Ann Duffy serves as the Region 6 Comprehensive Center SEA Principal Liaison for Georgia.
Ann Duffy advises state and district leaders to design and implement initiatives that improve student success. She is an expert in P20 transitions and systems, educator development, social and emotional learning and state education advocacy. Ann has worked with state education leaders and advocates through projects such as the Walton Innovative Assessment Project, Family Math Roadmap Implementation and Oregon Community College Association’s Guided Pathways, and with district leaders through such projects as the Wallace Foundation’s Partnership for Social Emotional Learning and Principal Pipeline Initiative and NoVo’s Collaborating Districts Initiative.
After earning her teaching certificate at Harvard, Ann joined the staff of Teach For America, working in the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana, where many students did not have the support and resources they needed to be successful. That experience inspired her to commit to improving public education, first as a community organizer with Parents for Public Schools in Mississippi and later as an executive in state education agencies in Massachusetts and Georgia. Prior to joining Education First, Ann also ventured abroad and served as the PreK-12 Policy Director for the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
Ann holds a doctorate in education policy from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Business Administration from Millsaps College.
The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) provides state-level support to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), as well as to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) throughout the state. As the GaDOE seeks to graduate students ready to learn, live and lead, RC6 provides dynamic support within key initiatives: a project to train School Improvement Coaches, a Dyslexia Pilot Initiative, and the Georgia Whole Child Initiative.
TIFPI Training and Credentials for Georgia School Improvement Coaches
The RC6 is providing the GaDOE with LAUNCH!™ Training from The Institute for Performance Improvement (TIFPI) to prepare School Improvement Coaches to work more effectively with assigned CSI, TSI and Promise schools. Many professionals hired for the job of School Improvement Coach to low-performing schools are experienced educators, but not experienced “coaches.” This training ensures these critical positions in low-performing schools have educators with the same understanding and skill set.
During Years 1 and 2, the RC6 provided LAUNCH!™ Training for three cohorts (30 participants each) of GADOE and GA Regional Education Service Agency RESA) staff supporting CSI and TSI.
The RC6 supports the GaDOE in every step of this process: identifying and inviting cohort participants for the training, helping facilitate the trainings, and evaluating to ensure greater transfer to on-the-job performance.
In Year 3, in addition to providing training for a new Cohort 4, RC6 services focus on performance support of those trained in Years 1 and 2 through the development of SEA capacity to reinforce and support learning transfer to on-the-job performance and results.
Additionally, the RC6 is providing support to the GaDOE in planning for and inducting 8-10 new Academic Recovery Specialists funded by the state’s ARP.
Support for the Georgia Dyslexia Pilot Initiative
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) frameworks address the need for a systematic process at the school level for identifying and supporting students in need of additional supports in and beyond the classroom to be successful. Within these frameworks, states have encouraged schools to identify and address early reading problems in grades K-3 as a way of increasing 3rd grade achievement. Applying MTSS processes to identifying and providing evidence-based supports to students with early reading difficulties was a Georgia state priority as outlined in Senate Bill 48, passed in 2019. Through the three-year Dyslexia Pilot and statewide mandate to follow in 2024-25, the GaDOE aims to enhance the quality of student supports in this area of early reading difficulties at the school level. Identifying and providing supports to students who experienced learning losses due to the pandemic is also a priority in the GaDOE’s ARP.
RC6 will support the GaDOE as it gathers and analyzes information from a three-year pilot program focused on identifying and serving students with dyslexia, as directed by Senate Bill 48. Ultimately, results from this pilot program will inform the Georgia Superintendent’s recommendations to the Legislature regarding a statewide mandate beginning in 2024-25. This mandate is for all districts to identify and provide effective reading interventions in support of students in grades K-3 with characteristics of dyslexia and other reading problems.
RC6 continues to collect data from seven pilot districts to provide annual “Descriptive Implementation Analysis” reports during the three-year pilot encompassing the planning and implementation experiences in the pilot districts as they moved forward with the required dyslexia policy components. RC6 responds to questions from the GaDOE and pilot districts about how other states and districts across the country are handling screenings for dyslexia or implementing MTSS processes.
As a result, the GaDOE and pilot districts are gaining a better understanding of the similarities and differences in how the dyslexia pilots are being planned and implemented across the 7 pilot districts and how the GaDOE’s organizational support could be improved. Additionally, they are learning about applicable research, professional development resources, and implementation challenges.
Visit the Resources section to access documents about Dyslexia resulting from this project.
Support for Georgia’s Whole Child Initiative —addressing students’ non-academic barriers to learning
The GaDOE Whole Child Initiative includes support to low-performing schools in the form of a wraparound services pilot and more recently, a community schools model certification pilot. In addition, the ARP for Georgia includes a priority to “accelerate learning,” which includes a focus on “removing barriers to learning” through funding for additional social workers, nurses, health, and mental health supports. The GaDOE’s priority for this area of removing barriers to learning is reflected in the development of a division within the GaDOE called the Office of Whole Child Supports. Newly expanded, with responsibilities for coordinating the ARP funding for additional Student Support staffing (Social Work, Mental Health, Safety), this division is the client for this project.
RC6 supports the GaDOE in piloting wraparound service strategies in collaboration with low-performing schools: Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools, and Promise schools. This work is in the context of a state pilot program to support districts and identified low-performing schools in planning and implementing wraparound services that address students’ non-academic barriers to learning. The state pilot initiative is part of a larger, emerging GaDOE Whole Child Initiative. By providing an objective analysis of how the planning and implementation of wraparound service strategies are evolving across the state, RC6 helps GaDOE learn from experiences at the pilot schools.
Additionally the RC6 is providing is supporting GaDOE’s data collection efforts from schools piloting the Whole Child community school model certification process, and working with the Office of Whole Child Supports and Technology Services to determine opportunities to enhance data analysis and use.
Statewide Support to Low-Performing Schools-
Emphasize collaborative work across SEA units to deliver evidence-based programs to CSI and TSI schools.
Building capacity to address High-Leverage Problems (HLPs) is integral to the mission of the Comprehensive Center Network and its 19 Regional Centers. The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) addresses HLP 1 in Georgia by enhancing training to School Improvement Coaches in low-performing schools.
RC6 provides the TIFPI LAUNCH!™ Training to ensure those who work with low-performing schools in Georgia have the same understanding and skill set for this critical role.
Read more about LAUNCH!™ training and what past participants have to say about their experiences.
Positive School Climates through Student Supports and Family Engagement-
Focusing on the best use and measurement of data to improve student motivation, social-emotional development and behavioral engagement.
Building capacity to address High-Leverage Problems (HLPs) drives much of the work of the Comprehensive Center Network and its 19 Regional Centers. The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) addresses HLP 4 in Georgia by supporting two pilot initiatives addressing students’ non-academic barriers to learning: the Whole Child Initiative and Dyslexia Pilot Initiative.
Through these projects, RC6 builds capacity within the GaDOE to better understand and address big-picture challenges (poverty and early learning difficulties) at state and local levels.