CCEE Connection (February 2024)

News & Announcements
Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading)

Project CLEAR builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, see Project CLEAR’s webpage on our Learning Acceleration System Grant Website.

Project CLEAR’s Two-Unit Graduate Assessment Course

Project CLEAR now offers a two-unit graduate assessment course for interested teachers and administrators! The grant-funded coursework provides an overview of early literacy assessments in phonics, reading, and writing. The course is also designed to assist district and school leaders to develop, or redesign, a literacy acceleration plan to incorporate into their Local Control and Accountability Plan. For more information about this opportunity, please see Project CLEAR’s webpage.

Interested in Joining CEI?Applications to join the Cohort V of the Community Engagement Initiative opened in mid-January. This peer-led initiative brings together LEAs from every corner of the state to learn together about community engagement strategies and practices that strengthen relationships that affect student outcomes. Interested LEAs can find more information and apply at www.californiaengage.org/joining-cei

In Case You Missed It
Direct Technical Assistance Request for Proposal

CCEE is looking for respondents who can support partner LEAs in implementing State priorities. Further information is included in the Request for Proposal.

Looking AHEAD
California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration – 2024 Summit

Registration is open for the 2024 California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA) Summit! The CCLA Summit is an inclusive hybrid space for educators to gain knowledge and deepen understanding of learning acceleration to reinvigorate classroom instruction to improve student outcomes. Both in-person and virtual participation options are offered.

Please join us on Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm by registering here.

February Resources

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

Our 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.

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

Inspiring Change through Direct Technical Assistance

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

CCEE’s Just Cause to “inspire change” is central to our established purpose as an organization. Our collaborative approach emphasizes the power of partnerships and the collective strength that comes from working together. We leverage improvement science and equity-centered practices such as the Seven Circle Model to build initial and ongoing relationships that will sustain the work moving forward. Through our collaborative efforts in Direct Technical Assistance (DTA), the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC) leverages these practices to inspire change as they work alongside Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in their collaborative improvement journeys. One of the objectives of DTA is to: 

Advise and assist County Offices of Education (COEs) & Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in need of targeted assistance in achieving their LCAP goals by effectively meeting the needs of students historically underserved. 

TLLC, led by Dr. Stephanie Gregson, Deputy Executive Director, is dedicated to addressing the specific needs of LEAs under the umbrella of DTA. Below you will read more about DTA and the various levels of support TLLC provides in efforts to inspire change within the educational system.


What is Direct Technical Assistance?

By Stephanie Gregson, Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Direct Technical Assistance sounds very formal and what you would expect from Education Code. Yet, Direct Technical Assistance, as our team at CCEE views it, is anything but technical – it is very much about learning and understanding together what type of support will lift the efforts in each district eligible for Direct Technical Assistance. The CCEE team approaches Direct Technical Assistance honoring the human work that is part of systems change. Our Direct Technical Assistance handout provides a brief overview of the different types of supports that can be accessed through Direct Technical Assistance but let me provide an example.  

One of the districts we support asked us to review their strategic plan and collaborate on how we can amplify their actions within the strategic plan. One of the first steps after reviewing the district’s strategic plan was to conduct a crosswalk analysis with all the other plans the district was required to develop, including their LCAP. Our team worked with the County Office of Education team and district team to conduct this crosswalk analysis and help identify areas of alignment and detractors. The goal of this collaboration is to ensure focus and intentionality of all district and support actions align with the LCAP and Strategic Plan goals. Once this work is completed, all have a shared understanding of the goals, strengths, and areas of support. This approach provided the opportunity for all to learn and grow together and move forward with coherent intentions.

This is just one example of support provided through Direct Technical Assistance and there will be a few more examples throughout this newsletter. As our Executive Director mentioned, we are here to lift up and inspire change within our educational system. We are here for you.


Bolstering Supports in Partnership 

By Rocio Gonzalez-Frausto, Assistant Director of the Teaching, Learning & Leading Center, CCEE

The CCEE DTA team may engage in a DTA partnership with districts, the County Office of Education, and GEO leads through various modes, as seen in Figure 1. As the modes progress, CCEE’s DTA support is intensified. Regardless of the mode, quality improvement practices are leveraged. In a Cooperative Facilitation partnership, the CCEE works with the district and COE leadership team from design to implementation of a targeted project or to serve as a launch to a District goal with the support of the COE as part of Differentiated Assistance (DA) it provides to the district. 

For example, a district office could be working to implement its goals and initiatives with little consistent success. The CCEE, in this partnership, will leverage the COE Differentiated Assistance to identify the root cause. CCEE will co-facilitate Continuous improvement-driven sessions with the COE and District to support the district leadership in identifying the LCAP and instructional plan(s) alignment and immediate next steps. As part of the identified support, CCEE can provide leadership quality improvement coaching to targeted individuals on the team and serve as a connector to other supports found in the CA Statewide System of Support. The duration of the Cooperative Facilitation partnership will vary but will generally be a year at most. This example is one way a Cooperative Facilitation partnership may manifest between agencies. 

Figure 1: DTA’s Spectrum of Support

Headshot of Rocio Gonzalez-Frausto

Establishing Systemic Coherence through the SIR

By Erik Swanson, Senior Advisor of the Teaching, Learning & Leading Center, CCEE

The Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) is the most intensive level of support provided by CCEE’s Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) to local educational agencies. It involves an in-depth analysis of the district’s instructional systems, aiming to support district leadership in enhancing academic progress and social-emotional growth for every student.

Grounded in Fullan & Quinn’s Coherence Framework and quality improvement principles, the SIR process focuses on providing clear direction, fostering collaborative cultures, deepening learning, and securing accountability. During “Phase 1,” the CCEE collaborates with the LEA and COE teams to understand their specific needs and goals for achieving student success.

For “Phase 2,” various data gathering methods, such as school visits, focus groups, empathy interviews, and instructional crosswalks are employed during the process. This inclusive approach involves educational partners at multiple levels, including students, families, teachers, school site staff, administration, governance members, and district office leadership.

Following thorough data collection and analysis, in “Phase 3,” the CCEE continues to work closely with the LEA and COE to develop and support the implementation and sustainability of improvement strategies. The ultimate goal is to create a comprehensive Pre-K through 12 analysis of the LEA’s instructional systems, encompassing academic and social-emotional aspects, and ensuring the effective implementation of teaching, learning, and leading practices. This collaborative effort is designed to prepare every student to thrive as their best selves.

For more information on the SIR and the Coherence framework, visit the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center’s SIR webpage.


Intensive Assistance Model

Rising from the Margins

Rising From The Margins is a compelling podcast series that explores the transformative journey of California’s economically challenged schools through the lens of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence’s Intensive Assistance Model (IAM) pilot project. You can listen to the podcast now.

Reimagining Education: Insights from the Frontlines of School Transformation

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, will be hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with their questions or concerns related to the topic. 

Join three exceptional school principals and teacher leaders for an inside look at how they are reimagining education at their schools. Through the IAM pilot, these educators have implemented powerful new strategies – centered on teacher collaboration and meeting individual student needs – that are delivering remarkable results.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 from 3-4 PM for an Open Door Session with Madera Unified School District.

Click here to register for this session.

CCEE Connection (January 2024)

News & Announcements
Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “Open Door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state.

Below are archived materials from past Open Door Sessions:

Please check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are three recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

Scaling Student Success, A California Partnership

Districts across California are partnering with Scaling Student Success to develop graduate profiles that more equitably and holistically redefine student success, transforming how they support students in developing the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed to thrive in college, career, and life.

Hope ESD‘s commitment to transparency and data-driven decision-making is empowering students to own their educational journey, nurturing a community of lifelong learners.

Federal Terrace Elementary School participated in CCEE’s Intensive Assistance Model Project, receiving intensive onsite support from Solution Tree to redefine collaboration and transform their Professional Learning Community.


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

Headshot of Matt Navo

Having a statewide view helps our organization better understand what’s working and what’s not working. This is particularly important when it comes to how educational professionals engage best for professional learning. Time and time again, we hear two desires: 1) we want to learn from our peers and 2) we want to see how others are doing “it” – “it” being whatever it is we are trying to learn. This newsletter explores the various learning networks and peer-to-peer learning opportunities being used to support educators’ desires to learn.


Learning Networks: Fostering Collaboration, Including the New I3 Learning Network Resource Hub

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning

On November 15th, the Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) team hosted our first Cross-Network Convening, bringing together 19 districts and counties from across the state who are engaged in our African American Student Success Network, Data Research Learning Network (DRLN), and our newly added Universal Design for Learning Network. The theme for the convening was Street Data: Making Data Meaningful to the Lives of Students, Teachers, & Families.

At the start of the Convening, participants listened to district and county experiences with street data from Dr. Kimberly Hendricks-Brown (Fresno USD) and Fawn Nielsen (Imperial COE). Attendees then had network-specific time to learn more about Street Data in the context of their network learning. For example, in the DRLN, districts and counties conducted a data inventory at the satellite, map, and street data levels for their Innovation Projects. The event culminated in a showcase where each district and county shared their Problems of Practice, highlighting ideas and insights on how street data might enhance progress monitoring and measuring impact.

To foster continued cross-network connections, I3 is excited to launch the I3 Learning Networks Resource Hub. The Hub provides a one-stop shop for resources emerging out of learning network projects from districts and counties representative of the state of California. For example, the Hub includes teacher and student surveys created by the Center for Assessment focused on formative assessment practices that foster student agency from the DRLN’s Rincon Valley Union School District. As one learning network member shared at the convening, “Cross networks are the safety nets we all need when we work to lead,” capturing the supportive spirit of collaboration.


Focusing on African American Student Achievement: Addressing the Growing Gap

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director &
Italo Ciccarelli, Program Specialist

Amidst the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, district leaders are grappling with its disproportionate impact on minority and at-risk student groups, notably exacerbating the pre-existing achievement gap for African American students.

Examining these challenges is the focus of the African American Student Success Network (AASSN), who, in collaboration with the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) is engaging in shared cycles of inquiry to better understand the gaps in access, opportunity, and outcome for African American Students. The participating district and county office teams have come together around a common area of focus, collectively addressing implementation challenges, and distilling and disseminating lessons learned and best practices.

LEA Learning Networks: Recognizing and Amplifying Success

The seven Local Educational Agency (LEA) teams have been testing systems change processes over the past two years to improve learning, achievement, and educational attainment outcomes for Black students. 

