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REL Southwest News

Opportunities to Improve Early Learning Under ESSA: Q&A With Janice Keizer (03/17/17)
Janice Keizer, liaison for our prekindergarten research alliances, discusses ways that states can promote early learning under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Read more
Webinar Recap/Archive: Strengthening School Partnerships With Native Families and Communities (03/17/17)
Did you miss our webinar on high-quality resources for engaging Native families and communities? Read the recap of the event and view the archived webinar and resources. Read more
Resource Roundup: Engaging Native Families & Communities (03/10/17)
REL Southwest works on a variety of projects to support Native students, families, and communities. Read on to learn about some of our resources, events, and work in this area. Read more
REL Southwest and the Texas Comprehensive Center Showcase Their Work in Texas at the 2017 TASA Midwinter Conference (02/27/17)
REL Southwest and the Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) showcased their work in Texas in a joint session at the 2017 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Midwinter Conference in Austin on January 30. The session highlighted the work that REL Southwest and the TXCC are doing around educator effectiveness, Hispanic STEM outcomes, and English learner education. Read more
Webinar Archive: Student Learning Objectives: Lessons Learned and Next Steps (01/12/17)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar "Student Learning Objectives: Lessons Learned and Next Steps.” The event was cohosted by REL Southwest and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders on October 19, 2016. Archived resources offer national, state, and district perspectives on the use of student learning objectives in educator evaluation systems. Access the archive

Past News

2016

Webinar Archive Posted: Preschool to Kindergarten: Successfully Navigating the Transition (11/14/16)
View the archive for the bridge event webinar "Preschool to Kindergarten: Successfully Navigating the Transition," hosted by REL Southwest on August 2, 2016. The presentation examines research on supporting children's transition to school and includes a practitioner's description of her district's successful kindergarten transition plan. Access the archive
REL Southwest Hosts Louisiana Workshop on Student Data Privacy Laws and Data Use to Guide Culturally Relevant Instruction (11/02/16)
More than 415 charter school educators in Louisiana attended our two-day workshop in New Orleans on student data privacy laws and culturally relevant instruction. REL Southwest partnered with the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools to host the workshop on August 4–5, 2016. Participants included teachers and school leaders from more than 10 charter schools as well as data specialists, Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) staff, and members of REL Southwest's Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance. Read more
Webinar Archive Posted: Culturally Responsive Resources for Native Students (10/18/16)
The archive is available for the bridge event "Culturally Responsive Resources for Native Students," co-sponsored on May 11, 2016, by REL Southwest, the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation, and the National Indian Education Association. The presentation highlighted two online repositories of culturally responsive resources designed to strengthen the teacher-student connection and to support Native American students. Access the archive
West Feliciana Parish Seniors Rank Second in State on ACT (08/05/16)
West Feliciana Parish Schools, whose superintendent serves on REL Southwest’s Governing Board and Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance, notched Louisiana's second-highest score on the ACT college admissions test in 2016. Read more
Homer Elementary Wins $50,000 Grand Prize in Collaboration Nation Video Contest (08/04/16)
Todd Crabtree, a member of our Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance and superintendent of Byng Public Schools in Ada, Oklahoma, is proud to announce that Byng’s Homer Elementary has won the $50,000 grand prize in the Collaboration Nation video contest. Read more
News from the REL Southwest Spring Governing Board: Welcome New Members and Director! (06/15/16)
REL Southwest held its Spring Governing Board meeting in New Orleans on May 24, 2016. Members also toured award-winning Edward Hynes Charter School. Two new members  joined the Governing Board: Dr. Kenneth Heydrick and Dr. Brian Riedlinger. We also thanked outgoing REL Southwest director, Vicki Dimock, Ph.D., for her leadership over the past four years and welcomed new director, Michael Vaden-Kiernan, Ph.D. Read more
REL Southwest Showcases Work to Support Rural Schools and English Learner Students (04/28/16)
REL Southwest highlighted its work in poster sessions at the Carnegie Summit in San Francisco on March 22–24, 2016, and at the 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in the District of Columbia on April 8–12. The national conferences drew attendees from across the United States and around the world. Read more
REL Southwest Holds Newcomer Workshop in Houston to Explore Resources for Immigrant Students (04/24/16)
REL Southwest held a timely workshop on the emerging issue of newcomer students, immigrant children recently arrived to the United States, and the special needs and concerns of that population. Read more
