UDL Journey Guide: Updated

The UDL Journey Guide provides support for district leaders and teams through four stages of implementing UDL, with connections to state and national support along the way. This guide has been developed with the help of CAST and is based on CAST’s School Implementation Certification Criteria (UDL-SICC).

As part of this work, we partnered with Texthelp to create informational videos and curated resources along the various “on-ramps” to Universal Design for Learning. These tools can support your learning and become part of your communication toolkit.

If you have any questions please email the Journey Guide team @ [email protected].

NEW: Learning Acceleration System Grant Resources

Just released for CA educators! High-quality professional learning resources for strong & rapid acceleration in math, literacy & language development with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Diego County Office of Education, and Lake County Office of Education.

To learn more, please visit the Learning Acceleration System Grant website or contact Stacey Wedin ([email protected]).

FAQs on Eligibility for Assistance under California’s Accountability System

Under California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), County Offices of Education, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, and the California Department of Education have specific responsibilities within the Statewide System of Support to assist local educational agencies. Along with staff from the State Board of Education, a series of frequently asked questions were identified to help ensure a consistent and responsive approach to support local educational agencies identified needs.

    CCEE Connection (January 2023)

    News & Announcements
    January Resources
    • Microlearning Modules – Designed to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff, these short 5-8 minute videos share immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools. Microlearning modules are also supplemented with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other materials and resources.
    • UDL Journey Guide – This digital travel companion guides district leaders and teams through four stages of implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), with connections to state and national supports along the way.
    • Dashboard Communications Toolkit – This toolkit provides materials to support LEAs with sharing the 2022 California School Dashboard data to parents, community members, and educators, along with additional resources for analyzing Dashboard data.

    About the I3 Center

    The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center implements a statewide approach to improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting practices that have demonstrated the power to improve outcomes for students.

    About the CCEE

    The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

    Executive Director’s Corner

    By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

    Headshot of Matt Navo

    CCEE uses data to improve and deliver its statutory and improvement obligations across the state. The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is the backbone of data for CCEE. They support the agency in analyzing the organization’s effectiveness and in identifying “bright spots” in the state that other local educational agencies (LEAs) can learn from.

    Under the leadership of Deputy Executive Director Sujie Shin, the goal of the I3 Center is to support the work of the CCEE, collaborate with state lead agencies, and use data to improve. This month’s newsletter highlights ways you can work with the I3 Center and other LEAs on various improvement initiatives related to improving outcomes for students through the use of data in your organization.

    Measuring the Effectiveness of California’s Professional Learning Initiatives

    By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis, CCEE

    During the 2021-2022 budget cycle, the state invested $75 million across three grant programs to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. Through the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill of the 2021 State Budget Act, CCEE is working with our partners at the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to support the county offices of education that have been selected as program leads for these grants to develop professional learning opportunities for learning acceleration, literacy, and open educational resources. The four-year $50 million Learning Acceleration System Grant Program will be led by Lake, San Diego, and Santa Clara County Offices of Education; the four-year $10 million Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant Program will be led by Contra Costa Office of Education; and the two-year $15 million High-Quality Online Instructional Materials Initiative will be led by Kern County Superintendent of Schools. 

    In addition, evaluation leads have also been selected to lead rigorous program evaluations to determine the effectiveness of these professional learning initiatives. Education Northwest and Social Policy Research Associates will lead the evaluation of the Learning Acceleration System Grant, while the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will evaluate the Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant Program, and WestEd will evaluate the High-Quality Online Instructional Materials Initiative. 

    An important component of these program evaluations is the connection of these professional learning initiatives to supporting system transformation, improving tiered supports, and measuring impact. To support larger statewide coherence, CCEE, CDE, and SBE are coordinating the work of these evaluation teams to develop a common set of data metrics across evaluations and to support alignment not only across these evaluations and other related programs, but also within the System of Support. These evaluation teams are convening on a recurring basis with the CCEE, CDE, SBE, representatives of the Statewide System of Support, designated county offices of education, and other selected partners in support of this coherence effort.