By establishing deep trusting relationships with partnering school district, and county office leaders to participate in shared cycles of inquiry, the networks create a platform for collaborative problem-solving centered on a common area of focus. This collaborative approach aims to address specific problems of practices (PoP) in our African American Student achievement and related strategies to improve student outcomes and reduce the achievement gap. For instance, the AASSN participants are actively working on strategies such as improving career and college readiness for Black students in the Central Valley, decreasing the overidentification of African American students in Special Education, enhancing Math CAASPP standards for African American students in the 6th grade, and mitigating the overrepresentation of African American male students receiving non-passing grades in core classes

During this second-year cycle, participants have focused on delving deeper into implementation and data monitoring to study the effects of the proposed strategies and learning from it. Some LEAs already show promising signs of their implemented strategies coming to fruition. For example, Lynwood USD is showing a 17% reduction in Ds and Fs in core classes for male African American students in grades 9 to 12 (2023-24 AASSN Handout) from their baseline in SY 2021-22. The San Diego County Office of Education has seen a promising 19.8% reduction in chronic absenteeism rates among African American/Black students across the four Community Schools Program sites tested (CCEE & San Diego COE, CERA 2023) in the same period. We are excited to continue partnering with our network leaders as they actively contribute to dismantling systemic barriers and fostering a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable educational landscape for African American students.


Inspiring & Realizing a Whole Child Vision Through Graduate Profiles

By Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects

California’s LCFF Priorities/Whole Child Resource Map illustrates how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) priorities align with whole child resources and supports to “ensure that ALL students are healthy, safe, engaged, challenged, and supported.” However, to create comprehensive, integrated systems of support that effectively serve the needs of the whole child, local educational agencies (LEAs) require the partnership and support of the broader educational community. It’s through their collective purpose and responsibility to support students’ learning, development, and well-being that drive the transformative changes needed to better serve its students, families, and communities.

Check out the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI)’s learning module on
Community Partnerships for Systems Change!

LEAs across California are modeling how to meaningfully engage their communities in developing and implementing a graduate profile, also known as a learner portrait, to serve as a locally-defined whole child vision that:

  • redefines student success in a way that promotes equitable student outcomes,
  • cultivates student agency, and
  • prioritizes the skills and competencies to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

By centering the voices of students, families, educators, and community members in the design of what will eventually become the LEA’s guiding compass, the graduate profile becomes a community-driven promise to its students. It begins to serve as the “why” behind decisions to determine what they’re doing and how they’re helping students foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets articulated in the graduate profile — placing students at the center of all their efforts. 

Scaling Student Success has partnered with several California school districts through its Reimagining California Schools Innovation Pilot to develop and operationalize a “unique, locally-developed graduate profile,” guiding them through the journey of moving from “poster to practice”. As these districts embark on their graduate profile journeys to transform student learning, CCEE will be capturing their stories through our LEA Spotlights series, capturing their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned, in hopes of inspiring other LEAs to join the movement in redefining what it means to be a college- or career-ready student in California.

If you are interested in learning more about this work, or would like to share your LEA’s story, please contact Dorcas Kong at [email protected].

CCEE Connection (December 2023)

News & Announcements
Community Engagement Initiative Releases In-Depth Online Training Series

The Community Engagement Initiative has developed a comprehensive online curriculum designed to enhance community engagement in educational settings. These modules cover crucial topics, including:

  • Site Leadership: Strategies for leading with vision and inclusivity.
  • Partnering with Members of the Community: Building effective collaborations for mutual benefit.
  • Parents as Equal Partners: Engaging parents in the educational process, acknowledging their invaluable role.
  • Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP): Understanding and implementing LCAP for better school outcomes.

These asynchronous web modules are available through the CEI’s website at www.californiaengage.org/modules 

FROM THE 21ST CENTURY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (21CSLA) CENTER:

The 21CSLA Center has produced 3 new research briefs. Click on the links below to learn more.

Recruitment for 21CSLA Spring UTK Leadership Certificate courses has started.

Click here to learn more.

Are you currently serving as a principal during the 23’-24’ school year?

Help 21CSLA and the UC Berkeley Leadership Programs learn about your resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

CCEE Statewide system of support directory

We are pleased to announce the launch of the CCEE Statewide System of Support searchable directory. This directory provides contact information for educational partners at the state, regional, county, and local LEA levels for statewide initiatives as well as provides hyperlinks to individual initiative websites for further information and resources. This is the first time all the information will be available in one location ensuring equity and access to the Statewide System of Support in improving outcomes for students throughout California. 

For initiatives that have identified geographic support regions (Geographic Leads, Regional English Learners, EWIG:ELPA) once you click on a certain region/zone/lead, you will find the counties served by that lead at the bottom of the directory. If any information needs to be updated, please utilize the feedback link at the bottom of the directory and we will get the information updated as soon as possible.

Please share the directory throughout your educational networks as together we can leverage the incredible work happening throughout the Statewide System of Support.  We are hopeful that this tool will impact student achievement by providing greater access to the incredible supports and services offered in the SSOS.

In Case You Missed It

Rising from the Margins” Podcast:

Embark on an auditory journey with our inaugural podcast episode, “Rising from the Margins.” This series kicks off by showcasing the remarkable strides taken by Washington Elementary. Episode 1 takes a behind-the-scenes look at Washington Elementary in Madera and the incredible work the school is doing in partnership with CCEE through the Intensive Assistance Model. In Madera, this work is being led by principal Alberto Hernandez and Madera superintendent Todd Lyle. This series is brought to you by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, with additional support from Parsec Education, and produced by Windsong Productions.

Looking AHEAD
California statewide system of support convening

The California Statewide System of Support lead initiatives and grant funded projects will be meeting in person in February in Monterey. This meeting is an opportunity to coordinate, collaborate, and integrate our respective work throughout CA focusing on increasing student outcomes for all our students.For more information about the Statewide System of Support, please visit the CCEE website at https://ccee-ca.org/about-the-system/

Community engagement initiative – APPLICATIONS FOR COHORT V

Applications for CEI’s next cohort of CEI partners opens soon. We invite you to apply to come together, learn, and contribute to the betterment of education through active community engagement. Come join your peers who are transforming relationships in education. Sign up today to be notified when applications open on January 18.

21CSLA RESEARCH-PRACTICE WEBINAR ON SIDELINING BIAS IN SCHOOLS FEBRUARY 1, 2023.

Learn more and register here.

December Resources

Reasons to Celebrate in the month of December:

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

Celebrating and Highlighting Best Practices from the Field

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

We all aspire to enhance education by seeking innovation, simplicity, and value. However, the tendency to admire problems and dilemmas sometimes obscures the opportunities that lie before us. This newsletter serves as an avenue for seizing those opportunities, celebrating innovation, complexity, and value. The Center for Transforming Systems for Equitable Education (TSEE) is dedicated to showcasing exemplary practices from the realm of education, to empower educators to envision transformative possibilities. Our mission is to deliver on California’s promise of a quality, equitable education for every student.


Celebrating and Learning Together

By Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

As we head toward the end of the 2023 year, it is important to take time to reflect and honor our collective work to improve outcomes for children and youth in our state.  Celebrating and learning of the successful endeavors from our partners is critical in supporting our integration of supports and services across districts in the state.  The process of honoring and learning from one another is validating, relevant, and truly supports our goal of being learning organizations and networks. 

On behalf of the Center for Transformative Systems for Equitable Education (TSEE), please accept our tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the people that design, deliver and transform practices that positively impact students.  The efforts and successes in the field demonstrate the Statewide System of Support in action and shed light on strategies that lead to more coherent support from the state level to school sites.


Esparto Unified School District’s Journey to Create a Culture of Excellence: (Building a Graduate Profile with Community and Staff Collaboration as part of a Strategic Design Process)

By Christina Goennier, Superintendent, Esparto Unified School District

Esparto Unified School District (EUSD) believes that creating a well-defined graduate profile will be the cornerstone of our district’s strategic design process. A graduate profile will serve as a roadmap, outlining the knowledge, skills, and dispositions a community aspires to instill in its students. It’s not merely a document but a dynamic vision that shapes a community’s culture and pedagogy. To craft a meaningful and impactful graduate profile, it is essential to involve the broader school community and staff members. In this article, we will explore why and how we worked collaboratively with the community and staff to create a graduate profile as the starting point of our strategic design.

Why EUSD Collaborated?

  • Diverse Perspectives: Creating a graduate profile is not solely an administrative task but an opportunity to harness the collective wisdom and experiences of our entire school community. Involving students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members ensured the profile reflects diverse perspectives and values.
  • Ownership and Buy-In: When everyone has a hand in shaping the graduate profile, EUSD believes all have a sense of ownership and responsibility for its realization. This buy-in creates a more committed and motivated school culture, with everyone working together toward a common goal.
  • Alignment with Community Needs: Collaborating with the community helps ensure that the graduate profile aligns with our community needs and aspirations. It will prepare students to become productive and responsible citizens within the Esparto Unified School District attendance areas and beyond.

How did we Collaborate as a small rural district?

  • Use of Current Committees: EUSD utilized many of the functioning groups both inside and outside of the district to meet regularly to discuss their perspectives and contributions to the graduate profile.
  • Surveys and Community Groups: EUSD conducted surveys and focus groups that exist within the community to gather input from students, parents, and staff members. These tools allowed us to collect data, ideas, and feedback systematically.
  • Clear Communication: Effective communication was key to ensuring that all members of the school community were aware of the process, its purpose, and their role in shaping the graduate profile. Regular updates and feedback mechanisms were established.
  • Data Analysis: We analyzed the data collected from surveys and focus groups to identify common themes and priorities. This provides a solid foundation for drafting the graduate profile.
  • Finalization and Adoption: After incorporating the feedback and making necessary revisions, the graduate profile is going to be finalized. It will be formally adopted by the school board on December 13, 2023.

For EUSD, creating a graduate profile is a crucial starting point for our district’s strategic planning process, as it defines the desired outcomes of education. By involving the community and staff in this endeavor, a culture of shared responsibility, ownership, and collaboration will be cultivated. A well-crafted graduate profile, born out of a collective vision, will guide the district toward educational excellence and prepare our students for success in an ever-evolving world. It’s not just a document; it’s a living testament to the commitment of the entire school community to provide the best possible education for their students.


Resources to improve student outcomes developed by the capital central foothill area consortium (CCFAC)

By Gabrielle Marchini, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Accountability, El Dorado County Office of Education and Graciela García-Torres, Region 3 English Learner Specialist, Sacramento County Office of Education

The Sacramento-Placer Geo Lead Area, also known as the Capital Central Foothill Area Consortium (CCFAC), serves fourteen county offices of education that include Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sierra, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba. The CCFAC has established a huddle structure that provides an opportunity for leaders from across the region to collaborate, share promising practices, and develop resources based on areas of focus. Two of these huddles include the Data Huddle, led by Gabrielle Marchini, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Accountability at the El Dorado County Office of Education, and the English Learner (EL) Huddle, led by Graciela García-Torres, Region 3 English Learner Specialist at the Sacramento County Office of Education. The resources developed by these huddles have been shared extensively at the regional and state level to support county offices of education and local educational agencies.