Archive Posted: Bridging Research, Policy, and Practice in Early Childhood Education (04/18/16)
View the archive for the symposium "Bridging Research, Policy, and Practice in Early Childhood Education," hosted on December 10, 2015, to explore early childhood trends, policy issues, and instructional strategies, with a focus on Louisiana. The archive includes presentations, handouts, videos, and more.  Access the archive
Video Spotlight: Collaborative Research With the New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance (04/04/16)
Watch our new video to learn about REL Southwest's collaborative research partnership with the New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance.  Read more
Archive Available: Teaching Math to Young Children Practice Guide: Hands-On Workshop (02/16/16)
The archive is available for the bridge event "Teaching Math to Young Children Practice Guide: Hands-On Workshop," hosted by REL Southwest on November 16, 2015. This free workshop explored the evidence-based recommendations in the Teaching Math to Young Children practice guide, produced by the What Works Clearinghouse. The archive includes presentations, handouts, and related resources. Access the archive
REL Southwest Conducts Early Education Symposium at Bains Elementary in Louisiana (01/08/16)
On December 10, 2015, REL Southwest held a highly successful and well-attended symposium bridging research, policy, and practice in early childhood education at Bains Lower Elementary school in Louisiana. Attendees learned about the high-quality early learning program at Bains, which is part of West Feliciana Parish School District, the state's top-ranked district in kindergarten readiness. Read more.
Webinar Archive Available: Supporting Hispanic Students Preparing for STEM Careers (01/04/16)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar "Supporting Hispanic Students Preparing for STEM Careers," hosted by REL Southwest on September 24, 2015. This free research-to-practice webinar presents evidence-based strategies to support Hispanic students preparing for careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Key topics include factors that influence Hispanic students' success in attaining STEM degrees as well as strategies to support college readiness among Hispanic students planning to major in a STEM discipline. Access the archive

2015

REL Southwest and Bains Lower Elementary Host Early Childhood Symposium in Louisiana (12/17/15)
Educators from six states participated in an early childhood education symposium on bridging research, policy, and practice on December 10, 2015. The event was cohosted by REL Southwest's Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance and Bains Lower Elementary School in West Feliciana Parish School District, Louisiana's top-ranked district in kindergarten readiness. More than 15 Louisiana parishes were represented among the attendees, who heard several expert presentations on early childhood education trends and policy issues. In addition, attendees participated in panel discussions and breakout sessions on early childhood literacy and mathematics and toured the high-quality early learning program at Bains Lower Elementary. Read more
New Online Ask REL Southwest Archive (11/04/15)
Many of you have submitted questions about education policies, programs, and practices to our Ask REL Southwest reference desk service—and now our responses to selected queries are available online. The responses include reference citations and information referrals. We'll be adding more responses over the next few months, so check back to see what's new. View the archive
Archive Available: Building Biliteracy Instruction, Programs, and Services (10/14/15)
The archive is available for the webinar bridge event "Building Biliteracy Instruction, Programs, and Services," hosted by REL Southwest on July 27, 2015. This free research-to-practice webinar provides an overview of evidence‑based instructional programs and services to support biliteracy development among English learners. Key topics include native language literacy, second language literacy, and oracy development. Access the archive
Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Awarded College and Career Readiness Grant (10/02/15)
The Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, represented on both REL Southwest’s Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance and Governing Board, is one of more than 30 tribes to receive a grant under the U.S. Department of Education's new Native Youth Community Projects program. This program seeks to promote college and career readiness among Native American students. Read more
Native American Indian Working Group: Innovation Meets Tradition (08/19/15)
In April and May 2015, the Native American Indian Working Group, part of REL Southwest's Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, conducted two tribal visits. The purpose was to clarify and prioritize the needs of the state's rural Native American Indian students and learn about programs and strategies the tribes are using to address those needs. Read more
Santa Fe Indian School: A High-Performing Native American School in New Mexico (08/19/15)