    The first gathering was a “data boot camp” in July to support the evaluation teams with the data and resources available to them as they launched their evaluation projects. The second gathering in August brought in program evaluation teams conducting ongoing statewide system evaluations to share their lessons learned to the new evaluation teams. Moving forward, these convenings will occur on a bi-annual basis and the objective of these convenings will be to discuss data collection, analyses, interim results, and implications for ongoing development. The goal of this work on coherence and alignment is to uncover the evidence-based practices that promote educator professional development and ultimately support transforming education for all students in California. 

    Balancing Data and Assessment Systems to Accelerate Learning

    By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE

    Headshot of Ingrid Roberson

    The Center for Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) is excited to announce the I3 Data Research Learning Network (DRLN). The I3 DRLN brings together select districts and counties to innovate around data and assessments, focusing on one of two areas: Balanced Assessment Systems or Balanced Data Systems. To promote deeper learning, districts conduct a Balanced Assessment System review, ensuring that supportive policies, programs and practices are in place for formative assessment practices that promote student agency in the classroom. For more Balanced Data Systems, districts assess their current data systems through an equity lens, identifying opportunities for innovation. Districts can also capitalize on the latest data visualization technology for continuous improvement and community engagement.   

    The I3 DRLN is a timely opportunity, especially for small to mid-size districts and counties, to leverage their data and assessment systems (and investments) to accelerate learning. According to Hilary Kjaer, Director of Teaching and Learning at one of the selected districts, “Rincon Valley Union School District is excited to embark on this journey with the I3 DRLN team! As we strive to develop a strategic plan for accelerating student learning, we know this is the perfect collaborative partnership.” The DRLN is a three-phase initiative with the Planning Phase starting in January 2023 and running through June 2023. To learn more about this innovative initiative, please see the I3 DRLN website which will be updated throughout the year.

    Why Universal Design for Learning?

    By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development, CCEE

    Headshot of James McKenna

    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the bedrock of best first instruction; it’s in every state curriculum framework and is the only framework required by the Every Student Succeeds Act. However, that’s not necessarily a compelling argument to engage educators to begin their implementation of UDL. They’re working hard as it is, and no one has time for “one more thing”. 

    Except UDL isn’t one more thing. It’s a way to better achieve the things educators are already working hard to do — support language acquisition, engage students socially and emotionally, implement multi-tiered systems of support, and more. 

    That’s why CCEE has partnered to develop the “Why UDL?” series of videos — to connect UDL to the work that people are already doing and to show how UDL can help them in those efforts. Working with our friends at TextHelp, we’ve recruited state and national experts to engage in conversations and presentations to better communicate how UDL connects to a variety of key initiatives. Housed on the Why UDL page of the UDL Journey Guide, these videos serve as learning opportunities for leaders and teams seeking to implement UDL who can then leverage them as part of their communications and stakeholder engagement efforts. 

    CCEE is tremendously grateful for the collaboration provided by TextHelp and our speakers, all of whom volunteered their time and contributions to be able to offer these resources to educators across the state at no cost. 

    UDL and…Speaker(s)
    Blended LearningDr. Catlin Tucker, author, educator, and expert in blended learning
    CA MTSSRhonda Marriot-Spencer, CA SUMS and Orange County Department of Education
    Equity and AntiracismAndratesha Fritzgerald, author, educator, and expert in UDL, equity, and antiracism;
    David Toston, Senior Advisor of Equity and Innovation, CCEE
    Expert LearningDr. James McKenna, Assistant Director, CCEE and expert in Universal Design for Learning 
    Language LearnersDr. Soomin Chao, Multilingual Academic Support;
    Elise Yerkey, Inclusive Design, from the Los Angeles County Office of Education
    Social Emotional Learning (SEL)Lisa Bosio, expert and consultant at Novak Education
    Special EducationHeather Calomese, Director of Special Education, CA Dept of Education;
    Kevin Schaefer, Director of Equity and Inclusive Practices, Supporting Inclusive Practices;
    Mindy Fattig, Senior Advisor of System of Support, CCEE

    Amplifying Innovative Practices Through District Spotlights

    By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects, CCEE

    Headshot of Dorcas Kong

    The Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center is excited to soon be launching what we’re calling the Spotlights Project. Aligned with the goal of the I3 Center, the Spotlights aim to curate stories that identify and amplify emerging practices from school and district teams to collaboratively provide students in California with what they need to thrive. 