Data Huddle

The Data Huddle team developed the Data Use Self-Assessment tool and has conducted regional and statewide sessions on the use of this tool. Designed by educators for educators, the Data Use Self-Assessment is a valuable tool to help assess and improve data quality and strengthen data culture in a school or school district. Completion of the Data Use Self-Assessment will help teams identify areas of strength and areas that need attention. Through the use of companion documents, teams will be urged to prioritize next steps and create an action plan for improvement.

The Data Use Self-Assessment (DUSA) focuses on four components:

  1. Systems
  2. Knowledge
  3. Practices
  4. Leadership

Key features of the DUSA include: 

  • It’s a user-friendly tool.
  • The use of a 4-point scale that simplifies completion and avoids the complexity that sometimes occurs with more complicated rubrics.
  • The assessment is flexible and can be used in ways that are more likely to support the purpose of the team.  For example, the team might decide to focus on only one of the four components.
  • The DUSA is offered in both paper-pencil and online formats.
  • The DUSA produces actionable results that are developed as a team identifies areas of strength and areas in need of attention.  A user-friendly plan is provided in the DUSA Toolkit to assist a team with planning out next steps. 
  • The DUSA is free!

A sample of a portion of the component on Practices: The Data Use Self-Assessment Toolkit can be found at http://www.dusatoolkit.org. In addition to a complete set of tools and resources around the toolkit, two online training sessions can be accessed on the website: 1) An Introductory Webinar with basic information about the tool and a 2) Train the Facilitators Session to support implementation of the toolkit.

Feedback from users:

“I wasn’t even aware that we should have goals around data.” (From a District Leader)

“The DUSA is a platform that will create a throughline for all DA processes.” (From Imperial County Leadership)

For more information, please contact Gabrielle Marchini at the El Dorado County Office of Education at [email protected]

English Learner (EL) Huddle

The English Learner (EL) Huddle is a team of regional leaders focused on supporting programs and services for English learners. The EL Huddle works to identify the needs of English learners, multilingual students, and staff, and implement research-based strategies to meet the needs of EL students. In addition, the EL Huddle participates in activities and discussions to further refine practices and procedures that guide teams in improving outcomes for Multilingual-English learners. The EL Huddle identified supporting English learners with disabilities as an area of improvement.

In the CCFAC, 96,771 students are identified as English learners. Of those represented, 15,435 students are also identified with a specific learning disability. In four of the fourteen counties in the CCFAC, the percentage of dually identified students is above 20 percent.  Members of the EL Huddle embarked on a journey to utilize Improvement Science tools to identify a specific problem of practice and develop a change idea. Through careful analysis of data, empathy interviews, and a continuous improvement mindset, the team developed a process map which allows users to follow the steps to reclassify dually identified students with mild and moderate disabilities. The team consulted with several divisions from the California Department of Education (CDE) expert groups from the System of Support, such as the Regional English Learner Specialists (RELS) and Imperial County SELPA, to review the process map before launching. The empathy interviews with local education agencies were conducted to finalize the process. The process map includes tools that offer the careful analysis and guidance needed to exit students from English learner classification.

The process map creates a pathway that allows for timely reclassification and complements what the Imperial County SELPA currently offers. The team developed a graphic representation of the developmental process and process map. Since the initial launching of the Reclassification Process for Dually Identified Students with a Mild or Moderate Disability, more than 1,500 educators have accessed the process map virtually. CCFAC has conducted three in-person sessions and one virtual statewide level offering, with more than 400 in attendance. The Huddle’s next steps include recording a workshop and developing a professional learning module that demonstrates the collaboration between English learner and Special Education experts, as they utilize the process map. In the next few months, huddle members will work with local districts, who elected to use the process map, to continue to improve reclassification rates of dually identified students. For more information, please contact Graciela García-Torres at the Sacramento County Office of Education at [email protected].


CCEE Connection (November 2023)

News & Announcements
Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading)

Project CLEAR builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, see Project CLEAR’s webpage on our Learning Acceleration System Grant Website.

Project CLEAR’s Two-Unit Graduate Assessment Course

The two-unit graduate assessment course provides an overview of early literacy assessments in phonics, reading, and writing. For those who are considering the Teacher Leader or Teacher pathways, this course would offer an introduction to the opportunities sponsored by Project CLEAR, along with allowing time for district and school leaders to develop, or redesign, a literacy acceleration plan to incorporate into their Local Control and Accountability Plan.

California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration – Math and Literacy Communities of Practice (CoPs)

The California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA) in partnership with the CCEE and six County Offices of Education (COE) will be creating an inclusive space for collaboration and learning for educators across the state through a Community of Practice (CoP). 

You can find more information using the flyers below: 

Literacy

Mathematics

In Case You Missed It

Direct Technical Assistance Request for Proposal

CCEE is looking for respondents who can support partner LEAs in implementing State priorities. Further information is included in the Request for Proposal.

Universal PreK Resources

Looking AHEAD
Winter/Spring 2024 Courses Toward the  21CSLA UTK Leadership Certificate 

The next no-cost, university credit-bearing course toward the UTK Leadership Certificate will be Equity Centered Leadership Practices to Support, Integrate, and Align Transitional Kindergarten (TK).

This course will investigate and understand the instructional leadership practices related to preschool through third grade (P–3) education, including how to develop and enact a PK–3 vision, align and integrate Universal Transitional Kindergarten into the CA educational system, and implement strategies to build professional capacity through a culture of continuous improvement. With a focus on issues of educational inequality, course content and assignments will focus on ameliorating and improving public education with a P–3 focus.

For more information or to enroll, visit: https://21cslacenter.berkeley.edu/utk-leadership-certificate Questions? Email us at [email protected]

California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration Summit

Save the Date for the CCLA 2023-2024 Summit! This year’s theme is Students First: Every Moment Matters and will feature virtual and in-person options.

Tuesdays @ 2 Webinar Series

Following the adoption of the 2024–25 LCAP template and instructions the CDE will be providing a series of training webinars. For information, please visit the Tuesdays @ 2 Webinar Series web page.

November Resources
About the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC)

Our 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.

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

How Do We Fix Schools?

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

This is a question that has plagued educational practitioners and policymakers alike for years. The answer in short…we don’t! We don’t fix schools, we don’t fix people, and we don’t fix students. There’s not a compliance document, accountability document, or strategic plan that I have met that can fix schools. Rather, I would argue we help schools learn to improve, we help people to learn to improve, and we help students learn to improve. The only thing that can address the issues public schools are facing is the people in the buildings coming together for deep collaboration and problem-solving.  

In this newsletter, you will read about how our Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC) is working with County Offices and state lead partners to support LEAs in learning to improve.


It’s Fall! A Time for Reflection and Planning

By Stephanie Gregson, Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

The fall is a time for us to cozy up in our sweaters and have our hands wrapped around warm beverages. I would also say the fall is a time to reflect, especially for district and school site teams.  The school year is well underway and spring is just around the corner. How can your school team come together in an authentic way to reflect on all they have accomplished and where they want to continue to improve?  As Executive Director, Matt Navo, shared we don’t fix schools, we don’t fix people, we don’t fix students. We do, however, help school teams learn to improve, we help people learn to improve, and we help students learn to improve. How do you want to improve? 

This fall is a time to reflect and start planning for the next Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) cycle. The new three-year LCAP cycle planning begins this year, and it is the time to bring your school community together to reflect and identify where you want to improve together. This is the time to have open conversations about what’s working and what isn’t. Reflection and planning are the cornerstones of a successful Local Control Accountability Plan. They enable schools to learn from the past and strategically navigate the future. Through these practices, schools and districts can create a comprehensive LCAP that meets the unique needs of all students fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.

Our team is here to support and you’ll find this newsletter includes various resources and support on reflection and the upcoming changes expected for the LCAP.


The Power of Reflection, Together

By Jennie Wright, Ed.D., Assistant Director of the Teaching, Learning & Leading Center, CCEE

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful” (Wheatley, 2002). Much has been written about the power and importance of reflection, particularly self-reflection. There is also great power in reflecting together. To improve our systems to better serve our students and communities we must constantly strive to get better at getting better. This takes robust collaboration and internal accountability culture grounded in reflection, together.

Jenni Donohoo’s (2013) collaborative inquiry, which, like improvement science, is about learning and reflecting through four phases of a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. There is no one path forward for everyone, if there was, we’d all be doing it already. Reflection, which lies in all four phases of the inquiry cycle, but particularly in the study and act phases is essential. Without engaging in all four phases we are not engaging in collaborative inquiry. It takes discipline through the four phases of inquiry to learn and reflect together so that the path forward reveals itself. Through disciplined rapid cycles of inquiry coupled with strong internal accountability at every level of the system, we create feedback loops and reflection so that the system and every level within it continuously improves. 

It is much easier to look out the window than in the mirror but when we can be bold and brave enough to sit in a reflective space together, we can learn so much about ourselves, our practice, our students, and the needs of students, schools, and school systems.

References

Donohoo, J. (2013). Collaborative Inquiry for Educators: A Facilitator’s Guide to School Improvement. Corwin.

Wheatley, M. J. (2002). It’s an Interconnected World, Shambhala Sun, April, 2002.


A reflection on applying system improvement levers to the LCAP

By Matthew Roberts, Ed.D., Senior Advisor, CCEE & Joshua Strong, Administrator of the System of Support Office, CDE, Instruction & Measurement Branch

“Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results that it gets” is a phrase commonly used in system(s) improvement language. The words imply that design has more to do with system outcomes than simple intentions for system outcomes. Designing transformation in a district requires leaders to consistently think, reflect, and act in ways that drive continuous improvement across the entire organization. Getting to that point though takes reflection on current district priorities. How many priorities does your district have? Are priorities designed to solve problems rooted in the local data or do we stay flat in the data and act like it somehow moved? Do they fit an overall design for success in student outcomes? Do priorities capture the voice of those closest to students?

As districts measure the impact of current LCAP goals and begin engagement for the new LCAP cycle, consider applying the Carnegie Foundation’s Four Levers of Transformation (2020) to help inform the development of goals for the new LCAP cycle beginning 2024-25. The Four Levers include: 1) promote radical alignment across goals and plans to create a coherent, holistic design that places student success at the center, 2) build an improvement culture that opens voice and agency while holding everyone to high expectations, 3) develop everyone’s improvement capabilities to build the collective muscle that it takes to urgently do the hard work, and this means investing in people and building collaborative time, and 4) invest in improvement infrastructure that promotes collective learning, increases analytic capacity, and empowers decision-making.

