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Published Document Title Authors Pages Abstract
May 2017 Teacher Leader Corps (TLC) Final Report: 2013-14 through 2015-16 Baenen, Nancy
Simmons, Brandon

89 View Abstract

The Teacher Leaders Corps had many strengths and was fairly successful in reaching its implementation and short-term goals. Central training quality was considered strong and attendance rates were high (especially in Years 1 and 2). Of those who began the TLC work in 2013-14, approximately 60% participated all three years. At the school level, about half of the intended dissemination events took place. Professional learning sessions emphasized use of various digital resources. Discovery Education resources were available to all schools and provided evidence that online resources were utilized by teachers and students. DE utilization was higher in Year 1 than in Year 2 or 3; and teachers utilized DE more than students. Decreased use of DE after Year 1 could reflect less interest or an increase in digital resources available to schools. TLC members utilized technology appropriately and in a variety of ways based on classroom observations. The school team model utilized in TLC provided a better opportunity for sustaining the effort than training sessions with no follow-up. Ways to further increase the likelihood of implementation, impact, and sustainability in schools include putting structures in place at the central and school level to facilitate and monitor teacher implementation and to provide more coaching for teachers.

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

30 View Abstract

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

30 View Abstract

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

20 View Abstract

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

30 View Abstract

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

20 View Abstract

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

20 View Abstract

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

38 View Abstract

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

38 View Abstract

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

94 View Abstract

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

39 View Abstract

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

21 View Abstract

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

36 View Abstract

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

68 View Abstract

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

122 View Abstract

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

76 View Abstract

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

46 View Abstract

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 Effective Teaching Practices Haynie, Glenda

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This paper reports the overall findings of research on effective teaching practices in Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS). It is a cross-case analysis of five earlier studies (Biology, Algebra I, U.S. History, middle school Algebra I, and English I). Despite subject implementation differences, four common themes were found: high academic expectations for all students, thoughtful management of time and materials, learning-centered classrooms, and proactive planning.

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June 2010 Evaluation of Central Services Professional Learning Teams as of Spring 2010 Baenen, Nancy
Jackl, Andrew

35 View Abstract

The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) board policy states that central services staff are to support school implementation of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and to participate in PLTs at the central level. Central staff support school efforts in a variety of ways, and over 85% of principals at each level reported this support was adequate. Participation in PLTs among central staff respondents was high for those in administrative (86%) and professional and technical roles (76%), but lower for support staff (37%). High percentages of central administrators, professionals, and technical staff had positive views about PLT implementation and impact. Responses for those in administrative roles were almost always more positive in spring 2010 than in previous surveys. High percentages of administrators and professional/technical staff believe PLTs help them perform their job more effectively, along with most support staff (91%, 86%, and 67% respectively).

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

40 View Abstract

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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January 2010 Test Scores and the Standard Error of Measurement Holdzkom, David
McMillen, Brad
Sumner, Brian

3 View Abstract

Test Scores and the Standard Error of Measurement

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

56 View Abstract

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 PLC Survey Results by Years of Experience Baenen, Nancy

13 View Abstract

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

90 View Abstract

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

37 View Abstract

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

13 View Abstract

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

2 View Abstract

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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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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April 2008 WCPSS High School Student Outcomes: 2006-07 Baenen, Nancy

108 View Abstract

Many indicators of performance, persistence, and academic rigor for WCPSS high school students point toward the relative success of WCPSS high school students. Student achievement remains high compared to state and national results, and an increasing number of students are pursuing rigorous AP coursework in high school. The skills and abilities that WCPSS graduates obtain appear to serve them well in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, which is the most common educational destination for WCPSS graduates. However, changing student populations and rising academic standards are challenging the system's ability to sustain and increase academic performance for all students. Gaps in achievement have increased, with higher percentages of minority students and students with academic risk factors at risk of not graduating on time, compared to other groups.

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

21 View Abstract

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 High School Student Outcomes 2005-06 Holdzkom, David
McMillen, Brad

93 View Abstract

Looking across various indicators of performance, persistence, and academic rigor for WCPSS high school students, many indicators point toward the relative success of WCPSS high school students. Student achievement remains high compared to state and national results, and an increasing number of students are pursuing rigorous AP coursework in high school. In addition, the skills and abilities that WCPSS graduates obtain appear to serve them well in the UNC system, which is the most common post-high school educational destination for WCPSS graduates. However, significant challenges remain related to changing student populations and rising academic standards which are challenging the system's ability to sustain and increase academic performance for all students.