REL Southwest's New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance recently toured the Santa Fe Indian School to learn about its efforts to close the achievement gap, decrease dropout rates, and preserve Native cultures and languages for Native American students. SFIS has created a learning environment and culture that buoys students and motivates them to beat the odds while preserving their proud heritage. Read more
Archive Available: Facilitating Professional Learning Communities to Support English Learners (07/24/15)
The archive is available for the bridge event workshop "Facilitating Professional Learning Communities to Support English Learners," hosted by REL Southwest on July 16, 2015. This workshop provides an overview of the Professional Learning Communities Facilitator’s Guide, developed for use with the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School. Access the archive
Archive Available: Teaching Math to Young Children Practice Guide: Introduction (07/10/15)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar "Teaching Math to Young Children Practice Guide: Introduction," hosted by REL Southwest on April 15, 2015. This webinar provides an overview of the Teaching Math to Young Children practice guide, with a focus on teaching children to view their world mathematically. Access the archive
Archive Available: Implementing a Data Literate Culture Part II (05/18/15)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Implementing a Data Literate Culture at the School and Teacher Levels Part II, hosted by REL Southwest on April 2, 2015. This webinar examines the components that support effective data use in the rural setting for continuous improvement at the school, classroom, and student levels. Access the archive
Logic Models Workshop Series Draws Alliance Members From Across South Texas (04/08/15)
REL Southwest alliance members from across South Texas convened at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg for a two-part workshop series on developing and using logic models. Some 15 members from our three Texas-based research alliances—Educator Effectiveness, English Learners, and Texas Hispanic STEM—attended the workshops, held on February 2 and March 3, 2015. Read more
Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance Hosts Over 50 for Workshop on Common Core and PARRC (03/04/15)
REL Southwest hosted a meeting of the Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance in New Orleans on February 10, featuring a workshop on Common Core State Standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARRC) assessments. Speakers included national experts and representatives from the Louisiana Department of Education. Read more
Edward Hynes Charter School Recognized by CAP Journal (02/26/15)
The Fall 2014 edition of CAP Journal (the journal of the Canadian Association of Principals) profiled charter school success Edward Hynes Charter School in the article "On Becoming a Successful School." Read more
Alliance Members from Byng Public Schools Host Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction (02/12/15)
Members of our Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance were pleased to host the newly elected Oklahoma state superintendent of public instruction, Joy Hofmeister, at Homer Elementary School on January 20, 2015. Read more
Archive Available: Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School (02/01/15)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School. REL Southwest hosted this webinar on November 10, 2014. The webinar describes evidence-based strategies and recommendations for effective English language academic instruction, as presented in the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide of the same name. Access the archive
Archive Available: Implementation of New Educator Evaluation Systems: Lessons Learned (01/20/15)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Implementation of New Educator Evaluation Systems: Lessons Learned, held on November 3, 2014. This webinar explores the effective implementation of new state educator evaluation systems, with a focus on research findings, state perspectives, and lessons learned. Access the archive
AIR seeking principals to participate in paid interviews on school crime & safety survey (01/20/15)
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is looking for school principals or other school personnel who are “most knowledgeable about school crime and policies to provide a safe environment” to participate in short interview sessions to help us understand how they interpret survey questions on school crime and safety for an important Department of Education study. Read more
Read about our impact study of New Mexico (01/20/15)
Education Week covered our impact study of New Mexico's principal-teacher feedback system. This study is testing the efficacy of providing New Mexico principals with specific guidelines to follow when giving teachers evaluation feedback after classroom observations. The results will help inform the refinement of New Mexico’s teacher performance evaluation system. Read more

2014

Principals in OK and TX Receive Terrel Bell Award (12/18/14)
In a ceremony on November 21, 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized eight Blue Ribbon principals—including three from the REL Southwest Region—as Terrel H. Bell Award recipients. Named for a former secretary of education, this award honors school leaders who promote excellence in their schools, teachers, and students. We want to congratulate the winners for their outstanding achievement. Read more
