Donna Brown serves as the Region 6 Comprehensive Center SEA Principal Liaison for North Carolina. Prior to joining the RC6 team, Donna served as the Director of Federal Program Monitoring and Support for the NC Department of Public Instruction. She has worked thirty-seven years in education, beginning her career as a third grade teacher in the Foothills of NC. She has served in multiple leadership roles focusing on instructional excellence, continuous school improvement, and services to underserved populations. In her free time, Donna enjoys spending time with her granddaughters and working on home improvement projects.
Read highlights about RC6 projects in North Carolina.
The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) provides state-level support to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), as well as to some of the 116 Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) throughout the state. NC DPI’s vision is for every public-school student to graduate ready for post-secondary education and work, and to be a globally engaged and productive citizen.
To assist in achieving this vision, and to address key High-Leverage Problems (HLPs) in the region, RC6 builds capacity at multiple levels through technical support and consultative services created with key issues in mind: low-performing schools, more equitable access to quality educators and state-level policy implementation.
Supporting CSI Schools Implementing Innovative Partnership Grants (IPGs)
NCDPI established a competition to award IPGs to CSI schools in the spring of 2020 and 2021. This grant provides additional fiscal resources, technical support, and site visits to improve student achievement and, ultimately, to assist these schools with exiting the federal identification/status of CSI. In the meantime, NCDPI has experienced a legislated reduction of staff who previously provided direct support from the SEA to the lowest-performing schools. In response to these changes, the SEA is implementing a redesigned system of regional support, which relies on the coordination of services provided across the agency.
This RC6 project provides technical assistance to the SEA support team for planning and implementing support to the 35 IPG-funded CSI schools, as well as provides supports to the IPG School Coaches, Principals, and District Liaisons community through ongoing virtual facilitated events and relevant resources.
RC6 will conduct an analysis of the approved applications and implementation of funded strategies to understand the importance of roles (i.e., PG Coaches, Principals, and District Liaisons) working with IPG schools and effective procedures and supports for districts and schools, as well as to identify key practices for increasing the efficiency of IPG implementation.
Improved, Equitable Early School Experiences
The RC6 will provide resources, leadership, and mentoring for a professional development initiative focused on ensuring equitable access to high quality early learning environments. Support will be provided to participants in a P-3 Leadership program as they develop next steps for their communities along with a focus on prioritizing ESSER funds to support early learning.
The RC6 assembled a team of early childhood experts and practitioners at the state, local, and school level who determined the need for a statewide collaborative in this early childhood area because of the challenge to ensure school policies, practices, and strategies for our youngest learners encompass what research and data tell us is essential to their successful development and learning. Thus, the RC6 will provide resources, leadership, and mentoring for a professional development initiative focused on the development and implementation of early learning recommendations.
Beginning with a cohort of elementary and early learning leaders, the RC6 will provide support as this group participates in a P-3 Leadership Certificate program through the National P-3 Center at the University of Colorado Denver, and subsequently, as the cohort members individually develop next steps for their local communities. Support will include strategies and resources to rethink early learning policies and practices and to prioritize federal funding (including from the state’s ARP) in order to ensure equitable access to learning opportunities for our youngest learners and their families. In addition, leaders will increase knowledge and grow abilities to understand development and content across domains and subject areas thus resulting in improved child outcomes, including the elimination of achievement and opportunity gaps in literacy and mathematics.
Building Engineers in K-5 Classrooms
In alignment with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, the RC6 is developing implementation plans that, along with statewide support systems, build LEA/school capacity to ensure effective STEM education via the engineering design process within regular K-5 classroom instruction.
The RC6 will support the facilitation of a leadership team in the process of creating a 2-year plan to spread high-quality STEM practice throughout their elementary classrooms. These plans will be driven by local context and strategic plans. Six LEAs chosen for the initial cohort will receive in-district professional development as well as ongoing support throughout implementation.
Support for Alternative Learning Programs and Schools in North Carolina
The RC6 is supporting the ALPS in NC project by structuring a network that allows ALPS administrators and teachers to share experiences with innovative and evidence-based strategies. The project provides support to the SEA and LEAs by (a) creating a statewide network for Alternative Learning Program leaders to collaborate and share research-based strategies; (b) providing information on a range of strategies/solutions for improving student engagement and outcomes (e.g., competency-based education); (c) developing an ALPS framework of competencies that support leadership and instruction in the alternative learning environment; and (d) using data and indicators to identify areas of strength and potential growth.
The goals of the network are to allow Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) alternative schools and programs to network and share in a Community of Practice that encourages collaboration and problem solving with research-based strategies specific to the alternative setting.
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) drives much of the work of the Comprehensive Center Network and its 19 Regional Centers. The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) addresses HLP 1 in North Carolina by building collaborative structures around ESSA implementation and supporting CSI schools as they implement their awarded Innovative Partnership Grants.
Equitable Student Access to Effective Teachers and Principals-
Develop innovative strategies and knowledge sharing to reduce inequitable access.
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 3 in North Carolina by focusing on LEA strategies to reduce inequitable access, including co-hosting an Innovative Strategy Sharing Meeting in summer 2020.
Positive School Climates- Focusing on the best use and measurement of data to improve student motivation, social emotional development and behavioral engagement. Also working to empower families to support their student’s engagement.
The Region 6 Comprehensive Center (RC6) addresses HLP 4 by implementing a customized annual plan of support for each SEA in using School Climate data; designing and implementing a system of support to LEAs and CSI/TSI schools on evidence-based practices to improve behavioral engagement; and working with SEAs to support LEA/CSI school use of EBPs to empower families to choose high quality education settings and opportunities.