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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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July 2006 High School Redesign 2004-05 Reichstetter, Rosemary

51 View Abstract

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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April 2005 Improving Teacher Quality: Progress in Meeting NCLB (Title II-A) Requirements, 2003-04 Speas, Carol

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Overall, WCPSS is on track in meeting NCLB's Title II, Part A requirements for teacher quality and quality of professional development (PD). In 2003-04, all WCPSS teachers met the "highly qualified" standard. All lateral-entry teachers, as well as 89% of Title I-funded paraprofessionals, met new mandates. Further, 85% of Title II, Part A-funded PD activities were more intensive than a single day, up from 20% in 2002-03. District-wide, 75% of core area teachers completed at least one PD activity; 72% participated in "high quality" PD (comparable to a similar-sized NC district). Recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, as well as documenting the provision of high quality training to increasing percentages of teachers, will continue to be challenging.

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February 2005 Block Scheduling Evaluation Baenen, Nancy
Reichstetter, Rosemary

62 View Abstract

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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December 2004 Title V Evaluation Report 2003-04: E&R Section Page, Bethany

9 View Abstract

For the 2003-04 school year, WCPSS applied for and received Title V funding for "education reform and school improvement." WCPSS used funds to support two International Baccalaureate (IB) programs: the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Broughton High School and the Diploma Programme (DP) at Garner Senior High School. Additional funds were used to fund a senior evaluator for school accountability to provide data to inform school improvement and student achievement. The report provides evidence of implementation and outcomes.

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October 2004 Annual Performance Report 2003-2004 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant Penta, Mary

146 View Abstract

The Magnet Schools Assistance Program Annual Performance Report Year 3 (2003-2004) was implemented from September 1, 2003, through August 31, 2004 in the WCPSS. Staff members implemented activities this U.S. Department of Education grant project. They built upon the foundation established in Years 1 and 2 and endeavored to fully accomplish the scope and objectives of the project by the end of Year 3. They sought to reach all performance benchmarks established for Year 3 as well as to make up for any benchmarks not fully achieved in Years 1 and 2. When senior members of the project staff realized that not every objective would be fully completed by the end of Year 3, they requested and received a no-cost extension from the MSAP office for an additional project year (September 1, 2004-August 31, 2005). 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 3 benchmarks for each purpose.

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

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

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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 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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July 2002 Annual Performance Report 2001-2002 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant Penta, Mary

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In 2001-02, WCPSS Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant began implementation for three schools in the project and planned for two others. Schools in their first implementation year were: Joyner Elementary School, Language Explorations Millbrook Elementary School, International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Powell Elementary School ,Visual and Performing Arts Schools in their planning year included Brooks Elementary School ( Museums), and Moore Square Middle School ( Museums). Objective accomplishment as of the end of year 1 is described.

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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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July 2001 Class Size Reduction: A Review of the Literature Scudder, David

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High-quality evaluation research has demonstrated that smaller classes with a heterogeneous student composition can increase academic achievement and close the achievement gap. Research suggests that changes occur in the classroom naturally as a result of smaller size without teachers or students trying to do anything different. With fewer students, teachers understand students better, they use more tailored approaches to individuals, students form closer relationships with classmates and teachers, and the atmosphere becomes more friendly, cohesive, and less regimented. Still, researchers also observe that some changes such as the use of more hands-on activities emerge gradually (perhaps as teachers learn more about what is possible) and that individualization may not always be well done. Evaluation research has been slow to address potentially appropriate staff development training that may enhance the experience of smaller classes. The few existing evaluation studies have not shown benefits from training. At present, there is no agreement on the usefulness of staff development or on a general standard of teacher training appropriate for smaller class sizes.

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July 2000 Annual Performance Report 1999-2000 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant Penta, Mary

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The first purpose of both the new and revised magnet themes is to eliminate minority group isolation and promote broad participation and interaction among diverse groups of students. Year 2 results for this purpose are disappointing. However, results in achieving the other three purposes of the project are very good.

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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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