In November 2023, the State Board of Education will consider revisions to the 2024-25 LCAP template including the following:

  • Streamlining of the Plan Summary and Engaging Educational Partners sections of the LCAP
  • Inclusion of tables in the Engaging Educational Partners and Increased or Improved Services for Foster Youth, English Learners, and Low-Income Students sections of the LCAP
  • Addition of a requirement for school districts, county offices of education and charter schools that receive Local Control Funding Formula Equity Multiplier funding to include one or more goals within the LCAP
  • Addition of a requirement for school districts, county offices of education and charter schools that are eligible for technical assistance and/or that have received the lowest performance rating on one or more state indicators on the California School Dashboard for (1) a school within the LEA, (2) a student group within the LEA, and/or (3) a student group within any school within the LEA to include specific actions in the LCAP

References

Berwick, Don. (March 3, 2015). [Keynote Speaker Presentation]. Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education. San Francisco, CA, USA. https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2015_Summit_Program.pdf

Dixon, C.J., & Palmer, S.N. (2020). Transforming Educational Systems Toward Continuous Improvement: A Reflection Guide for K–12 Leaders. Stanford, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


Intensive Assistance Model

We invite you to hear the reflections of the Federal Terrace Elementary team in Vallejo City Unified School District and their journey with the Intensive Assistance Model. They are deepening their understanding and practices of authentic collaboration focused on student results.

CCEE Connection (October 2023)

News & Announcements
Request for Proposals

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for Local Educational Agencies

  • Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 at 4:00pm PST
Balanced Assessment System pilot

In January 2024, CCEE will be launching a Balanced Assessment System Pilot, where selected LEAs will pilot a micro-course and toolkit, designed to support them in creating balanced assessment systems. This opportunity is a right fit for LEAs wanting to conduct a review of their current assessment systems, especially if deciding whether to make further investments in interim and/or curriculum-embedded assessments.

Interested in learning more? Register for a virtual informational session on Monday, October 16 from 1-2pm PST. If you’re not able to make the informational session, the archived recording will be posted on CCEE’s website following the session.

Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “Open Door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state.

Below are archived materials from past Open Door Sessions:

Please check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are two recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

To recruit and retain a teacher workforce that better reflects their student population, Pittsburg USD employed a multi-pronged set of strategies anchored around collecting input and feedback from the broader school community, grounded in data, and focused on creating an inviting culture that celebrates the community and the students they serve.

Fresno CSS sought to alleviate the burden on their LEAs that resulted from the influx of plans and deadlines in response to the pandemic and its relief efforts by rooting their work in improvement science to address a specific problem through smaller, measurable changes to make a meaningful impact.


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
Return on Investment (ROI) in Education

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director

Headshot of Matt Navo

In 2021, in response to the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Legislature funded Assembly Bill (AB) 86. The purpose of AB 86 was to provide support to local educational agencies (LEAs) in maximizing positive pupil outcomes and most effectively using funds. Basically, maximize the most effective use of funds to support students and see a return on investment (ROI).

CCEE is responsible for providing support to LEAs in maximizing positive pupil outcomes with the most effective use of funds to implement learning recovery programs. We do this by designing and implementing initiatives that explore problems of practice and emerging/best practices in the field to develop and share high quality, relevant, and usable lessons learned to support sustained improvement for students by June 30, 2024.

Under the direction of Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director, and Dr. Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning, CCEE has elevated the work of LEA best practices to identify and share the best investments for the return on the investment of student outcomes.

This newsletter highlights some of this work and how to get involved.


Navigating Continuous Improvement Through Street Data

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director

Headshot of Sujie Shin

In education, we talk a lot about “data.” We espouse “data-driven” decision-making, have an abundance of data walk protocols; we spend much of our collective time and effort in collecting and reviewing data – test results, attendance files, disciplinary records, survey responses…it goes on. But what we don’t often ask ourselves is, “Is this the right data?”

When I was a classroom teacher, I started the year with my student roster, which was always accompanied by the final grades and their standardized test scores from the prior year. We sat in grade-level teams, sorting our students in reading/math groups according to their annual test results, and started developing our instructional plans around this data.

What I soon realized was that those standardized test results often had little relationship to what kind of support my students needed, what literacy or numeracy concepts they understood or were struggling with, and definitely showed me nothing about who they were as people. I got that through my classroom tests, formative assessment practices, getting-to-know-you interviews, and watching them interact with each other and their work.

This is not to say that standardized assessments aren’t meaningful. They tell us a lot about patterns of achievement across our students, illuminating next steps for further inquiry we might need to take to understand what our students are struggling with and where there may be larger gaps in instruction and support. But as Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan exhort us to do in Street Data, we need to get beyond only ever looking at satellite data in a systematic way, but push ourselves to examining map- and street-level data in order to both understand and act upon the needs of students.

We are so privileged to be working with a cohort of school district and county office teams who are tackling these questions of “what data?” and “for what purpose?” as they look at their internal systems for reducing chronic absenteeism, improving access and outcomes for Black students, developing internal progress monitoring dashboards, and implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning across their classrooms.

Join us as we continue to learn with them!


Data Dashboards: The Promise of Enhanced Data, Discussions, and Decisions

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning

Data dashboards represent a significant investment in educational technology by districts and schools. Data dashboards promise enhanced data for real-time discussions and decisions by end-users, that is, educators. CCEE’s Data Research Learning Network (DRLN) includes three districts engaged in innovation journeys with the adoption and implementation of data dashboards.

The DRLN promotes the progress monitoring of data dashboards through user statistics, that is, map data that provides a more focused direction for inquiry and action. In August, Dr. Allan Taing and Dr. Nhi Hang conducted a User Statistics Workshop for DRLN districts, covering such topics as active vs. passive use measures, as well as web traffic measures (e.g. page views, total visits, length of stay, file downloads, traffic sources, etc.). The Measuring User Statistics: Tracking Engagement of Data Dashboards resource is a good example of tools shared with districts. All three districts are now progress monitoring data dashboard use on a monthly basis.

One example is Sanger Unified School District (SUSD). Assessment leaders are collecting and analyzing user statistics such as login counts, average logins, and percent of users logging in as a measure of uptake over the last three years. SUSD is complimenting this map data with street data by conducting empathy interviews with end users to better understand their experiences with data dashboards. Through a combination of map and street data, SUSD is customizing additional supports based on trends across the district, school, and grade-levels. Given the incredible amount of investment in Data Dashboards, DRLN districts, such as Sanger Unified, will be sharing lessons learned at upcoming conferences in November and December (see below for conference list).


The UDL Network

By James McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning & Leadership Development

Headshot of James McKenna

It’s no secret that the work of advancing equitable education opportunities for students is hard, lengthy, and often messy work. The opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, get feedback, and draw strength from a like-minded community can be a powerful force — for students, for teachers, and for school and district leaders. That’s why CCEE has expanded its support of learning networks to the work of implementing, and measuring the student impact of, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Working with partners in three state grant initiatives — the California Coalition for Inclusive Learning (CCIL), Open Access (OA), and Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP), we have gathered three districts, diverse in demographics and geography but united in the pursuit of inclusive education for all. These districts are:

  • Davis Joint Unified School District
  • Nevada Joint Union High School District
  • Poway Unified School District

Over the course of the 2023-2024 school year, these districts will examine problems of practice related to the implementation of Universal Design for Learning. Engaging in data-driven collaborative inquiry, they will implement initiatives to address these problems and take formative and summative data to monitor and evaluate impact. These indicators include benchmark assessments, student engagement, teacher efficacy, teacher practice, and more. We look forward to sharing their journey with you in our June summary report.


Using Street Data to Measure ROI of Statewide Professional Learning Initiatives

By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis

Program evaluations employ social science research methods to assess the design, implementation, and effectiveness of social programs (Rossi et al., 2019). In 2021, the state invested $75 million to establish three grant programs led by county offices of education to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. External program evaluations are embedded in these professional learning initiatives for learning acceleration, literacy, and open educational resources to support an innovative, rigorous, and analytical examination of these projects to determine the impact and effectiveness of these investments on educator practice and student outcomes. In other words, these program evaluations are trying to measure the return on investment (ROI) for these three projects.

The three program evaluation teams are moving into the second year of their evaluations, concluding their initial planning evaluations and moving onto formative evaluations for these projects. Investigating and determining the impact of these projects on educator practice and student outcomes requires a “Street Data” research approach. Measures of student impact — including results on the California School Dashboard — are satellite data answering the “what”. In addition, program evaluators leverage map data and street data through surveys, focus groups, document reviews, and observations, to answer the “why” and “how”. CCEE has created a Statewide Evaluation webpage to serve as a repository as program evaluation teams release their findings and recommendations.

To support program evaluation teams in this work, CCEE hosts bi-annual evaluation convenings to bring program evaluation teams, state agency partners, and other evaluation, program, and policy stakeholders and experts together to share findings, best practices, and lessons learned for ongoing development. The most recent evaluation convening on September 27 focused on developing a shared vision and common language across teams for evaluation approaches and methods for measuring student impact. Materials from this convening and prior convenings are available on the Statewide Program Evaluation Convening website.


Let’s Connect Beyond the Virtual Realm!

This fall, CCEE staff will be presenting at various conferences. If you will be attending any of the conferences below, we would love to see you there! Please let us know if you would like more information about any of these sessions.

Conference/
Presentation
Session & Presenter(s)
California Teachers Association (CTA)’s 2023 Special Education Conference
(October 6-8)
Foundations of Universal Design for LearningJames McKenna, Assistant Director of Professional Learning & Leadership Development
California Assessment Conference (CAC)
(October 9-10)
Balanced Assessment Systems: A Case Study of One District’s Journey to Rebalance their Assessment System for Improved Student Math Outcomes Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Sr. Specialist of Executive Projects
California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s 2023 Fall Conference
(October 12-13)
The Practice of Educating Very Young Children: Curriculum Drives the Built Environment – Julie Boesch, Assistant Director of the System of Support
Ventura County Superintendent of Schools
(October 19)
Transforming Schools – Matt Navo, Executive Director
What’s Right in Education
(October 24-26)
State and National Leaders Panel: Current and Future Trends in Education – Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director
2023 Charter School Development Center (CSDC) Conference
(November 8-10)
Shifting Mindsets, Changing Culture: Systems that Support All StudentsDavid Toston, Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives
2023 California Educational Research Association (CERA) Conference
(November 13-15)
Supporting Black Student Achievement: Lessons Learned from Year 1 of the African American Student Success NetworkSujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director and Italo Ciccarelli, Program Specialist

Balanced Assessment Systems: A Case Study of One District’s Journey to Rebalance their Assessment System for Improved Student OutcomesIngrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Sr. Specialist of Executive Projects

Guiding Our Schools Forward: Best Practices For Districts Utilizing Assessment Dashboards to Improve Data Literacy and Target Student SupportsAllan Taing, Sr. Manager of Research & Impact Analysis and Nhi Hang, Program Specialist

Amplifying Community Engagement for Continuous ImprovementDavid Toston, Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives
Breaking Barriers Integrated Care Symposium
(November 14-16)
Stories from the Field: Applying the Ecosystem Recommendations to Regional & Local Implementation – Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director and Mindy Fattig, Sr. Advisor of the System of Support
California School Boards Association (CSBA)’s Annual Education Conference
(November 30 – December 2)
Data Dashboards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Allan Taing, Sr. Manager of Research & Impact Analysis
System Improvement Leads (SIL) Summit
(December 12-13)
CA Statewide System of Support: It is Us (Opening/Keynote) – Mindy Fattig, Sr. Advisor of the System of Support

CCEE Connection (September 2023)

News & Announcements
Earn a berkeley UTK Leadership Certificate!