Archive Available: Implementing a Data Literate Culture (12/05/14)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Implementing a Data Literate Culture at the School and Teacher Levels, hosted by REL Southwest on October 29. This webinar examines how to use data effectively in the rural school setting for continuous improvement at the school, classroom, and student levels. Access the archive
Byng High School Among Top "Beating the Odds" Schools in Nation (09/19/14)
In a list of 2014 "Beating the Odds" SchoolsNewsweek recognized Byng High School, in southeastern rural Oklahoma, as one of the top 500 schools in the nation for low-income students. In compiling the list, Newsweek ranked schools that performed better than statistically expected, given students' level of poverty, in preparing students for college. Read more
Archive Available: Engaging Families in the Assessment Process and Use of Data Bridge Event (08/21/14)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Engaging Families in the Assessment Process and Use of Data: An Early Childhood Example, cohosted by REL Northeast & Islands and REL Southwest on August 12. This webinar examines strategies for promoting the effective use of early childhood assessment data at multiple levels, with a focus on families. Access the archive
OK Rural Schools Alliance Workshop on Data Use (08/15/14)
On August 7, our Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, along with staff from Byng Public Schools, attended the first of two workshops on the effective use of data to inform classroom instruction. Participants performed a self-assessment, reviewed the research on high-capacity data use, and then applied the recommendations to analyze their school data.  Read more
Alliance member Darrell Kruger receives National Geographic Society Certificate of Appreciation Award (08/06/14)
Darrell Kruger, dean of the University of New Orleans College of Education and Human Development, was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation Award from the National Geographic Society. Kruger is a member of REL Southwest's Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance. Read more
Students from alliance-affiliated charter schools go to Jordan to study climate change (08/01/14)
REL Southwest Hosts English Learners Conference (07/29/14)
REL Southwest hosted an all-day conference titled "Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School" in San Antonio, TX, on July 22. The event drew 88 educators from across Texas and the nation. Participants engaged with nationally recognized researchers and practitioners to explore effective strategies for improving English language academic instruction. Read more and access archive
Archive Available: Building Early Childhood Data Systems (06/02/14)
The archive is available for the bridge event webinar Building Early Childhood Data Systems, hosted by REL Midwest and REL Southwest on April 17. This webinar examines best practices for developing state early childhood data systems as well as lessons learned from the field. Access the archive
REL Southwest Holds Spring Governing Board Meeting (05/16/14)
The REL Southwest held its Spring Governing Board meeting on May 2, 2014, in Little Rock, AR. The board members received updates on our current work and provided input and feedback. Read more
Technical Working Group Meets (05/05/14)
REL Southwest hosted the members of our Technical Working Group (TWG) at SEDL Headquarters in Austin, TX, on April 29, 2014. The TWG consists of four external experts who provide guidance and feedback on our research to ensure it meets the highest level of quality. Read more
Archive Available: Implementing a Computer Data System: The Human Side (04/29/14)
An archive is available for the bridge event webinar Implementing a Computer Data System: The Human Side, hosted by REL Southwest on April 1. This webinar examines how best to support staff when implementing data systems for district and school improvement. The archive includes the webinar videos, transcripts, presentations, handouts, and resources. Access the archive
Archive Available: Our State Has an SLDS?Now What? (03/27/14)
An archive is available for the bridge event webinar Our State Has an SLDS—Now What?, hosted by REL Southwest on February 25. The webinar explores issues and practical solutions related to the effective management and use of statewide longitudinal data systems in education. The archive includes the webinar videos, transcripts, presentations, handouts, and resources. Access the archive
Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance Panel Presentation (03/11/14)
Members of the Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance hosted a panel presentation at the 11th Annual Conference of the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research on March 28, 2014. Panelists discussed the alliance's efforts to better understand and use research to improve instruction and educational outcomes of Hispanic students in STEM disciplines. The conference was held at our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Learn more
Follow Us on Twitter!  (02/20/14)
REL Southwest is pleased to announce that we have joined Twitter. Follow @relsouthwest to learn about our latest events, news, and resources. And please send us your thoughts about how we can support the data and research needs of educators in our region. We look forward to connecting with you!
