One of the departments listed in the long list of cuts from the January Board meeting featured a thorough gutting of the Educational Research and Design team staff.
This team, along with our classroom teachers, actually can be credited with innovative work that has helped Jeffco continue to serve students well while funding has decreased substantially, specifically $558,029,889 in funding reductions due to the negative factor alone since 2009.
Because the first response from the general public always seems to be cutting administration and because Jeffco is already too light on administration and not everyone sees the work of this staff, we’d like to share more information about that department.
Educational Research and Design partners with our classroom colleagues to support teaching and learning. Here are just a few of the many examples from each department.
Curriculum and Instruction
This department supports teachers with resources, training, and partnership in the areas of curriculum development, resource review, side by side planning, english as a second language, dual language, adult ESL, translation services, early childhood, choice programs, internships, apprenticeships, STEM, project based learning, all of the content areas (including World Language, Art Music, and PE), support for instructional coaching, educational technology, digital teacher librarians, blended learning, and online learning. We support teachers at the rate 620 visits with schools and teachers each month. Teachers regularly provide feedback on their appreciation of the side by side work this department does to support them as professionals.
Instructional Data Services (IDS)
The IDS department’s work includes accountability, data analytics, assessment design and development, assessment literacy, state/district assessment administration and interpretation, program evaluation, online student data warehouse tools, continuous improvement practices, and student data privacy processes.
Specific work includes:
* Supporting the administration, reporting and interpretation of all state and district assessments (e.g., CMAS, ACCESS for ELLs, CoALT, PSAT, SAT, ACT, MAP, DIBELS, etc.).
* Providing resources and professional learning for assessment literacy and balanced assessment practices.
* Conducting research and evaluation on the effectiveness of school/district programs and strategies, as well as early warning models to intervene with at-risk students.
* Conducting district-wide surveys for parents, students, and staff.
* Providing custom online data systems to support student educational plan design and reporting (e.g., READ plans, MTSS [Multi-tiered support system for student needs], Advanced Learning Plans, etc.), as well as educator effectiveness for Individual Educator and School Goals.
* Supporting school accountability and providing technical assistance on the School Performance Frameworks, Alternative Education Campus performance frameworks, Requests to Reconsider for school performance ratings, and school goals for educator effectiveness and their Unified Improvement Plan.
Student Data Privacy and Reporting
* Managing student data privacy processes as required by district policy and state statute.
* Reports October Count and other pertinent information to the Colorado Department of Education to ensure funding for our district.
* Supports student transcripts
Thoughtful, well qualified, and planned administration can be a highly effective tool for success in serving students. Highly qualified administrative staff serves our educators in classrooms as partners with teachers.
“Colorado Department of Education figures show that in 2013-14 school year, DPS had 400 people classified as administrators for a school district with about 11,500 overall employees and nearly 86,000 students. Jefferson County Schools, which also has nearly 86,000 students and slightly more than 11,000 employees, only listed 105 administrators in that year.”