Open to candidates currently in a Preliminary ASC or Clear ASC program, or who hold a Certificate of Eligibility

New opportunity for future school leaders: As California rolls out its Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) program, 21CSLA is offering future school leaders a new opportunity to develop their skills and leadership capacity. 

The UTK Leadership Certificate is a 4-unit online and synchronous program offered through UC Berkeley Extension (UNEX) and developed by the UC Berkeley-based 21CSLA, in partnership with the California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. Those who complete the two 10-session courses will receive a UC Berkeley UTK Leadership Certificate. Due to funding from the California Department of Education, this program is available at no cost to eligible participants through June 2026.

  • Enroll in no-cost, university credit-bearing courses
  • Learn about UTK policy and instructional leadership in California
  • Network and collaborate with other leaders to advance equity
  • Cultivate skills and knowledge to prepare for job searches and interviews

Access more information via this website

In Case You Missed It
Leadership Institute

New participants and mentors gathered in Newport Beach to kick-off the 23’-24’ Leadership Institute (LI). The LI is a collaborative effort between CCEE and the Small School Districts Association (SSDA) to support networking and learning opportunities for new and aspiring small school district leaders. This experience was enhanced by the participation of Dr. David Arencibia from Jimmy Casas and Associates who guided us through identifying our leadership strengths. This year-long institute will pair participants with mentors who will walk alongside them through their leadership journeys.

Looking AHEAD

Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with more specific questions.

Register for upcoming Open Door sessions by clicking on the links below:

To view archived materials from past Open Door sessions, please visit our Open Door Sessions Google Site. You can also check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

Equity Corner

Reasons to Celebrate in the month of September:

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

Inspiring Change for One System:

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

The use of the term “Statewide System of Support” (SSOS) to describe California’s state educational system that supports Local Educational Agencies, has been difficult to  understand for educational practitioners. The SSOS has been one that has been largely mis-understood, highly debated, largely confusing and in many cases mis-represented. The idea that California, as complex as it is, can organize ALL organizations, associations and legislative educational initiatives into ONE coherent system is a daunting task.  However, there is hope! We aren’t a system yet, but we are moving closer to that vision as all statewide partners, including County Offices, Geographic Leads, CCEE, State Board and the California Department of Education work to integrate and create a sense of interdependence in a system that has largely been independent. This newsletter highlights inspiring work to move our SSOS into ONE Coherent System that works for ALL students.


“One System for All Students”

By Dr. Chris Hartley, Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Starting a new school year is  filled with excitement, promise,  sense of renewed energy,  and an unwavering commitment to provide the absolute best care and support for the children and youth we collectively serve.  In order to give our best for all students, it is important to also commit to the level of transformational change necessary to implement whole child initiatives, while staying focused and committed to continuous improvement processes and local implementation.  The Statewide System of Support (SSOS) has a myriad of resources and services that range from universal, targeted, and intensive that are available to support all Local Educational Agencies (LEA’s).  

The SSOS is rich with incredibly talented, resourceful, and experienced educators who provide relevant and meaningful services and support for LEA’s.  While tremendous support exists, the SSOS still lacks full coherence and clarity around services available and how districts can directly access the assistance that meets their unique needs.  SSOS lead agencies, statewide partners, educational and community partners have made tremendous progress in building coherence and setting the stage for the 2023-24 year as being pivotal in continuing our focused effort to collectively operate as “one system.” 

Being committed to a “one system” approach means remaining intentional around collaboration, while staying focused on making systemic connections between  programs, services and people.   A one system design is simply what is best for students and CCEE is a committed and excited partner and looks forward to an outstanding year!


A Different Way to Lead: System Improvement Leads Networked Improvement Community

By Sandra Park, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective

In most organizations, leaders are considered the experts.  They come up with solutions to problems and ask their employees to implement them.  However, this style of leadership no longer meets the complexity and fast-paced nature of today’s world.  Instead, leaders must create learning environments that draw on the expertise of everyone in their organizations and value learning through experimentation and failure.   

To do this, leaders must think and behave differently. In Transforming Educational Systems Toward Continuous Improvement: A Reflection Guide for K-12 Executive Leaders, Dixon and Palmer identify key dispositions and core practices of such leaders, who they identify as improvement leaders.  First, improvement leaders have a growth mindset and see every individual in their organization as a valuable and contributing member with the capacity to learn and develop.  Second, they are curious, humble and vulnerable; they recognize they do not have all the answers, are open to feedback and are willing to be wrong.  In addition, these leaders are comfortable with uncertainty, recognizing that learning is a messy process where answers aren’t always readily available.  They try out possible answers using scientific reasoning and rely on concrete evidence that something works before scaling it across the organization.  Finally, improvement leaders are systems thinkers who see interconnections across different departments and lines of work.  

Members of the System Improvement Leads Networked Improvement Community (SIL NIC) have begun to embrace this new approach to leadership.  Supported by the SIL, teams of Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs), County Offices of Education (COEs) and districts from across the state came together in September 2021 with the shared aim of accelerating learning for the 28,167 students with disabilities they serve.  They began their journey focusing on improving the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.  

Teams of administrators, program specialists, and special education teachers from Shasta, San Luis Obispo, West Contra Costa, Sonoma, Irvine, and Clovis started by examining the IEP process in their local contexts.  With guidance from the SIL coaches, the teams approached the investigation with a sense of curiosity and an open mind to what they might discover. They also engaged in various activities designed to help leaders see the system from different angles. They created process maps to illuminate how teachers and administrators enacted the IEP process and conducted empathy interviews with teachers, parents and students to hear their thoughts and feelings about IEPs.  Finally, they mined data from individual IEP reports to illuminate potential sources of variation in IEP goal documentation and quality.  

Through the systems investigation, teams developed both a clearer and more complicated view of the IEP process. It also highlighted for leaders how little they actually knew about the intricacies of their systems, an eye-opening and humbling experience.  For example, the IEP process at individual sites varied wildly, leaving teachers to navigate it for themselves.  As a result, what was considered a high-quality IEP goal also varied.  In addition, some teams were shocked to discover the number of IEPs without documented goals when reviewing individual IEP reports.  But more problematic was the fact that they had to review a sample of reports one by one since they couldn’t easily access this data from the Special Education Information System (SEIS).  More importantly, it underscored the value and importance of systems-thinking in uncovering the contributing factors to the problem that were previously unseen.   

Continue Reading >>


Implementing UPK in your ELO-P Program

By Julie Boesch, Assistant Director, CCEE

Julie Boesch head shot

Districts are seeking support on how to implement Universal Pre-Kindergarten and integrate this age level into Expanded Learning Programs, presenting new opportunities and challenges for districts to continue to learn and grow. 

CCEE in collaboration with numerous partners including CDE, Department of Social Services, multiple County Offices of Education, non-profit organizations, and community partners, came together with a shared vision and specific tasks to create tools to communicate to the field in a cohesive, impactful, and practical way. This work included three teams:

Physical Spaces:

Objective: Identify existing resources to support the design and development of early learning spaces in expanded learning programs. This team has created a video as well as an environment checklist to support districts and those who support them. (These items will be released soon.)

Staff Capacity:

Objective:  Provide a curated and manageable set of training opportunities and resources for Expanded Learning Opportunities Program staff and the System of Support for Expanded Learning to build their capacity to serve TK-K students and families.

This group has created a slide deck which can be used for informational meetings, staff training, and communication. It will also support an improved understanding of play-based learning among ELO, some background on UPK and ELO-P, the science of learning, foundational elements of learning through play, and connections between the ELO Quality Standards and the key elements of play-based learning. They have also created an infographic which specifically highlights the importance of play-based learning and all of the learning that is going on that may not be evident to the casual observer. 

Education Code:

Objective: This group was tasked with Providing clear and concise information and guidance to the field interpreting Education Code related to health, safety, and licensing requirements.

This group has taken the Ed Code which has been emerging and created user friendly language and will be producing short videos as well as infographics and additional professional learning opportunities to both highlight and disseminate this information.


CCEE Connection (August 2023)

News & Announcements
Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading)

Project CLEAR builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, see Project CLEAR’s webpage on our Learning Acceleration System Grant Website.

California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration – Math and Literacy Communities of Practice (CoPs)

The California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA) in partnership with the CCEE and six County Offices of Education (COE) will be creating an inclusive space for collaboration and learning for educators across the state through a Community of Practice (CoP). 

You can find more information using the flyers below: 

Literacy

Mathematics

California Mathematics Framework 

The California State Board of Education approved the 2023 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools at their July 12th meeting. You can read more about the new Framework by visiting the California Department of Education’s Mathematics Framework web page.

In Case You Missed It

UPK Key Information Flyer

UPK Resources & Materials

UPK Toolkit 

2022-2023 CCEE Annual Report 

Looking AHEAD

Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with more specific questions.

Register for upcoming Open Door sessions by clicking on the links below:

To view archived materials from past Open Door sessions, please visit our Open Door Sessions Google Site. You can also check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

August Resources
About the Teaching, Learning, and Leading Center (TLLC)

Our 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.

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

Why is Coaching So Important?

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

Why is coaching in education so important? Coaching provides opportunities for educational organizations and professionals to focus on the right work. Too often educational professionals are focused on the wrong indicators. For example, when schools and leaders focus only on test scores, we risk failing to comprehend the actual causes of those results. Coaching helps to uncover what we can control and/or influence that may be causing or have caused a potential result. Doug Reeves and Michael Fullan say it this way, “The number of priorities is inversely proportional to gains in student achievement” (Reeves, 2013). They go on to say, “while leaders and policymakers are often seduced by the promises of vendors that programs will solve educational challenges, the evidence is clear that it is practices, not programs that have the greatest impact” (Reeves 2023). 

Only through coaching can we focus on the practices that achieve better outcomes.


Effective Coaching Benefits Everyone

By Stephanie Gregson, Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Being an educator today, and even before today, is extremely hard. We are in the midst of the highest rate of educator burnout and fatigue causing many veteran and new educators to leave the profession. For this reason and many others, it is important we engage in practices that create spaces of community, belonging, vulnerability, and learning allowing educators to fill their buckets, rejuvenate, and reinvigorate their passion for education.

Effective coaching is one of those practices we should all be engaging in as individuals, as teams, and as an education community. Effective coaching isn’t just about achieving organizational goals, student achievement, and collaborative learning cultures, it is also about higher levels of emotional and physical well-being. We are in an era of initiative fatigue that can cause burnout and increased turnover in staff. Effective coaching can help peel back layers of initiatives as individuals and teams ask themselves, why?