    In the coming weeks, the I3 Center will be publishing Spotlights on different local educational agencies (LEAs) that have implemented innovative and inclusive practices to improve 1) student academic outcomes; 2) student/family engagement and well-being; 3) staff and community supports; or 4) systems, policies, and governance. The Spotlights will shine a light on not only the successes, but also the challenges, pitfalls, and lessons learned to serve as blueprints for other LEAs facing similar issues. Although LEAs across California vary in size and demographics, we hope these documented success stories can pave a way for LEAs to become learning organizations — absorbing the lessons learned, leveraging those perspectives to create accessible points of conversation, and generating ideas around other innovative pathways to replicate some of these successes across the state.

    A Reflection by CCEE Executive Director, Matt J. Navo

    CCEE Major Impact Projects


    As I reflect on the end of my first year with the CCEE, I am reminded of just how much education has been impacted over the last 3 years. How CCEE best supports Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) (inclusive of charter schools) has often been a challenge for our organization given the magnitude of already developed resources, tools, services and supports. However, with the work of integral partners there are three CCEE resources and tools that standout as helpful to LEAs as we execute our role in the Statewide System of Support for advice and assisting LEAs in accomplishing their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

    The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) website developed with the CEI Agency partners has provided incredible resources to the field for engaging with the community to form authentic relationships between districts and the community.

    In the 2022 Legislative Budget Act, CEI was provided with 100 million dollars to leverage the their work for transformational school investments and authentic pupil, family, community, and educator engagement. This includes, but is not limited to, Local Control and Accountability Plans, Expanded Learning Opportunity Programs, and California Community School Partnership Act grants. CEI has a network of over 40 LEAs (including charters) who with the collaboration of Lead Agency Partners, regularly engage one another in identifying effective models of community engagement, developing metrics, having challenging conversations, and building trusting relationships.

    Our Innovation, Instruction and Impact (I3) Center developed the Playbook for Accelerated Learning (PAL). This tool was developed in collaboration with State Board and expert partners to provide guidance to LEAs for how to think about and provide professional development to accelerate student learning.

    The CCEE also developed the Basic Levers Tool 1.0 (2.0 is in progress now) that will help LEAs think about and design systems for improving outcomes for Students with Disabilities (SWD).
    We continue to evolve and expand our resources and tools that LEAs can utilize to help accomplish the goals within their Local Control Accountability Plans. Visit our CCEE website here (https://ccee-ca.org/).


    CCEE Connection (November 2022)

    News & Announcements

    Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading)

    Project CLEAR is a Learning Acceleration System grantee funded through the CCEE to build capacity within districts across California to implement and support literacy development. These evidence-based approaches to accelerated learning enable students to make strong and rapid progress in reading and writing.

    Project CLEAR is looking for schools, districts, and educators interested in benefiting from this grant-funded professional learning opportunity to launch a new cohort of Teacher Leaders in January! Through this two-year program, participants will become Teacher Leaders who can train and coach teachers to implement comprehensive literacy strategies in schools and K-12 interventions for students who have reading, writing, and language-based needs. These Teacher Leaders can expand availability and access to literacy acceleration, prevention, and intervention for diverse students in their district or school, including students who are English learners, students in dual language programs, and students with disabilities, including those with dyslexia and/or phonological processing issues. Learn more on Project CLEAR’s website.

    Project CLEAR Flyer (English) 

    Resumen de Proyecto CLEAR  (Spanish/Español ) 

    The 21st Century California School Leadership Academy (21CSLA)

    21CSLA provides high quality, equity-centered professional learning for educational leaders of schools and districts in California that receive Title II funds. Programs are no-cost to participants and include leadership coaching, as well as an emphasis on improving instruction and achievement outcomes (including through distance learning) for English Learners, students with disabilities, low income students, and other historically marginalized students.

    Looking Ahead

    California Dyslexia Initiative Expert Webinar Series

    Do you want to better understand how to support struggling readers and students with dyslexia in your school?

    Join Sacramento COE and Glean Education to earn more about identifying risk factors, setting up effective MTSS/RTI school systems to prevent reading difficulties, and delivering research-based instruction to support and remediate struggling learners and students with dyslexia.

