns of below-expectation growth, and two schools volunteered to participate in "Project Achieve." Training and development for the eight schools did occur as planned in July - October, 2001. Results are shared.

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November 2002 Voyager Summer Academy 2002 Results Baenen, Nancy
Banks, Karen
Paeplow, Colleen

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The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) provides a comprehensive program of extra support for students in grades K-8 who have not yet reached grade level standards. In the summer of 2002, the Voyager Summer Academy was offered in WCPSS at grades 2-8 to students scoring at Level I or II (below grade level) in reading or math. (The State of North Carolina required a summer intervention at grades 3, 5, and 8, and WCPSS offered the program at the other grade levels as well.) WCPSS utilized the Voyager Time Warp series, which is a summer reading intervention program. Designed to decrease summer learning loss and reduce the achievement gap, Voyager Time Warp is based on the premise that lessons generating high student interest, combined with academically challenging material, will increase student motivation and improve student achievement. The Time Warp reading program is a four-hour-a day, four-week program. WCPSS also adopted Voyager's one-hour-per-day V-Math series for use in combination with the reading intervention. A variety of methods were used to assess the Voyager program including student, parent, teacher, and site coordinator surveys, a quality assurance checklist, in-depth interviews, and a focus group. Voyager pre/post assessments designed by the publisher and results on pre/post North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) tests were also used to evaluate Voyager's effectiveness.

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September 2002 2001-2002 End-of-Course Test Results Dulaney, Chuck
Regan, Roger

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End-of-Course (EOC) test scores in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in 2001- 2002 showed generally positive results when compared to prior years. Both mean scale scores and the percentage of students scoring at Level III or Level IV reached new highs in eight out of ten subject areas.

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July 2002 2001-2002 End-of-Grade Multiple-Choice Test Results Dulaney, Chuck
Regan, Roger

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WCPSS EOG multiple-choice results for 2001- 2002 show increases at all grade levels in both reading and math. Both the percentage of students scoring at or above grade level and average scale scores reached new highs.

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June 2002 North Carolina Writing Assessment Results 2001-2002 Dulaney, Chuck
Regan, Roger

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Both fourth-grade and seventh-grade writing assessment scores declined in 2002 in WCPSS. The percentage of fourth-grade students who scored at or above 2.5 dropped 23.8 percentage points from 78.1 in 2001 to 54.3 in 2002. Seventh-grade scores dropped 13.8 percentage points from 77.5 in 2001 to 63.7 in 2002

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June 2002 Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Year Three - Mid-Year Performance Report October 1, 2001 - May 31, 2002 Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2
Overbay, Amy

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The Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Project was a three-year federal cooperative effort sponsored by the Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. This report focuses on year 3 results. While all students were impacted indirectly, 3,315 individual students were served directly by SS/HS intervention programs, and 16,100 students participated in group prevention activities; SS/HS disproportionately served the higher risk students in the system directly as intended. The grant had many positive benefits in Year 3. A safe school environment was promoted by security system installation, and use of the WAVE Line. Alcohol, drug, and violence prevention and early intervention programs were promoted through a Communities in Schools (CIS/CLP) mentoring program, which had a positive effect on student achievement. Teen Court expanded the number of youth served, as well as the range of programs available for those youth. In terms of school and community mental health preventive and treatment intervention services, Children of Substance Abuse (COSA) groups drastically reduced the number of students reporting that they would use violence in the future. The preschool Second Step program resulted in teachers spending less time disciplining students. Five different curricula related to SS/HS reached over 15,000 WCPSS students. NovaNET improved students' ability to pass courses and get back on track to graduation.

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May 2002 Class-Size Reduction Program Evaluation, 2000-2001 Speas, Carol

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This report examines the impact of the second year of the federal Class-Size Reduction (CSR) program in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) on student achievement.

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May 2002 Title VI: Annual Evaluation Report 2000-2001 Speas, Carol

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The Wake County Public School System developed a project within an innovative assistance program area of Title VI--the provision of performing arts teachers within magnet elementary schools to provide arts education--under the "promising educational reform projects" category. Funding provided to private non-profit schools was used primarily for curricular materials. In the spring of 2001, Title VI funding was allocated for planning and training activities for new school improvement/reorganization efforts at seven schools under the "3a. Promising Educational Reform Programs: Effective Schools" category. This report provides information on implementation and attainment of objectives.