There are more than 40,000 books on coaching showing the profound amount of research on effective coaching. Yet has it become common practice in our education community? When individuals and teams participate in effective coaching practices, they see an increase in psychological well-being, self-regulation, and self-insight. The teams benefit from gains in goal attainment and solution-focused thinking (Grant & Atad, 2021).

This month’s newsletter highlights some of the coaching embedded in the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence work with districts and county offices of education. We invite you to learn more and to consider how you can engage in effective coaching practices to find rejuvenation in your work.


Internal Coaching Cycles for Quality Improvement

By Rocio Gonzalez-Frausto, Assistant Director, CCEE

Headshot of Rocio Gonzalez-Frausto

Our Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) focuses on utilizing quality improvement practices to improve instructional practices, cultivate coherent systems, and improve student outcomes. As the TLLC team supports its partners in their continuous improvement journey, we must reflect on our practices and implementations to ensure we are working to create sustaining change in collaboration with partners. These small but mighty teams are composed of two members, each with three districts receiving DTA. We meet weekly to biweekly and engage in our own improvement cycles, utilizing the identified LEA goal or aim statement to anchor our work together. The work is heavy and deep, so I create space at the start of each session with a personal check-in, many times including some laughs, before launching into reviewing the aims of our partners and providing progress updates since our last check-in. When the team shares challenges or areas of need, I begin utilizing the five whys protocol to shine the light as the team engages in thought; in other instances, we return to our Coherence framework to identify which of the four domains is the pain point and what steps we can take to get out. It boils down to: What are we trying to accomplish? Where are we now? What is our goal? What do we need to do to make it happen? These weekly meetings end with identified next steps in our support to partners and the students they serve.


The Role of Coaching in Accelerating Learning

By Stacey Wedin, Assistant Director, CCEE

Headshot of Stacey Wedin

Learning acceleration doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Supporting the rapid progress of students toward mastery of content requires a comprehensive, systemic approach to rethink the way we teach and learn. The CCEE’s Playbook for Accelerating Learning underscores this point by outlining the necessary conditions to accelerate learning, which includes having a system aligned to the tenets of learning acceleration in both mindset and practice. Professional learning and coaching for educators to deepen understanding of learning acceleration and embed evidence-based strategies into practice is paramount to a sustainable system.

With this knowledge, Learning Acceleration System Grant partners have designed their professional learning offerings centered on systems of coaching and mentoring. This affords educators valuable opportunities to collaborate, share, learn, and provide feedback while incorporating new strategies into their practice. Coaching is one of four prongs of support offered by the Rural Math Collaborative (RMC) where participating counties receive targeted assistance around using TOSAs and instructional coaches to improve math instruction. Working with the California Math Project and drawing from the work of Jim Knight, the RMC is working to build sustainable networks of effective coaching teams throughout the region. As another example, Project CLEAR offers job-embedded individualized coaching while participating educators complete the training offered through the program. Once certified, Teacher Leaders coach educators in their respective school/district on early literacy intervention strategies to accelerate reading.

Coaching is integral to a robust system of professional learning and plays a critical role in accelerating learning. As the Learning Acceleration System grant grows in future years, the use of effective coaching to support teachers will continue to grow with it.


21st Century California School Leadership Academy

Are you a current or aspiring California school or district leader looking for

free professional development and coaching?  

Find your 21CSLA Academy HERE

All Academies include:

Communities of Practice

A space for leaders in similar roles to come together and work on equity-centered problems of practice using continuous improvement while championing transformational leadership.

Localized Professional Learning

Leaders participate in a process of practitioner inquiry that advances educational equity for a specific context around leadership, equity, and continuous improvement. Problems of practice are situated in and arise from the regional communities and are determined through an extensive needs-assessment process.

Leadership Coaching

Coaches provide job-embedded coaching built on relational trust and focused on equity-centered problems of practice using continuous improvement. They also support leaders with system transformation to ensure all children fulfill their potential to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

21CSLA UTK

The 21CSLA Alameda Regional Academy, in partnership with 21CSLA UTK and the Solano County Office of Education, is launching Envisioning Equitable TK Classrooms on August 24–25

New UTK Leadership Certificate and Courses

Starting this fall, 21CSLA is offering UTK Leadership Certificate courses to any current Preliminary or Clear Administrative Services Credential candidate. These are free, online, synchronous courses offered through UC Berkeley Extension. Receive 4 units credit along with a certificate upon completion of the two-course series. To learn more, download the UTK Certificate flyer or visit 21CSLA’s website.

CCEE Connection (July 2023)

News & Announcements
Request for Proposals

Development and Delivery of Resources and Services to Support Professional Learning Activities for Local Educational Agencies

  • Proposals Accepted Through: October 30, 2023 at 4:00pm PST
Open Door Sessions

CCEE, in collaboration with LEAs and partner organizations, is hosting “open door” sessions to share best practices, tools/resources, and strategies to support student learning. These sessions will provide opportunities for county office and/or district staff to listen and learn from other LEAs across the state, and connect further, if interested. Those who express interest in connecting further will be invited to join a smaller, more intimate “Special Interest Group” session, in which the presenting LEA will be available to listen, share, and help participants with more specific questions.

Register for upcoming Open Door sessions by clicking on the links below:

To view archived materials from past Open Door sessions, please visit our Open Door Sessions Google Site. You can also check our Events Calendar or follow CCEE on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on upcoming Open Door sessions.

LEA Spotlights

The Spotlights Project aims to celebrate some of the innovative, inclusive, and shareable practices that LEA teams have implemented to improve outcomes for students across our state. Each Spotlight organizes the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that calls attention to emerging practices, reproducible strategies, and applicable resources, in hopes of introducing accessible points of conversation for other LEAs looking to resolve similar issues.

Below are three recently published Spotlights. Click on the links below to learn more about the innovative practices taking place in these LEAs.

Cajon Valley USD embraced its multicultural and multiethnic district composition, leveraging its diversity to serve all community members and improve its community outreach and engagement with “families in need.”

Salinas City ESD uses data to drive collaboration, critical reflection, and action to improve attendance practices at all of their school sites.

Da Vinci Schools cultivates an inclusive learning environment that promotes real-world learning to prepare students for college, career, and life. However, it is their ability to gather and effectively use data that maximizes their impact on teaching and learning — ensuring students thrive as lifelong learners.

Project clear

Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading) builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, please visit Project CLEAR’s webpage on the Learning Acceleration System Grant website.

July Resources

Supporting Better Attendance Practices: The Evolving Role of COEs (5/31/23)

System of Support Updates (June/July 2023)

Microlearning Modules – CCEE has partnered with content experts and experienced educators to develop short videos sharing and explaining concepts, tools, and resources for a wide range of topics to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff in the classroom. All microlearning modules are accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions, downloadable handouts, and additional resources to support immediate implementation. New videos are added periodically, covering various topics, tips, and strategies.


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

Headshot of Matt Navo

“Every road will get you there if you don’t know where you are going” is a quote I heard from a school leader talking about the absence of data in their instructional teams. So often, school teams avoid the use of data to avoid the harsh realities around student, school, or district performance.

We (educators) sometimes find it easier to play “poker” with data. Meaning, I show you my two aces, hoping you think I have a three- or four-of-a-kind when in reality I have nothing more. Playing poker with data is a sure-fire way to avoid the tough conversations and reality of our efforts. IF we (educators) are going to move our networking, collaboration, convenings, and gatherings of expertise to the next level, we have to show all our cards—no poker, just raw data.

This newsletter by the Innovation, Instruction, and Impact (I3) Center describes examples of networks using data to improve student outcomes and address ineffective practices.


What Do We Learn When We Learn Together?

By Sujie Shin, Deputy Executive Director

Headshot of Sujie Shin

For any of you who have had the privilege of attending workshops with Peter Senge, you know that a core tenet of his philosophy of learning is that “[S]haring knowledge is not about giving people something or getting something from them…Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”

We know that to be a learning organization, it’s not enough just to acquire knowledge, but to share in that space with others, and find the opportunities to learn from each others’ successes and challenges. This is the philosophy behind our learning networks—creating safe spaces for local educational agency (LEA) teams to come together around similar problems of practice and share lessons learned as they try approaches to improving school and district systems to support student achievement.

One of our networks has been focused on academic outcomes for African American students, a group that has been disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic and related challenges. Black students have experienced higher increases in chronic absenteeism and other measures of disengagement, and greater drops in English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores. Over the past year, this network of five LEA teams have each identified a key area of improvement to focus on for improving student outcomes. One team is testing the impact of regular check-ins with a school counselor on student attendance and course completion. Another is focusing on improving their implementation of their multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to reduce the overidentification of Black students in special education in particular categories. Still another looked at the impact of personal learning plans to reduce the overrepresentation of African American male students receiving non-passing grades in core classes. The problems of practice are as diverse as the student bodies these LEAs support.

What is not varied is our approach in collecting data to examine change over time and progress towards our goals on a regular basis. This gets to another key principle of our work, which is, to again quote Dr. Senge, that “Learning cannot be disassociated from action.” And how we learn is to measure the progress from our action, through interim metrics such as attendance, test results, check-in data as well as direct input and feedback from the students and families we serve.

This framework of action research means that we can investigate problems of practice that LEAs are facing while supporting them in immediately addressing the issues they are facing.

Learn more about the work of our partner LEAs by clicking on the buttons below.


Lessons Learned from the Planning Phase of the Data Research Learning Network

By Ingrid Roberson, Assistant Director of Research Learning and Dorcas Kong, Senior Specialist of Executive Projects

In January 2023, the I3 Center launched the Data Research Learning Network (DRLN) as a three-phase initiative to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in transforming their data and assessment practices to accelerate student learning. As we close out the Planning Phase, CCEE is pleased to share the first DRLN Research Brief summarizing the lessons learned that came out of this learning community. The DRLN recently concluded the Planning Phase with the DRLN Showcase highlighting each LEA’s Action Plan for the 2023-24 school year. Over the past six months, DRLN participants conducted data dives to better define their problems of practice and develop their action plans, identifying goals and strategies that would move the needle on aligned progress measures. But what truly elevated their innovation ideas was the way they tapped into the wealth of collective knowledge and expertise within this learning network. LEAs were able to harness the power of collaboration in this shared learning space to exchange innovative ideas, explore different avenues of addressing their problems of practice, and ultimately, build their data capacity to support student outcomes.

In preparation for the Implementation Phase, CCEE will be hosting two summer workshops to guide DRLN participants in the progress monitoring and evaluating the impact of their Innovation Projects. The DRLN team decided to tailor these workshops to LEAs’ Action Plans, with a focus on designing effective surveys, collecting feedback/attendance data for trainings and professional development sessions, and measuring user statistics (e.g. website/dashboard analytics). By building the capacity of DRLN participants to develop and implement effective progress monitoring processes with tools, they will be prepared to embark on their Innovation journeys come August, with an understanding of how they will be engaging in continuous improvement cycles to enhance their data practices, programs, and systems.

