Strategic Plan Feedback
Strategy 1: Design and implement an aligned assessment system for MESD schools and programs that directly serve students.
Is the aligned assessment system intended to assess the students or of the programs and schools the students attend? How will it account for existing school-based assessments? Doesn’t ODE dictate assessments?
The aligned system will include measures that assess both individual students and programs. As a student-focused agency, measuring individual growth is critical to ensuring all students achieve excellence. Additionally, having measures in place to gauge how well our programs are serving students overall is important to determining how best to provide programs that support students achieving excellence. Many of our programs already have some existing school-based assessments, such as ULS, STAR, MAPs, or LGL that provide insight into student growth and learning. Students also participate in statewide assessments like SBAC, ELPA21 and Extended Assessment. In some cases, the assessments are dictated by our contracts (i.e. ODE requires LGL) or state requirements and in other cases, they are program selected internal measures to support student learning. Most of our current measures are limited in scope (ex. Lexile level of student or current math grade level). The focus of this goal is to create a more comprehensive system that looks at all aspects of how our programs are serving students.
How will assessment work for short-term students?
As part of the strategy, we intend to identify the best assessments to measure growth for our short-term stay students. With short-term students, we will identify key student-focused areas that are measurable, and then develop mechanisms to measure a baseline and student progress. Each program will utilize appropriate tools for short term growth measures that can inform instructional decisions and provide data about student learning and growth.
How is participation in assessment defined?
Student participation will be defined in two ways. The first is whether the student is provided with the opportunity to participate. The second is whether, when provided the opportunity to participate, the student completes at least half of the assessment. For those students who are highly impacted, they will be provided the opportunity for alternative assessments based on their IEP status.
How will you address opt-outs to achieve 100% participation in school assessments? How does this apply to the hospital population?
Opt-outs from assessments, as defined by the Oregon Department of Education, should be a small percentage when compared to overall participation. Opt-outs must be a parent decision and may not be employee-based or recommended. This is true for all programs and populations, including those in hospital settings.
Is there PD for designers/implementation of assessment system? If so, who is providing that / what model?
As we develop the system, we will provide PD for designers / implementation in the manner most appropriate for what is developed. Presently, for the locally implemented assessments, we have been utilizing professional learning and development opportunities provided at the campuses and within departments. We anticipate that this will continue.
My program has limited instructional time. How can we help ensure that students are engaged and showing growth?
Student engagement is critical to student learning. There are a lot of engagement strategies that teachers and educational assistants can use to maximize engagement. MESD provides PD to support implementation of engagement strategies at the program and individual level. Student growth occurs when they are engaged in authentic and targeted standards-based instruction. Assessing student baseline levels is an essential step to identifying growth targets. Interim and summative assessments then help demonstrate growth past the baseline. By individualizing for each student based on their needs and/or IEP goals, we can ensure students are showing growth. If a student has an IEP, the goals noted within the document must be addressed and taught.
These metrics are focused on traditional academics. Will they expand to cover a broader range of program offerings?
As we develop the aligned system, additional metrics may become apparent. We are open to looking at additional metrics that cover the full spectrum of our programming supports.
How are ELL students served by this goal?
If a student qualifies for ELL services, the student is assessed utilizing appropriate assessment tool. For any questions regarding ELL student assessment, please contact Melissa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org Currently MESD uses the state approved Woodcock-Munoz as a screener and the ELPA21 as a progress monitoring tool. Beginning next year, the state approved ELPA21 will be used as a screener, and then ADEPT and ELPA21 will be used as a progress monitoring assessment. The Woodcock/Muñoz and the IPT is will continue to be utilized for more analysis as deemed necessary. All assessments administered for ELLs are used to inform standards-based instruction.
Strategy 2 - Coordinate the implementation of a consistent regional standard for the quality and delivery of professional learning for the educational community
Would you consider changing PD to professional learning?
We appreciate this feedback and agree that professional learning is a better description. We’ve made this change throughout the draft language.
What will the regional standard be? Are we using Learning Forward standards or developing our own?
The Regional Standard will be decided based on conversations with District Curriculum Directors. ODE elevates the Learning Forward Standards as best practice in creating, delivering and assessing Professional Development / Learning. These Standards are in use already within our region, so it is a good guess that these will become the Standards.
Will professional learning target specific content areas?
Yes, professional learning will target specific content areas recommended by MESD’s component districts. Based on initial conversations, we anticipate the targeted areas will include Social-Emotional Skills, Trauma Sensitive Schools, Mental Health & Wellness, Collaborative Problem Solving, etc.
Will professional learning be aligned to instructional practices and adult mindsets?
Yes. This alignment will be stated in the Regional Standards. Both of these areas are important as we aim to reach the educational community surrounding our students.