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February 2002 NovaNET 2000-2001: Analyses of Student Outcomes Relative to a Comparison Group Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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NovaNET is an on-line computerized instructional system that provides students with self-paced instruction for many North Carolina high school courses. This evaluation looks at outcomes for students participating in the NovaNET program and compares them with outcomes for a group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in NovaNET. The primary positive finding was that the number of failing grades decreased significantly for students who participated in NovaNET, while a slight increase occurred for matched students. The GPA for NovaNET students showed a significant increase, but the comparison group increased about the same amount (difference between increases were not significant). NovaNET appeared to have more of a positive impact on math and social studies course grades than on English and science course grades. The pass rate for NovaNET science courses was only 50%. NovaNET did not appear to impact suspensions in 2000-2001; rates for NovaNET and matched students were statistically similar. NovaNET students were more likely to drop out of school in 2000-2001 than the comparison students who had a lower dropout rate than WCPSS overall; the change in drop-out rates should be examined again over the next few years. Overall, NovaNET seems to help students pass classes. However, more specific findings are difficult to obtain due to the newness of the program, and the difficulty of creating an accurately matched comparison group.

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February 2002 The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) 2000-01: Student Participation and Effectiveness Baenen, Nancy
Lindblad, Mark
Yaman, Kimberly

71 View Abstract

The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) is the major initiative that the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is using to help all students reach grade level performance in reading and math. In 2000-01, ALP's second year of implementation, the program expanded from grades 3-8 to K-12. This report focuses on student participation rates and the impact of the ALP program.

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November 2001 The Effectiveness of the Wake Summerbridge Summer Enrichment Program Baenen, Nancy
Harlow, Kristin2

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Wake Summerbridge is an enrichment program that has supported selected WCPSS middle school students for a number of years. This evaluation compared subsequent academic performance, suspensions and dropout rates of students who had participated in the program with a comparison group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in the program. The main positive finding was that dropout rates were much lower for Summerbridge students than for the comparison group (1% versus 13%). Achievement scores and grade point averages showed a slight but consistent advantage in absolute terms for Summerbridge students over the comparison group. The differences were not statistically significant, although they may have some educational significance. The percentage of students receiving F's and suspension rates actually favored the comparison group. However, the higher dropout rate among comparison students may account for the lower number of F's earned by this group. Some cautions must be kept in mind when interpreting these findings. Sample sizes were relatively small which makes statistical significance more difficult to detect (about 80 per group). Groups could differ in ways that could not be determined from school system data files (e.g., attitude toward school, rigor of course selections, middle versus higher income status). Given the results, the cost of providing the service should also be considered in decisions about future funding.

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July 2001 Structure of Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) Efforts 2000-01 Baenen, Nancy
Yaman, Kimberly

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This report focuses on the structure of instructional assistance available through ALP to students who show low achievement. Information is also provided on other programs available to these students. For many years, WCPSS has had instructional support available through a variety of grant-funded programs to students with special needs. However, student needs could not be fully met through these original resources. To help accomplish goal 2003 (for 95% of students to score proficient on EOG tests), local dollars were allocated for supplemental instructional support.

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May 2001 Wake County Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Year Two - Mid-Year Performance Report October 1, 2000 - March 31, 2001 Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Evidence exists of positive progress toward meeting interim benchmarks as the project works toward achieving its major goals. In almost all instances where concerns were noted, appropriate corrective actions are in place or in process. SS/HS staff, partners and contacts meet regularly as appropriate to review progress and receive project updates.

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January 2001 1999-2000 WCPSS Grades K-5 Literacy and Mathematics Assessment Results Speas, Carol

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More kindergarten students in 2000 (37%) than in 1999 (29%) were beyond the early emergent/emergent reading stage by the end of the year. Nonetheless, almost one-fourth of both kindergarten and first-grade students, and one-third of second-grade students, were identified as needing extra reading support at the next grade level because they were behind the majority of students in the acquisition of reading skills. In contrast, fewer grade 2 students (18%) and grade 3 students (9%) were identified as needing extra support in writing. As for mathematics performance, slightly fewer kindergarten students in 2000 (11%) than in 1999 (12%) remained at the pre-emergent stage of mathematics development and were identified as needing extra support in the next school year. However, the percent of grades 1-5 students demonstrating proficiency in none of the mathematics strands or in only one of the four strands ranged from 13% at first grade to 22% at grades 3-5.

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January 2000 Building Successful Teacher Use of Computers in the Classroom Reichstetter, Rosemary

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Middle school teachers in the Wake County Public School System use computers more as their level of training increases, especially when that training addresses their specific subject areas*. More frequent use is also related to specific training components delivered by the instructor (presentation of theory, demonstrations/modeling of use, coaching/feedback regarding use, and practice) and to the availability of ongoing support. The study concluded that technology training, addressing teaching areas (e.g., language arts, mathematics, sciences, etc.), and the delivery of specific training components combine to be the best predictor of subsequent computer use by teachers. The study further concluded that technology training was related to frequency of classroom instructional use in nine of eleven types of computer technology (e.g., word processing, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing). Of overall interest is that approximately one-third (31%) of the teacher respondents reported no computer use in their lessons at all and many reported no computer use in specific computer technology types.

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January 2000 Impact of Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) and Other Assistance 1999-2000 Baenen, Nancy
Lloyd, Wanda

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ALP and other assistance appeared to have some positive impact on achievement, primarily at the elementary level.

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