    Independent Study Professional Learning Network (ISPLN)

    CCEE facilitates monthly sessions where Independent Study Professional Learning Network (ISPLN) participants learn strategies, structures, practices, policies, and procedures that districts have adopted to effectively engage their local communities in support of improving student outcomes. Our next meeting on February 6th will cover assigning quality and rigorous coursework in Independent Study. Please contact Gonzalo Avila at [email protected] for more information. 

    • Register for our next meeting on February 6, 2023. 

    California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration

    Through the California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA), one of three CCEE Learning Acceleration System grantees, the SCCOE and its partners are building an evidence-based professional learning model for educators that can support learning acceleration, particularly in mathematics, literacy, and language development. Accelerated learning strategies are those designated to meet pupils where they are in their learning which will enable them to make strong rapid progress in their mastery of knowledge and skills. These strategies may include individual or small group tutoring or whole class instruction using well-grounded methods with scaffolds and differentiation that meet pupils’ specific needs. This year, CCLA aims to put asynchronous content and resources in the hands of educators across the state, as well as offer opportunities to work in-person in schools and/or districts. Coming soon in January 2023, FREE asynchronous courses for learning acceleration in targeted math, literacy and language development areas that infuse critical elements of Universal Design for Learning, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, and Social-Emotional Learning will be available to all educators.

    In Case You Missed It

    System of Support Updates (November 2022)

    November Resources

    November – Native American Heritage Month

    November 8 – National STEM/STEAM Day

    November 12-20 – National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week

    November 13 – World Kindness Day

    November 16 – International Day for Tolerance

    Executive Director’s Corner
    Why Continuous Improvement is so Vital for School Transformation

    By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

    Headshot of Matt Navo

    Educators use many acronyms to describe their work. The field of acronyms is long and at times educators can seemingly sound like they are speaking another language to those not so familiar.  However, when it comes to Continuous Improvement (CI), this is one “buzzword” that everyone needs to understand.

    CI is the basic act of “getting better at getting better” with whatever endeavor you are trying to improve. It is about looking at results compared to what you hoped to achieve, reflecting on those results, and making adjustments. The act of CI leads to school transformation because it puts those closest to the work impacting the direction. When you have those closest to the work doing the work of CI, the chances of improved outcomes and school transformation greatly improve.

    This newsletter put together by our Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC) will share the importance of CI when it comes to improving outcomes for students and transforming schools.

    The Art of Practicing Gratitude within Continuous Improvement

    By Dr. Stephanie Gregson, Deputy Executive Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center

    Headshot of Dr. Stephanie Gregson

    As our Executive Director pointed out in his article, the foundation of continuous improvement is the act of “getting better at getting better,” and for schools, this is directly related to school transformation and compassionate systems change.  One element I would like to remind us all of is how we are practicing gratitude within the continuous improvement work. We know from our learned and lived experiences that school transformation happens when those closest to the work are engaging in the act of continuous improvement, but how often are we practicing gratitude for all our colleagues engaged in this work? How does practicing gratitude positively impact our work?  

    The research on gratitude spans over centuries, and even the definition of gratitude has morphed over time based on the research. Gratitude is a multilayered concept but is a fundamental attribute of human beings and a potential key to human flourishing.  As we participate in authentic continuous improvement, practicing gratitude with each other contributes to the shaping of our collective being and helps us all get better (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

    Reflecting on your actions, behaviors, decisions, and presence within the work is not easy, in fact, it is exhausting. However, it is the work we all need to engage in if we are to truly approach school transformation in a compassionate way.

    I would like to share our gratitude and appreciation for colleagues across the state serving students who are looking within themselves, reflecting on their actions, behaviors, and presence to be able to show up as their most authentic selves for students. When we, as adults, model gratitude and compassion, our students benefit from an environment that helps them thrive, to be their best selves.  

    As you engage in the act of continuous improvement, take the opportunity to also practice gratitude by acknowledging the hard work you and your team are participating in on behalf of yourself and our students. 


    Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough, eds. The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, 2004.

    The What and Whys of CI

    By Dr. Jennie Wright, Senior Manager of the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center

    Headshot of Dr. Jennie Wright

    Continuous improvement (CI) has been around for a while and is an ingrained practice in fields such as healthcare, manufacturing, and technology (Best & Dunlap, 2014). It is a relatively new approach in the field of education. The term continuous improvement has been building steam in education circles over the last decade, however the robust implementation of improvement practices across the field has lagged (Park, et.al., 2013). Continuous improvement is a process that uses quantitative and qualitative evidence through disciplined inquiry to improve systems’ efficacy and outcomes for the end user, in the case of the field of education, that is students. 

