What is a Community of Practice?

Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

March of 2017, District Teams met in the Piedmont-Triad and Northwest Regions to develop their KEA Implementation Plans. This sample template was used by teams. Teams worked together to engage as a Community of Practice to share ideas, problem-solve together, and develop their implementation plans.
To learn more about Communities of Practice click here.

Add to the Community of Practice by sharing your 2017-18 District Implementation Plan!

The following implementation plan drafts have been shared by teams to contribute to the Community of Practice as teams continue to develop their implementation plans:

Email cynthia.dewey@dpi.nc.gov or nicole.galloway@dpi.nc.gov to share your plan.

Check out the resources Teams are sharing!

Rockingham County Schools

During the March 2017 regional meeting and a recent GoTo meeting, the Rockingham Team shared how they use Connect Teams at the building level to create an aligned and balanced instruction and assessment approach to add to the Community of Practice.

Newton-Conover City Schools

During the March 2017 regional meeting, the Newton-Conover District Team shared how utilizing a Lead Teacher for demonstrating the KEA and peer coaching has been successful in their district and they added to the Community of Practice.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

During the June GoTo meeting, the WSFCS DIT shared their Building Implementation Team planning template as part of the Community of Practice.

Have a skill to share or looking for an idea? Use Give and Get resource!

Several DIT members volunteered to share their experiences and ideas during the March 2017 regional meeting.
DIT members shared their contact information on the following topics:
  • Communication
  • Online Platform
  • KEA Content
  • Formative Assessment Process
  • Feedback Loop

The topics are aligned with the Office of Early Learning strategic goals and the DIT 2017-18 planning template.
For the list of volunteers by topic, click here.

District Implementation Planning and Ideas for 2016-17 Kindergarten Entry

This page contains training materials, ideas, and activities shared by school districts as they plan for implementing the kindergarten entry in NC.

2016-17 Alamance-Burlington School System

The Alamance Team has created an implementation plan with several notable features, which have been successful for their district:
  • The team provides comprehensive training at all levels of their staff: teachers beyond kindergarten, support staff, school leaders, PreK teachers, and EC teachers. This creates a whole school approach and provides teachers and students the support they need to implement the formative assessment process.
  • They have a plan for ongoing support using their existing meeting structures, for example, utilizing principals’ meetings and academic coaches’ meetings to continue to build instructional leadership.This shows the priority they have placed on formative assessment and how it has become part of what they do.
  • They also use online modules, both ones they have created and tailored for their district and ones created by the regional team, found here. This allows for flexibility in delivery to meet the needs of adult learners and demands for limited professional development time.
  • They have also built in times throughout the 60 days for teachers to work together to plan and share evidences and upload them together into the technology platform.
  • You can visit ABSS KEA website here to see their work, including videos and modules they have created! https://sites.google.com/a/abss.k12.nc.us/kea/home
    To learn more, please contact Dr. Robin Finberg, Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at ABSS: robin_finberg@abss.k12.nc.us

2016-17 Avery County Schools

The team in Avery County developed a plan that includes making purposeful connections between PreK and K in using the formative assessment process.
  • The team is purposefully considering ways that they can leverage the PreK and KEA constructs to support students’ transition from PreK to kindergarten, including the possibility of creating a transition document. This is a powerful way to support the development of the whole child through the transition to kindergarten.
  • They plan to create a shared Google sheet to help kindergarten teachers manage and keep track of data collected.
  • The team will also utilize the PLC structure to support teachers in setting goals around the KEA.
To learn more, please contact Ellis Ayers, Director of Curriculum & Accountability: ellisayers@averyschools.net

2016-17 Caldwell County Schools

The Caldwell team has created a plan that will utilize a variety of resources to further build teachers’ implementation of a balanced assessment system in their classrooms. Highlights of their plan include:
To learn more, please contact Vickie Sproul, Elementary School Director: vsproul@caldwellschools.com

2016-17 Catawba County Schools

The district implementation team in Catawba has created a plan that includes several opportunities for teachers to collaborate across the district:
  • The team plans to create a shared Google folder accessible to all kindergarten teachers, allowing them to share their implementation ideas with colleagues across the district.
  • They plan to leverage Lead Teachers to support their PD sessions with other teachers through share outs and collaborative planning.
  • During face-to-face PD sessions, teachers will engage in Make It, Take It sessions during which they will create classroom activities that connect to the construct progressions.
  • The team plans to utilize the Formative Assessment Process Matching Activity with principals in the district. This will provide principals with critical knowledge that will allow them to support kindergarten teachers in their buildings.
To learn more, please contact Shelly Black, Elementary Director at Catawba County Schools: shelly_black@catawbaschools.net

2016-17 Davidson County Schools

The Davidson Team has created an implementation plan focused on ongoing coaching and teacher buy-in. Their team has been quite successful with utilizing a model that includes teachers teaching teachers to promote buy-in and deepen teachers' understanding over time. Some ways they are going about this work include:
  • Teachers lead, create, and conduct professional development and design resources to support the work. An example of a resource created by Sherri Hartley in Davidson can be found here.
  • The team provides a variety of ways for teachers to learn about the work and ongoing opportunities to deepen understanding over time.
  • They also provide several ½ days of professional development followed by additional time within schools for teachers to learn and grow together. This ongoing, collaborative planning time has been a successful strategy for several districts across the region.
    This team's commitment to building capacity promotes buy-in and positively impacts teachers’ ability to implement well and adjust their instruction to best meet the needs of their students.
To learn more, please contact Deana Coley, Director of Elementary Education at Davidson County Schools: dcoley@davidson.k12.nc.us