Will follow-up implementational data be provided?
Yes. As a means of considering the effectiveness and impact of the professional learning offered, data will be gathered and shared on how the content is being implemented in practice.
How was the 20% target determined?
There are more than 7,000 educators in Multnomah County. Given the scope, timeline and baseline level, we felt that 20% was a realistic goal in the initial stages. As a regional provider, we are able to provide service to our component districts but cannot make specific services mandatory for districts we serve. Realistically, 20% as noted above is a baseline to reach for. Over the next two years we will need to (1) seek feedback, (2) develop, test and refine our standards, and then we can (3) reach our initial target levels. If given more time, we expect that target level to grow.
Why are the percentages different for educational professionals vs. school health staff?
This is a great question. We will change the metric to reflect the same figure (80%), holding all of our staff to the same goal.
How will you know what professional learning opportunities are being provided by individual districts?
This is a conversation that is ongoing with our Districts through our Curriculum Advisory and our Student Services Advisory.
Strategy 3 - Improve effectiveness of educational services** by utilizing social-emotional learning tools and supports
Does attendance refer to staff attendance at MESD events/trainings or student attendance in schools?
It refers to student attendance in schools. The goal has been set at 2 percentage points per year improvement, totaling 6 percentage points improvement over three years.
What plans are there specifically for schools to improve attendance? Are we including Paul in this conversation?
The plans are district-specific (and then school-specific, within the district) based on conversations with District and School-based attendance staff. Paul Berg, the Regional Coordinator for Chronic Absenteeism, is integral to the conversations occurring at both the school and district level. Examples of plans currently enacted are: Every Day Matters advertisement campaign; Parent-Teacher Home Visit trainings; and, Truancy support conversations that include local judges.
How was the 15% restraint and seclusion rate determined as the target?
This was at the rate of 5% per year over three years = 15%. This is a target that was created for actual and achievable goals utilizing a year to year comparison of restraint and seclusion data that is collected for reporting. A 5% decrease in restraints is possible due to consistent implementation of Safety Care and de-escalation strategies / techniques within our school sites.
How is the educational community defined? How will 50% participation be measured?
The educational community is the collective of the adults that surround our students’ learning - such as, bus drivers, nurses, education assistants, facilities staff, teachers, and superintendents. It also includes community-based partners. The participation is measured based on attendance at the Trauma Sensitive Schools trainings hosted by MESD.
Will we be measuring how effective our schools are at returning students to a least restrictive setting?
We already maintain this information regarding students returning to less restrictive environments.
Strategy 1: Create regional equity collaboration and professional learning opportunities
How does achievement gap reduction happen? What are the strategies?
Identifying the specific equity strategies for PD will be part of the work of the regional equity collaboration. Achievement gap reduction is the ultimate target of any equity work.
How is equity defined? Is it based on the ODE Equity Lens?
An important goal of regional collaboration is to agree on common definitions of frequently used terms like “equity” to best align practices and approaches. The ODE equity lens is an excellent example of a possible source.
How is the baseline number of educators in professional learning determined?
Building accurate measurement will be critical to the ongoing work of the goal team. Baseline numbers will likely be estimates until we build and implement consistent measurement across all district systems.
How many educators at MESD are people of color? How many supervisors?
The staff demographic data available is from the self-reporting forms collected when people are hired. That information is provided below. It is not broken out by position.
642 FT Staff
Race (NOTE: 44% of staff declined to identify)
American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.3%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.8%
Two or More: 8.4%
72.1% female, 27.7% male
What strategies will support the increase in number of educators of color? What is the targeted increase? How can leaders in this work, such as PSU’s network for leaders of color, be united?
The group will look at a number of existing regional strategies, as well as promising practices from other regions and industries, to determine the most effective strategies for regionalization. Connecting and supporting existing, and developing leaders of color, will certainly be one of the strategies.
Will the EAC be a part of the process of determining professional learning opportunities or facilitate the process in any way?
The Educator Advancement Council is one possible process and support for this work. The EAC is still a developing concept, but MESD is paying close attention to the work and will likely be part of an application to support regional implementation of EAC work.
How will teachers help determine the availability of professional learning opportunities?
The structures are not yet built, but inclusion of practitioner voice in identifying needs and building opportunities will be key component of the work. This will likely include surveys as well as educators included on any decision-making bodies. The EAC for example, requires at least 50% of members to be practicing educators.
What types of professional learning will be available? Will they be customized to the teaching context and needs of the student population?
Yes - needs of students and educators will be part of the process of identifying the professional learning we will support and regionalize.
What are “aligned learning” opportunities? Are they aligned to MESD priorities or district needs?