    While continuous improvement continues to be a buzz word across the field of education, it’s important to highlight why that is and why engaging in continuous improvement is an integral practice. Improvement has long been a goal for educators and the focus of those conversations is largely focused on improving the end product, student outcomes. However, how we achieve those outcomes and the collective work done to improve the system for long-term success is equally as important. Continuous improvement provides a process that breaks down improvement into smaller, more manageable pieces as we deconstruct the system and consider change ideas in shorter, smaller increments. On the heels of a global pandemic, and mounting evidence of an even greater need for improvement, now is the time to adopt continuous improvement practices that provide educators with a framework and roadmap for providing better learning experiences and outcomes for the students across the system.


    Park, S., Hironaka, S., Carver, P., & Nordstrum, L. (2013). Continuous improvement in education. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/carnegie-foundation_continuous-improvement_2013.05.pdf.

    Best, J. and Dunlap, A. (2014). Continuous improvement in schools and districts: Policy considerations. McRel International. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED557599.pdf.

    Using Continuous Improvement Cycles to Support Coherence

    By Dr. Susan Tandberg, CCEE Professional Expert

    Headshot of Dr. Susan Tandberg

    Coherence is defined by Fullan and Quinn (2016) as the “shared depth of understanding about the purpose and nature of the work” (p 1). The purpose and nature of the work is outlined in the four components or “right drivers”: focusing direction, cultivating collaborative cultures, deepening learning, and securing accountability. In service of these drivers is the work of continuous improvement cycles of inquiry.

    “Continuous improvement is a disciplined and ongoing approach to improving processes and systems that produce positive outcomes for students. It provides a structure for educators to identify problems; design interventions specific to those problems; test interventions in context; and evaluate effectiveness before scaling up the intervention.” (Myung, et al. 2020). 

    Given this definition, we can see how the process of continuous improvement is one tool to support the acquisition of coherence in a system. Both are ongoing processes with a results orientation. Additionally, they are both grounded in the identification of a small number of clear targeted goals and strategies for attainment of those goals. The process for establishing learning goals and gaining agreement on pedagogical practices are grounded in intentional collaborative work resulting in increased collective efficacy. Finally, accountability is secured through the establishment of benchmark progress and relentless reflection on process and results. Achieving coherence in a system requires ongoing implementation and monitoring of the “right drivers.” Using the cycle of continuous improvement is a process for helping schools keep focused on the “right drivers” resulting in increased student outcomes. 


    Fullan, M., & Quinn, J. (2016). Coherence: The right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Ca. 

    Myung, J., Krausen, K., Kimner, H. Donahue, C. (2020). Continuous Improvement in Schools in the Covid-19 Context. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/continuous-improvement-schools-covid-19-context.

    Continuous Improvement Resources:

    Developing Aim Statements Worksheet: As teams begin to engage in continuous improvement they must answer what are they trying to accomplish. This work can help the teams write a statement that answers this question and creates clear and specific plans for the improvement work ahead.

    PDSA in Everyday: This video explains the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle (PDSA) and how we implement PDSA cycles in our day to day.

    PDSA Cycle Form: This form can be utilized for PDSA in everyday life by teams to plan their Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles.

    About the Teaching, Learning & Leading Center (TLLC)

    Our TLLC team works in alliance with educators to improve teaching, learning, and leadership so every student is inspired and prepared to thrive as their best self.

    Meet our TLLC Team Members!

    Jennie is a valued member on our TLLC team! Read more on her below.

    Headshot of Dr. Jennie Wright
    Jennie Wright, Ed.D.
    Senior Manager
    Teaching, Learning & Leading Center

    Jennie partners with and supports district and county office teams using quality improvement practices to positively impact instructional practices and educational outcomes and experiences for students. Internally, she collaborates with members of the TLLC team to engage in continuous improvement around the Direct Technical Assistance process. She also collaborates across CCEE on projects such as chronic absenteeism.

    Fun Fact: Fun Fact: Jennie is an avid hockey fan and has aspirations to visit every NHL stadium across North America (10 down, 22 to go)!