REL Southwest in the News: The Data-Informed District Bridge Event (01/19/14)
Ed News for K12 Researchers, an online service of the Directors of Research & Evaluation, included coverage of REL Southwest's Dec. 5 Bridge Event webinar, The Data-Informed District: Research on How Educators Use Data to Inform Practice. Jeffrey C. Wayman, PhD, was the featured presenter. An archive of the webinar is available online.
Texas STEM Conference (01/16/14)
The REL Southwest liaison for the Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance will lead a presentation at the 7th Annual Texas STEM Conference in Dallas, TX, to provide information about the alliance and recruit new members. The presentation will be Feb. 6, 3:40–4:30 p.m., at the Westin Dallas Park Central Hotel. The conference, hosted by the Texas STEM Center Coalition, runs Feb. 6–8 and features the theme "Transforming the Landscape . . . Designed for Success."
Contact: Haidee Williams, REL Southwest alliance liaison, for more information
Archive Available: The Data-Informed District (01/09/14)
The archive of the Bridge Event webinar The Data-Informed District: Research on How Educators Use Data to Inform Practice, hosted by REL Southwest on December 5, is available on the website. The webinar explores research on how school districts can more effectively use data to improve district, school, and classroom practice. The archive includes the webinar transcript, recording, materials, and video clip. Access the archive
Archive Available: Aspirations of Rural Youth  (11/11/13)
The archive of the Aspirations of Rural Youth Bridge Event webinar, hosted by REL Southwest on October 3, is available on the website. The webinar explores the challenges and successes that rural schools and communities experience in supporting students in the transition to college, careers, and adult life. The archive includes the webinar transcript, recording, and materials. Access the archive
Summary of the Aspirations of Rural Youth Bridge Event (10/18/13)
The College & Career Readiness & Success Center at American Institutes for Research (AIR) posted a blog summarizing the key points of REL Southwest's Aspirations of Rural Youth Bridge Event Webinar, held October 3, 2013. An archive of the webinar will be available soon. AIR is a REL Southwest partner and also operates REL Midwest.  Learn more
What Works Clearinghouse Continues to Guide Educators (09/24/13)
The U.S. Department of Education announced it is no longer operating the Doing What Works website. However, the Department's What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) continues to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. The staff at WWC review high-quality research on programs, practices, and policies to answer the question, What works in education? Learn more
REL Southwest Researchers to Present at AEA Conference, Oct. 16?19  (09/23/13)
REL Southwest researchers Brenda Arellano and Shana Shaw, along with SEDL researcher Jason LaTurner, will present a Think Tank session on assessing the effectiveness of educator evaluation systems at the American Evaluation Association's 2013 conference in Washington, DC, on Oct. 16–19. The session will provide an overview of current teacher evaluation systems, how metaevaluations can be applied to the systems, and the issues and challenges surrounding evaluating the effectiveness of such systems.  Learn more
New ERIC Website and Features Announced (08/21/13)
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) website has a new look and will be adding new features and improvements throughout the fall. ERIC is an online library of education research and information sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more
Rural Schools Alliance Promoted at Oklahoma Conference (07/24/13)
Vicki Dimock, REL Southwest director, and Haidee Williams, Oklahoma Rural Schools alliance liaison, attended the Aurora Learning Community Association (ALCA) Summer Conference on July 22–23, 2013, in Oklahoma City, OK. Several ALCA staff, including president Gary Sacket, belong to the Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance. Dimock and Williams shared information about the alliance, discussed ways in which the federal definitions of rural could be expanded to help differentiate the many types of rural schools in Oklahoma, and recruited members.