Interested in learning more about each LEA’s innovation idea and action plan? Take a look at our DRLN Overview Handout or check out CCEE’s Learning Networks Google Site to explore the problems of practice identified by LEAs in not only the DRLN, but across all of I3’s learning networks. As our networks progress, the I3 Center will be updating the Google Site with measures of impact, as well as shareable resources that come out of our work. Aligned to I3’s goal of improving LEA capacity by collaboratively developing, delivering, sharing, and spotlighting research-based practices, we hope this Google Site can serve as a learning hub for California’s broader educational community.


Supporting Educators Through the Development of the California Educators Together Repository for High-Quality Online Instructional Materials

By Allan Taing, Senior Manager of Research & Impact Analysis

The CCEE, working with our partners at the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE), are supporting Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) as they serve as the project lead for the High Quality Online Instructional Materials project (HQOIM), as defined in Section 144 of AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) and revised in Section 41 of AB 167 (Chapter 252, Statutes of 2021). This three-year $15 million dollar project is designed to enhance the educator professional learning infrastructure within the Statewide System of Support. The goals of this initiative are to develop and curate easy-to-use resources for local educational agencies (LEAs) and educators, establish a transparent process for vetting materials to ensure quality and alignment with state academic standards, and provide guidance and resources regarding the implementation and use of open educational resources.

During this first year of the project, KCSOS developed the California Educators Together High-Quality Lesson Design Rubric (CaET Rubric) to evaluate high quality materials and hosted two virtual Lesson Design Institutes in February and March, and one in-person Lesson Design Institute in May to train more than 100 educators to design rubric-aligned lesson plans. To further develop and promote the California Educators Together repository (CaET), KCSOS presented at 12 conferences and implemented a vetting collaborative to train evaluators to vet resources on the CaET repository using the CaET Rubric, resulting in 307 new rubric-aligned lessons, 304 new standards-based lessons, 779 new resources, and 2,938 existing lessons vetted. As a result of KCSOS efforts, the California Educators Together portal now has more than 25,000 users, including 6,832 new users over the past year. During the second year of the project, KCSOS will continue to offer virtual and in-person Lesson Design Institutes, continue efforts to disseminate high-quality rubric-aligned lessons and resources, and vet existing materials. KCSOS will also focus on potential partnerships to increase visibility of the CaET repository and new users.

WestEd is leading the external program evaluation of the HQOIM project. Key findings from the formative evaluation of the first year indicate that Kern County has built a team that is focused on educators, learns and adapts, listens to feedback, and is focused on key issues of sustainability, partnerships, and scaling up. Feedback from teachers attending the Lesson Design Institutes are overwhelmingly positive; in focus groups and interviews, educators are excited for the CaET Rubric and praised the quality of the institutes. In addition, the California Educators Together repository contains a wide variety of high-quality resources and capabilities, and the program team and educators are excited about the potential of new and different capabilities for this platform to further support effective teaching and learning.

To learn more about this evaluation, as well as evaluations for other statewide professional learning initiatives launched in 2021, please visit the CCEE Statewide Program Evaluation website.

CCEE Connection (June 2023)

News & Announcements
Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) 2.0 Lead Agency RFA Announcement

The California Department of Education has released the results of the CEI 2.0 Lead Agency RFA. You can view the results on the CDE’s website.

In Case You Missed It

System of Support Updates (June 2023)

21CSLA Showcase in Sacramento

Our 21st Century California School Leadership Academy held a showcase in Sacramento on Thursday, May 11 to celebrate the first three years of supporting equity leadership in California! More than 90 people attended from across the state, including our state partners at California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and California Collaborative for Educational Excellence who have invested in and supported this important work. Read more and see photos.

21CSLA Practice Brief: Insights from California’s TK Educators and Leaders

In this practice brief, we underscore four key themes from UTK educational leaders as areas ripe for further research. These findings underscore current pressing challenges and dilemmas facing UTK leaders and speak to the larger context in which UTK expands. We draw from semi-structured interviews with four California UTK leaders to illuminate the challenges, opportunities, and ingenuity of educators and districts in supporting UTK implementation and/or expansion. Link to the brief.

Envisioning and Leading Equitable TK Classrooms

Alameda County Regional Academy in partnership with Alameda County Office of Education will offer UTK Professional Learning Envisioning and Leading Equitable TK Classrooms on August 1 and 2, 2023. Register here: https://bit.ly/41vU6JX

Equity Corner

Reasons to Celebrate in the month of June:


About the Transformative Systems for Equitable Education (TSEE) Center

The TSEE team supports more than 20 unique statewide initiatives. Our Administrative Assistant II, Fiscal Analyst, and Program Specialists are the foundation of our team. They take care of all of our operational, administrative, and project management needs. The TSEE team takes pride in supporting our Deputy Executive Director, Senior Advisors, and Assistant Directors to collectively pave the way through communication, collaboration, and leadership to ensure our impact is far-reaching. While we all support different initiatives, we work together to deliver on our common goal of improving outcomes for all 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

Celebrating Gratitude

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

 “Sometimes it’s helpful to stop and be grateful for what we do.  Education in California, one of the largest states in the nation, is complex.  It can often make educators feel like we may never get to where we need to be, but I would like to share another perspective.  The CCEE is grateful to be part of such an incredible state when it comes to education.  Our organization has seen many other state education systems and in our opinion California is often miles ahead in both our approach to and innovation of our education systems.  

Our state board and state board staff are incredibly thoughtful and represent a great and diverse group of thinkers, led by one of the most notable researchers in Education, Linda Darling Hammond. Our California Department of Education and the State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond, are visibly traveling and engaging with parents, associations, and educational partners to figure out how best to support them.  Our associations, county offices, and state lead agencies are always willing to step up with grace and a willingness to serve.  

All these examples remind me that regardless of what we think the current state of education is, we can be grateful for the fact that everyone in this “system” has one thing in common…we all want what is best for our students, teachers and families in California.  Gratitude is something we can all benefit from once in a while.


Reflecting on the Year

By Chris Hartley Ed.D. Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

The school year is winding down, summer and planning for the next year is in full speed.  It is a natural transition in our system with educators across the state reflecting on the past year, while planning for a new one ahead.  During these times it is important to not only find time to enjoy a break for rejuvenation, but to also take a moment and recognize our partnerships and the relentless commitment to serving the students, families and communities throughout the state.

On May 12th the annual “All Leads” meeting took place and was in person for the first time since 2019.  The level of expertise, experience, creativity and innovative spirit among attendees was only surpassed by a deep commitment to serving all children and youth in our state.   Our teams at CCEE are extremely grateful for the incredible collaboration we have with all our partners and look forward to continually growing and expanding these relationships.  

When we organize, collaborate and deliver support together, a true system with minimal silos and thru line from state initiatives to direct district and school site support is magnified.  At the end of the day, there are many hands on deck, each embracing positive aspirations for developing and deepening a Statewide System of Support that is cohesive, clear and accessible.  My deepest gratitude to our many partners, let’s finish strong!


The Strengthening of the Statewide System of Support

By Mindy Fattig, Senior Advisor, CCEE

The CA Statewide System of Support (SSOS) provides coordinated, needs-based and differentiated resources and supports to LEAs that lead to improved outcomes for all students. As I reflect upon this past school year, the CA Statewide System of Support is stronger than ever. So much gratitude is given to these 13 lead initiatives and the purposeful integration and leverage of best practices across the state. 

Just a few of the many recent examples of the Statewide System of Support working together to improve outcomes for all students include the Geographic Leads continuing their strong partnership with various leads throughout the SSOS including intentional focus and support on integrating differentiated assistance and the special education monitoring processes. The Regional English Language Learner leads partnering with 21CSLA,  SELPA English Language lead and Educator Workforce Investment lead for English Language Learners  to bring proactive support to our educators and students and  all the leads collectively learning from each other and utilizing Universal Design for Learning and Community Engagement strategies so all of our students will have what they need to thrive. 

The SELPA leads have worked tirelessly and successfully over the last five years to bring resources and implementation support focusing on improving outcomes for students with disabilities. They have done this through  building the capacity of local SELPAs, integration of special education and general education monitoring activities, providing services and supports with COEs and direct support to thousands of families, students, and LEAs across CA. Their impact does not stop there as 93% of the SELPA, COE and LEA educational leaders said that they feel confident in their ability for sustained implementation at the local level on strategies and resources learned through the SELPA leads. 

The Geographic Leads,  as  connectors  in the SSOS,  have greater coherence and collaboration across statewide initiatives as evidenced by feedback from a County Office administrator,    “Working with the Geo Lead has provided me with a better understanding of where support and expertise lies.  I have been able to ‘broker’ this and connect our LEAs with professional development and other support from other COEs (work that is beyond the capacity of our own COE).”

At the recent in person “All Leads” meeting in May, when asked what the strengths are of the Statewide System of Support from the educators providing the support to the field, words such as “interagency and cross initiative collaboration”, “increased use of continuous improvement strategies” “ mindset on inclusive practices” resonated over and over again. 

 As we look forward to the 2023-24 school year and  the needs of our students in CA, we are well equipped to provide support in implementation of resources due to the hard work and neverending dedication of our collective common goal of improving outcomes for all of our students in CA. Our statewide system is stronger than we have ever been. As one educator leader summed up, Our school now uses continuous improvement to help guide initiatives, and show how the initiatives can complement each other as opposed to feeling siloed or in competition with each other.” 

Thanks again to all the educators, families, community organizations and to our students. We are collectively the Statewide System of Support. CCEE, working in collaboration  with our state agencies partners at CA Dept of Education and the State Board of Education,  look forward to continuing to build, refine and ensure the highest quality of education resources,  supports and services  throughout California. 


Gratitude – A Story of Success

By Giovanni H. Annous, Ed.D., Superintendent, Upper Lake Unified School District

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child.  For Upper Lake USD, we are blessed to have our whole community working together to create the best possible educational, social, and emotional support system for all our students. 

ULUSD’s participation and partnership with the CCEE “Continuous Improvement Model,” and for the last three years in the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI), has allowed us to sharpen the focus of our work and guide us through practices that have fundamentally changed our communication style and content with our stakeholders and the community at large.

Our introduction of the “The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships” and our work with the “Root Cause Analysis” to identify our “Problem of Practice” has been an eye-opening experience.  Due to the current work in these areas in concert with our intentional focus on implementing with fidelity, highly effective academic and social programs, ULUSD has become a “Destination District.” 

Our “Responsive Leadership” created a culture and structure for system organization learning to include the different voices from our community in the design, development, and implementation of processes, programs, and services.  Today our local native Pomo Tribes leadership, philanthropic & service organizations, and business community are partners in shaping our organizational outcomes. This engagement raises the level of responsibility and accountability that we all collectively hold for the success of our students and youth population in general.