    Click here to meet the rest of the TLLC team

    About the CCEE

    The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

    CCEE Connection (August 2022)

    News & Announcements
    Call to Participate in Professional Learning Opportunity through Project CLEAR

    Project CLEAR, one of three CCEE Learning Acceleration System Grantees, is recruiting educators from across the state interested in becoming a teacher leader with expertise in reading intervention. This grant-funded professional learning opportunity will cover the cost of participation in graduate coursework, including tuition and materials. Please see the fliers linked below for more information about how Project CLEAR can support students in your district.

    Project CLEAR Overview (English) 

    Resumen de Proyecto CLEAR (Spanish/Español)

    Looking Ahead

    2022-2023 Independent Study Professional Learning Network (ISPLN)

    Join CCEE and participating districts for solution-oriented discussions focused on a problem of practice around independent study. The ISPLN meetings will occur at 10:00 am on the first Monday of every month. Please email Gonzalo Avila at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like further information.

    In Case You Missed It

    CCEE’s Playbook for Accelerating Learning (updated!)

    August Resources

    Balloons to Heaven Day – August 6 is Balloons to Heaven Day when we remember the countless lives lost to gun violence.

    International Youth Day – August 12 is International Youth Day, a United Nations holiday to raise awareness to the issues that many children and teenagers around the world, especially those affected by poverty, who can’t get access to an appropriate education.

    Women’s Equality Day – August 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States, a day to commemorate the 19th amendment of the Constitution which, in 1920, gave women the right to vote.

    About the CCEE

    The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is a statewide leader delivering on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.

    Executive Director’s Corner
    Continuous Improvement is Essential to Building Capacity

    By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

    Headshot of Matt Navo

    All educators have something in common: we all want to improve educational outcomes for students. The tools and approaches we use to do that vary amongst educators. However, the one thing we can all agree on is that if we don’t re-evaluate our practices, self-reflect on what is and is not working, and redirect our work, we will never truly improve.  

    The Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC) has been doing just that. The Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) is an essential tool used by the CCEE for providing assistance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for school improvement actions.  

    The TLLC team has been on a quest to assess the impact of the SIR tool, reflect on its effectiveness, and redesign the approach, resources, and design to enhance the tool’s ability to improve educational outcomes for students.

    The TLLC team in this newsletter will be sharing their continuous improvement journey.

    Seizing the Moment
    Redesigning the Direct Technical Assistance Approach

    By Dr. Stephanie Gregson, Deputy Executive Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center

    Headshot of Dr. Stephanie Gregson

    The past few years have been difficult in many ways and has provided the opportunity to reflect on what is important in our personal and professional lives. We have experienced those moments that have allowed us to pause, reflect and see something from a different perspective. Sometimes what we see is not always easy to look at but is necessary to help us move forward and grow. Over the past 10 months, the CCEE Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC) team has experienced many reflective and learning moments in our Direct Technical Assistance work. The TLLC team has engaged in learning and understanding different school improvement frameworks, hearing from our partners about their experiences, and became certified quality improvement coaches through International Health Institute (IHI) Quality Improvement Coaching Certification Program.

    Over the summer, the TLLC Team engaged in a redesign process of the Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) and the Direct Technical Assistance approach grounded in Michael Fullan & Joann Quinn’s Coherence Framework and the IHI quality improvement tools and practices. We will be presenting our redesign to the CCEE Board on September 29th and invite you to tune in and learn more about our journey.

    Our team is here to support and is ready to show up in a way that honors, respects, and values all that a district team has done. We look forward to learning from the district team’s application of their work and amplifying their successes.

    Mt. Diablo Unified School District 

    Dr. Adam Clark, Superintendent, Mt. Diablo Unified School District 

    Jennifer Sachs, Chief of Educational Services, Mt. Diablo Unified School District

    Headshot of Dr. Adam Clarke
    Headshot of Jennifer Sachs

    In 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) began its close relationship with CCEE. With a focus on capacity building for sustainability as a base, the Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) process helped us create a laser-like focus on instruction and continuous improvement. In collaboration with our Contra Costa County Office of Education, and other partner agencies, an action plan was developed focusing on increasing the quality of instruction and improving student outcomes, most specifically for historically underserved student groups. 

    This intense need for coherence and alignment in Mt. Diablo Unified led to the creation of an instructional framework focusing on “simplexity”- to make the District’s instructional initiatives digestible for staff and the community to understand. 