Both. Part of the goal is that we further align practices across MESD and regional school districts.
How will the efficacy of professional learning be measured? How will we know if training is successfully transforming educators’ attitudes about equity?
This will be part of the work of the team. Measuring the efficacy, rather than just delivering with no clear idea of impact, is a key part of the strategy. The exact methods are not yet determined.
The metrics in this strategy refers to educators. How is nursing represented?
In this frame, we are all educators accepting responsibility for student outcomes. This is inclusive of nurses.
Strategy 2: Support Regional Systems of Educator Development from Pre-service Through Career (Activities to be Established with Regional Council - Metrics TBD based on chosen activity)
What is RFP?
Request for Proposal. The state department of education is providing funding for proposals that aim to support regional systems of educator development. Their process is to issue a “Request for Proposal” which describes what the department is looking to fund and then applicants or applicant groups, like MESD and its districts, provide a proposal for the work.
If mentoring is implemented as a target:
This will be determined by the regional team, which will include a variety of perspectives and voices. There are some active programs regionally and we can and will drawn on their experiences, as well as what research says about effective programs.
Strategy 3: Align regional education opportunities K-12 / Higher Education (Regional Metrics to be Identified with Team - Proposed Metrics Listed)
How will a system be developed to track dual credit being awarded? How can districts be certain that colleges will count the credits earned by students?
We have already started these conversations with a regional education council that is inclusive of all regional districts (and MESD) and our local institutions of higher education. The individual colleges already track dual credit awarded, and we will build a regional tracking system.
Counting of credits is an ongoing issue in the state. We are working with our local institutions and providing information for potential legislative action.
Strategy 1: Ensure districts are receiving value from MESD through data collection, analysis and communicating results
No questions submitted.
Strategy 2: Improve how MESD engages students and families participating in MESD programs and schools
No questions submitted.
Strategy 3: Build and strengthen relationships with community benefit organizations, government agencies, and private industry
No questions submitted.
Strategy 1: Improve employee satisfaction and engagement
Why was the target fill rate set to 95%? Is this broken out by teaching staff and nursing staff?
This was set based on the already remarkable fill baseline fill rate of 92%. It is not broken out between teaching and nursing. It is a composite of licensed positions.
How are we looking at filling a strong and abundant pool of subs in the classrooms? How can subs be prepared for the specific needs of MESD programs?
There is a local, regional, and national shortage of substitutes for the positions that most frequently are in need of substitutes including, education assistants and nurses. Our staff are well trained, experienced and knowledgeable and are the best people to support students in classrooms. Rather than focus on increasing substitutes who lack familiarity and experience with our student populations, MESD is focusing on addressing climate and culture factors that may negatively impact employee attendance including looking at strategies to boost communication, collaboration and wellness of all staff.
What measurement tools besides sub fill rate do you use to evaluate employee satisfaction?
Employee satisfaction is also measured through the annual employee satisfaction survey, suggestion box feedback forms, and the annual employee wellness survey. We’ve previously used externally administered surveys, 100 Best, but will develop and administer an internally developed survey beginning in the 19-20 school year. This will give us a more appropriate survey for our agency and one we can administer on a better schedule given our school year.
Are management and administrative staff receiving training to build upon ways that increase employee morale and retention?
Yes. Supervisors have been receiving a variety of trainings this school year aimed at supporting school and program climate and culture including; transformational leadership, restorative justice as a model for resolving interpersonal conflict among staff and students, value and methodology of employee appreciation, and understanding union contracts.
Strategy 2: Improve human resources processes to recruit, develop and retain talented staff
How will the evaluation process work? Will standards match the requirements of each position?
Representatives from AFSCME and MESD human resources are working collaboratively this year to create a comprehensive evaluation process for classified employees. The new evaluation will be rolled out in the fall of 2019. The process has built-in flexibility to allow evaluations to accurately reflect the requirements of the various positions held by employees whose evaluation standards aren’t dictated by TSPC or other licensing organizations.
Have you considered doing interviews with long-term employees?
This is a good suggestion and something we will definitely consider.
Strategy 3: Increase how well MESD demographics match community demographics
What are the strategies for recruiting a more demographically representative workforce?
Strategies during the 2018-19 school year included training for hiring managers to recognize and respond to implicit bias in screening and interviewing applicants, working towards the creation of a culture of equitable and inclusive practices starting with the adoption of an Board equity lens and providing a professional learning equity series hosted by the Bars To Bridges Transition Specialists to build knowledge and awareness of equity principles and practices in schools and work sites.
Future strategies include developing an agency equity lens, commencing a revamped equity committee, hiring of a Director level equity position that will lead equity work within MESD and regionally through a collaborative with MESD, CESD, and NWRESD.
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