We believe that the absence of engagement limits growth and fosters a diminishing mindset. Gratitude for community partnerships moves educational organizations forward. 

CEI has been a catalyst on our path to success.


The Leadership Institute Delivers the Secret Sauce 

By Amy Alzina, Ed.D., Cold Spring School District Superintendent

Superintendents collaborating on and sharing best practices and strategies is the secret sauce to achieving exceptional results in public education. The Small School Districts Association (SSDA) and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) have partnered to develop the Leadership Institute, a community of leaders to collaborate, support and mentor new superintendents. The founding principle of the Leadership Institute is to empower educational leaders by providing access to the resources they need for exceptional student achievement.  The collaborative approach has resulted in statewide synergy in the field of public education. 

Small school district superintendents no longer need to feel isolated.  Within the Leadership Institute, participants are matched with a seasoned successful superintendent who serves as a trusted coach and mentor for a period of six months.  During this period, best practices are reviewed in the areas of Governance and Fiscal Management, Community Engagement, Vision and Goals, Human Resources and Effective Communication.  The purpose is to improve student outcomes and build a positive district culture and climate. 

As a coach, I value the time I spend coaching and mentoring my colleagues.  We all come to the table with unique strengths and talents.  During our time together, we tap into each other’s strengths to share best practices.   Often, I gain new knowledge from the stories and experiences shared in the group.  I also make myself available to the participants whenever they need my support or simply need a sounding board.

Unlike traditional professional development, this is not designed to add more to the plate of a superintendent.  It’s a time to support each other with the resources and knowledge we each possess.  Our conversations range from emergency recovery efforts to understanding the reading intervention strategies and programs that make a positive impact on student achievement.  We also share many of the state mandated plans and the process used to gather stakeholder input. 

The Leadership Institute is a great example of an effective means to bring equity to education.  Together, we are opening doors by providing resources that will drive the actions of all Superintendents to be effective for the students they serve.


CCEE and Santa Clara County Office of Education Collaborate on UPK Implementation 

By Amanda M. Dickey, Esq., Executive Director of Government Relations, Santa Clara County Office of Education

California policy makers have made historic investments over the last few years to bring the state closer to universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) for all 3- and 4-year-olds. This has come in the form of several new and expanded programs including TK expansion to all 4 year-olds by 2024/25, the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P), an additional 200,000 childcare vouchers, and more than 8,000 additional preschool slots.  

As local education agencies (LEAs) work toward implementation of this ambitious goal, many have expressed the need for technical assistance, tools, and training to help them address barriers and shortages in staffing and facilities. Small and rural LEAs are facing some of the most significant implementation challenges due to economy of scale issues. In response, CCEE has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) over the last year to develop Tier 1 and 2 tools and trainings to add to the statewide system of support. To ensure that these resources support all schools, regardless of size or circumstance, the partnership has collaborated with LEAs throughout the state and with the Department of Education. 

Most recently, the CCEE/SCCOE partnership offered a UPK Blending, Braiding and Layering workshop in which LEAs were provided with a series of high-value tools that helped them identify mixed-delivery models to address their staffing, facilities, revenue, and/or cost shortage. These tools are now available online to all LEAs and include: 1) a resource hub with curated, summarized, and searchable resources for busy school administrators, 2) a planning tool to help LEAs project their staffing and facilities needs and identify issues with enrollment and costs, 3) an online technical assistance tool with AI features that provide tailored suggestions for LEAs based on their unique characteristics, and 4) a budgeting worksheet and accompanying costs/revenues template. To access these resources or learn more about how blending, braiding, and layering early learning and care programs can help your LEA address barriers to UPK implementation, please visit visit https://upktool.ccee-ca.org/. To view the workshop slide deck, visit https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1kn4eHWv3LoOUCx5wFpd5eSwfiChMxGGb/edit#slide=id.p1

CCEE Connection (May 2023)

News & Announcements
Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading)

Project CLEAR builds capacity in implementing and accelerating literacy development in districts across the state. Educators can participate in one of two levels of professional learning offered through Project CLEAR – Teacher Leaders and Teachers. Participation is fully funded through Project CLEAR! For more information, see Project CLEAR’s webpage on our Learning Acceleration System Grant Website.

In Case You Missed It

System of Support Updates (May 2023)

New 21CSLA Practice Brief: Insights from California’s TK Educators and Leaders

Drawing from interviews with California UTK leaders, this practice brief underscores key themes from UTK educational leaders as areas ripe for further research. These findings serve to illuminate the challenges, opportunities, and ingenuity of educators and districts in supporting UTK implementation or expansion. Read the brief

May Resources
  • Mental Health Awareness Month – NAMI raises awareness and provides support to educate the public on mental health
  • Healthy Minds Innovations – an easy to use app as a guide to well-being
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Find ready use lesson plans, student activities, guides, and research aids in this selection of resources for teachers

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

Our 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.

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

Wellness in Education

By Matt J. Navo, Executive Director, CCEE

Headshot of Matt Navo

What do we mean by wellness in education?  For us it means a myriad of support needed to address Social Emotional Learning (SEL), mental health, and well-being of students. If we can see how SEL strategies and practices impact the mental health and well-being of students, then it would allow educational practitioners to be more focused on how to utilize funding to support the wellness of students and educators. Measuring the impact of those supports and services as it relates to the education of the whole child requires an intentional awareness and design so that LEAs can efficiently and effectively address the needs of their students and the educators that support them. This newsletter highlights some resources, services, and supports that address wellness education for adults and students in education and the importance of wellness for teaching and learning.


What Do We Mean by Wellness in Education? 

By Stephanie Gregson, Ed.D. Deputy Executive Director, CCEE

Executive Director Matt Navo started off his article with the question, “What do we mean by wellness in education?” I’d like to dive into this question a little more with adding what does wellness mean and what do we mean by wellness in education for students and educators?

In 1976, Dr. Bill Hetler released the Six Dimensions of Wellness Model. The six dimensions of wellness are: Emotional, Physical, Intellectual, Occupational, Spiritual, and Social. He defines wellness as functioning optimally within your current environment. So what does this mean for students? What does this mean for educators?

Diving into wellness just a little deeper, you find that wellness involves seeing our lives from multiple sides, a holistic view, and brings about an awareness that each dimension is interconnected and contributes to a healthy or unhealthy life. How does this translate into how we are providing an education grounded in wellness? From my experience, the first step is having self-awareness of how we are showing up for ourselves, our students, and our colleagues on a daily basis. How are you as an individual and as part of a collective enhancing your wellness and creating opportunities for students to enhance their wellness?

The National Wellness Institute developed three questions to help professionals and organizations to determine how successfully they are incorporating wellness into their strategies and initiatives:

1. Does this help individuals achieve their full potential?

2. Does this recognize and address multiple dimensions of wellness?

3. Does this affirm and mobilize an individual’s unique qualities and strengths?

I encourage us all to consider these three questions when we are developing programs, strategies, and initiatives for students and for each other.


SEL: Creating Impact To Accelerate Learning

By Barb Flores, Project Director, California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA)

The California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA) recognizes the importance of intentional use of evidence-based practices and integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) into every child’s school experience. SEL is a core component of CCLA, empowering educators with strategies that will impact instructional decisions moving forward.

Aligned with the  California Social Emotional Learning Guiding Principles and Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, CCLA values building positive relationships and leveraging student’s strengths as conditions for learning. CCLA focuses on developing the whole child through a systems lens, promoting equitable and inclusive learning environments with evidence-based social, emotional, and academic practices, and engaging in a process of continuous improvement. CCLA provides asynchronous courses and in-person professional learning that embeds SEL in math, literacy, and language development.

“Engaging educators in implicit and explicit SEL practices is essential to the academic success of students,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. “This essential instructional support provided by the California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration aims to have a great impact on student learning.”

On March 11, 2023, CCLA held its first summit – Students First: Learning Forward Together. Doug Fisher presented All Learning is Social and Emotional. “Academic learning may be the explicit focus of schooling, but what teachers say, the values we express, the materials and activities we choose, and the skills we prioritize all influence how our students think, see themselves, interact with content and with others, and assert themselves in the world.” Dr. Doug Fisher’s session is available at https://sites.google.com/sccoe.org/cclearningacceleration/2023-summit.


A Two Pronged-Approach to Tackling Educator Burnout

By Hallie Fox, Head of Research at Educators Thriving & Tyler Hester, CEO and Founder of Educators Thriving

Tyler Hester spent his first year of teaching like many first year teachers – overwhelmed. Thanks to support from his colleagues, he made it through. During his subsequent years in the classroom and leading a teacher preparation program, he saw numerous early-career educators burnout and leave. He knew what so many of us know: it doesn’t need to be this way. There are predictable and preventable causes of educator burnout. We can and should be better equipping educators to thrive in the face of those predictable challenges. 

As a doctoral student at Harvard, Tyler worked alongside the Boston Teachers Union to pilot a well-being program open to all members – not just new teachers. Much to his surprise, the room the union had booked was too small to accommodate the number of people interested. Since then, Educators Thriving has served educators in over 26 districts and county offices across the country with demonstrated results: statistically significant reductions in burnout and increases in well-being. 

However, Tyler and our team knew that equipping individual educators wasn’t enough; we must also improve the conditions in which teachers work. Educators Thriving now offers measurement and strategic consultation to help school and district leaders improve well-being for all staff using a unique, educator-generated scale. We offer ongoing support to leaders and simultaneously address aspects of organizational structures or culture that detract from staff well-being. By equipping individual educators and enabling leaders to drive systematic change, we can help every educator achieve well-being and reach their full potential.


How We Show Up Matters 

By Erik Swanson, Senior Advisor, CCEE

When we attend meetings, whether in-person or virtual, we tend to follow a pattern or standard of behavior that determines how we interact with our teammates. This could be greeting others enthusiastically, being reserved and waiting to be called on, identifying more strongly with someone with similar experiences, or leaning in to support a teammate in need. While all of these styles can be effective in supporting our teammates, it’s important to consider whether they are effective in supporting the system as a whole.

To understand this better, we can refer to the “Ladder of Connectedness1” graphic, which represents how our connections can either support or mute our ability to foster a generative social field. A space that can support all of our teammates and move the organization forward. The three empathic stances we can take – in-group empathy, cognitive empathy, and altruistic empathy – can definitely support our teammates. However, taking somebody’s side or their feelings and/or perspective doesn’t always allow us to remain neutral and see multiple perspectives, to see the entire system.

This is where neutral awareness comes in – the ability to remain non-judgmental and non-attached, in a state of equanimity and ultimate balance. By showing up with neutral awareness, we can influence the space to be more generative, and drive the system to better outcomes for students. This doesn’t require any extra professional development – just a different way of showing up that can make a big difference. So, try it out and see what you notice – how we show up really does matter.

  1. Peter Senge & Mette Boell, Compassionate Systems Framework