    Mt Diablo’s and CCEE’s work has focused on the capacity building of district and site leaders, instructional equity, increased student improvement, restorative practices, and building relationships with families and community partners. Mt. Diablo Unified is currently partnering with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to enhance our focus on standards-based instruction with an emphasis on learning acceleration and instructional rigor. This partnership includes monthly professional development for site leaders and classroom teachers with educational equity at its core and classroom walk-throughs, strengthening our professional learning networks across our district. The work with CCEE has helped strengthen outreach and collaboration, address inequities across our system – specifically for African American students, students experiencing homelessness, and foster youth – and has built the capacity of district educators at all levels to improve student outcomes.

    Contact MDUSD at:

    Inglewood Unified School District

    Bernadette C. Lucas, Chief Academic Officer, Inglewood Unified School District

    The SIR and CCEE’s support have been vital as Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) implements our Instructional Plan and monitors the goals for student outcomes, experiences, and growth. The SIR and CCEE have supported the IUSD team in narrowing our focus on the teaching and leadership levers that will directly impact our vision for our students. This sounds like a simple concept. When working with a team of dedicated adults who are working to move an organization, this is a complex endeavor. 

    The intensely collaborative work between IUSD and CCEE has led to significant shifts in nurturing a culture of continuous improvement based on specific goals and outcomes. This culture is grounded in internal and external accountability as evidenced in the SIR process. The SIR has translated to our everyday practice. And, that has made all the difference.   

    IUSD has evolved because of the SIR and CCEE. The cycle of continuous improvement and the systematic support are not only embedded in the SIR, but also in the manner in which Educational Services thinks about and conducts its work. These are cultural shifts that have directly translated to our school sites and classrooms.  Critical to this cultural shift is the constant, relentless centering of student data and student work as the clear pathway to advancing student growth and achievement. The centering of data is causing the observable transition from external accountability to internal accountability.  

    Two critical changes (of many) that have resulted directly from our work with CCEE are: 

    1. a documented IUSD Instructional Plan with year-long aligned professional development and,
    1. a collaborative three-five MTSS Plan that is being developed and implemented in alignment with our Strategic Plan and Instructional Plan.  

    Words cannot express the impact of the relationship between IUSD and CCEE on our brilliant students. CCEE has been a vital partner in our pursuit of equity and liberation for our students as we deliver on our promise to them. 

    Contact Bernadette Lucas at:

    About the Teaching, Learning, & Leading Center (TLLC)

    Our TLLC team works in alliance with educators to improve teaching, learning, and leadership so every student is inspired and prepared to thrive as their best self.

    Meet our TLLC Team Members!

    Franchesca and Sandra are valued members on our TLLC team! Read more on them below.

    Headshot of Franchesca Sonoyama
    Franchesca Sonoyama
    Program Specialist
    Teaching, Learning & Leading Center

    Franchesca provides programmatic and team support including process improvement, material development, and project management within TLLC. Franchesca supports the implementation of the Systemic Instructional Review (SIR).

    Fun Fact: Franchesca is a legit soprano, and cheese and chocolate connoisseur! Favorites: Black truffle cheddar and a 72% dark chocolate from Ecuador.

    Headshot of Sandra Brandt
    Sandra Brandt
    Administrative Assistant II
    Teaching, Learning & Leading Center

    Sandra recently joined the CCEE team as Administrative Assistant II in the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center. She supports Deputy Executive Director Stephanie Gregson and works closely with the LAS Grant team assisting with administrative support.

    Fun Fact: Sandra loves to travel and is saving up for another trip to Spain. 

    Click here to meet the rest of the TLLC team

    CCEE Connection (June 2022)

    The June newsletter is brought to you by CCEE’s Center for Transformative Systems for Equitable Educational Outcomes. This month highlights the work going on around providing clarity and coherence to the Statewide System of Support, a collaboration with the Santa Clara County Office of Education on UPK, as well as a highlight of the work the Lancaster School District is doing in partnership with CCEE and the CDE around its Early Literacy Support Block (ELSB) and Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grants.




    News & Events, Reports & Publications


    Board, Other, Parent, Site Administrator / Instructional Coach, Systems Leadership


    Family and Community Engagement, Special Education