2016-17 Elkin City Schools

The Elkin Team has created an Implementation Plan that focuses on opportunities for teacher collaboration.
  • The team provides opportunities for kindergarten teachers to work together to upload data throughout the first 60 days of school.
  • The team also includes ongoing grade level planning sessions focused on making connections between classroom activities and the constructs. This is significant, because it provides teachers a planned and structured opportunity to apply their knowledge of the constructs to their daily instruction and to use their data in meaningful ways to make instructional decisions together.
  • Teacher collaboration during implementation matters. During the KEA Pilot, the most successful implementers had partners to plan with and discuss their data as they made instructional choices.
To learn more, please contact Cynthia Altemueller, Chief Academic Officer at Elkin City Schools: altemuellerc@elkin.k12.nc.us.

2016-17 Newton Conover City Schools

The Newton Conover City Schools team is creating and using videos of their own teachers engaged in the formative assessment process as part of their professional development.
  • The team will use a video of one of their own kindergarten teachers to share during professional development sessions. This resource addresses the question, “What does this look like when I’m doing it well?” and will provide tangible support for their PD.
  • They plan to utilize their Instructional Facilitators and the PLC time for their kindergarten teams to coach and support teachers in implementing the five critical components of the formative assessment process.
  • Professional Development in August will focus on the new construct progressions for Phase II of the KEA and on utilizing the formative assessment data to inform instruction.
To learn more, please contact Tammy Brown, Director of Elementary Curriculum & ESL Services at Newton Conover City Schools: tammy_brown@nccs.k12.nc.us

2016-17 Rockingham County Schools

The Rockingham County Team has created an implementation plan that includes purposeful use of multiple forms of data (Glows/Grows Document, Self-Reflection Tool, Evidence Status Report, and Status Summary Report).
There are several notable elements in their plan:
  • The team is creative about places to house their data (Google docs).
  • They make use of a variety of meeting structures (K Connect, principals’ meetings) for reviewing the data.
  • They consider who will lead data discussions and are thoughtful about what questions to ask. These type of data discussions are important and valued by leaders in the region. In a recent GoTo meeting, several district leaders shared the importance of having knowledge of data use and facilitated data discussions. Rockingham County has made this a priority and can share what they have learned to best meet the needs of their students.
To learn more, please contact June Nealy, Director of Elementary Schools/Title I, at jnealy@rock.k12.nc.us.

2016-17 Surry County Schools

The Surry County Team has created an implementation plan to provide significant time and support for teachers (utilizing Assistant Principals at the building level) throughout the entire school year, showing their commitment to the formative assessment process as a way of teaching and learning beyond the 60th day. Some important ways Surry County is moving forward with this work:
  • The team provides full day, comprehensive training for all kindergarten teachers.
  • Assistant Principals support implementation by engaging in ongoing follow-up at the school level.
  • They provide time and support to promote the formative assessment process as a way of teaching and learning from the beginning to the end of the school year. This support is especially noteworthy, because when teachers in NC were surveyed, they said they are willing and able to implement a formative assessment process, provided they are given resources to strengthen, support, and guide them.
To learn more, please contact Dr. Jill Reinhardt, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum/Instruction, at reinhardtj@surry.k12.nc.us.

2016-17 Thomasville City Schools

The Thomasville City School Team has created an implementation plan that includes several opportunities for teachers to collaborate to share ideas and work together as they engage in the process. Some important aspects of their plan include:
  • Use of a support model that includes both a coach and peer support from experienced pilot teachers. This is an important strategy! The most successful implementers had partners to plan and discuss their data with as they made instructional choices to meet the learning needs of their students.
  • Their team has also created a strategic, comprehensive model for training that includes a blended training model (online and face-to-face) to meet the learning needs of their staff.
  • They have also been thoughtful to be inclusive of multiple members of their staff: administrators, support staff, preK teachers, and kindergarten teachers. This shows their commitment to the process as a whole school effort and philosophy.
To learn more, please contact Aaron Kline at klinea@tcs.k12.nc.us or Janet Ray at rayj@tcs.k12.nc.us.

2016-17 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Team has created an implementation plan to build capacity through utilizing Curriculum Coaches and Administrators. They have also been purposeful to gather evaluation data from professional development sessions and from teachers as they implement the kindergarten entry process. Here are a few important features of Winston-Salem/Forsyth's implementation plan:
  • They provide full day, comprehensive training for kindergarten teachers with a variety of ways to deepen their understanding.
  • They focus on capacity building for Curriculum Coaches and Administrators to support the implementation process throughout the year. This sets the stage for success and provides the needed administrative support over 5,000 kindergarten teachers in NC requested in a statewide survey.
  • They have also been especially thoughtful about how they will gather information about the impact of their training, being sure to gather teacher input by using the Glows/Grows document and session evaluations for each learning opportunity.
To learn more, please contact Dr. Eva Phillips, Ready Schools Coordinator, at ecphillips@wsfcs.k12.nc.us or Vanessa Osborne, District Implementation Team PD Workgroup Lead, at vmosborne@wsfcs.k12.nc.us