Services

Depend on Resources for Learning to communicate your shared vision, provide the necessary support to realize your mission, and foster powerful learning experiences for students and teachers.

Assessment

Assessment is complex. Many outcomes rest on accurately assessing learning, interpreting results, and planning accordingly. Our experts help you build confidence by aligning instruction and assessment with standards and by training evaluators of teacher and student performance assessments to score consistently.

Featured Project: New Mexico Three-Tiered Licensure System

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Since 2004, RFL has been assisting the New Mexico Public Education Department and the University of New Mexico with the design, development, and implementation of assessments for teacher advancement under the New Mexico Three-Tiered Licensure System.

In order to move from one licensure tier to another, teachers submit online dossiers or portfolios displaying evidence of their knowledge and skills in instruction, student learning, and teacher professional learning. In addition to collaborating on development of this online system, RFL provides training for reviewers of the submissions and oversight of scoring.

The Three-Tiered Licensure System has grown over the last 13 years. A recent annual submission period included over 800 first-time submissions and 200 resubmissions. Separate processes are now available for librarian-teachers wishing to advance their licensure, as well as a process for those completing alternative routes to teacher licensure. The system has been constructed to encourage high levels of reliability and validity. For instance, two reviewers score each submission, and if the reviewers do not agree on the score of any individual strand, the strand is reviewed by a third reviewer. Reliability of individual scoring is a constant focus for RFL staff, and semi-annual reviewer training sessions meet just-in-time reviewer needs.

Professional Learning

Roll out your professional learning programs and scale quickly to reach large numbers of teachers and school administrators. We ensure consistency and quality and provide experienced, credible, and reliable facilitators for professional learning sessions. We address the unique needs of teachers in every context by integrating student performance data, teacher competencies, local challenges, and issues affecting student learning. Teachers and school leaders leave our sessions with a clear vision of how their new learning will benefit students, concrete ways they will implement the program, and a strong commitment to implementation.

Featured Project: CTE Mentoring

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Since 2016, RFL has supported beginning career and technical education (CTE) teachers to help them address unique challenges of new teaching that are specific to CTE. In order to establish a support network for beginning CTE teachers, online communities were developed for each career cluster. The online communities provide opportunities for the exchange of content-specific expertise and guidance, challenges and solutions, resources and ideas, and success stories. In addition, a series of Foundational Learning Sessions was created to provide professional development on topics that are relevant to beginning CTE teachers. To cultivate effective mentoring programs, CTE Mentor Training was provided to current and prospective CTE mentors. A CTE Stakeholder Committee was also convened to get valuable feedback from the CTE community at large to inform the support provided to beginning CTE teachers.

In 2017-18, the CTE New Teacher Mentor program is expanding to include a district pilot model that is designed to provide a robust and comprehensive support system for mentors and beginning CTE teachers.

Curriculum

Developing curricula is a big investment, so we work with you every step of the way to identify and incorporate appropriate standards, strategies, and methods to deliver the highest level of content.

We use research-based strategies to craft our curricula across all grade levels and subjects. Our experienced developers design relevant, user-friendly, and high-quality instructional materials and programs that promote and document student success.

Featured Project: Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Chicken Soup for the Soul approached RFL with the challenge of using their collections of inspiring real-life stories to address the growing problem of bullying and cyberbullying behaviors. Through a partnership with the Boniuk Foundation, Chicken Soup for the Soul wanted to create opportunities for students to develop literacy skills while building the social and emotional skills of tolerance, respect, compassion, confidence, and empathy.

RFL developed social and emotional learning and community-building curricula and support materials, Chicken Soup for the Soul Hallway Heroes, with the following goals:

  • Reduce bullying and cyberbullying behaviors through stories and activities that encourage and empower students to take charge of their own emotional well-being and seek positive outlets to express themselves
  • Enhance students? social and emotional skills by providing opportunities for self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making
  • Improve student literacy by reading the real-life stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be the Best You Can Be and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Create You Best Future and practicing comprehension of narrative text, speaking and listening, writing in response to literature, and writing across multiple genres
  • Strengthen cross-curricular connections with ties to fine arts, social studies, 21st century skills, and technology application skills

Chicken Soup for the Soul Hallway Heroes has been adopted in schools across the country and featured at conferences, receiving high praise from teachers and administrators. Teachers notice positive changes in students, such as demonstrating empathy, taking action when confronted with bullying and cyberbullying behaviors, and showing kindness to others.

Evaluation & Research

Collaboration and personalization are at the heart of RFL?s evaluation and research services. We work closely with you to understand and cater to your needs and goals, using a wide range of tools and approaches to specifically determine what is working and what is not. Though we specialize in qualitative methods in educational setting, our researchers also apply an in-depth knowledge of statistics. We design and implement rigorous research designs tailored to meet your needs, including evaluations with regression-discontinuity designs, statistical matching techniques, and case study designs.

Featured Project: Gates Evaluation

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In 2015, RFL partner Learning Forward teamed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to unify 22 school systems nationwide into a community of practice?the Redesign Professional Development Community (RPDC). The goal was to solve two problems of practice:

  • How do we measure the impact of professional learning experiences on teacher practice in formative and summative ways in order to inform teacher, school, and system decisions to drive continuous improvement?
  • How do we ensure that decisions made at the central office, school, and teacher levels ensure both a coherent and relevant learning experience for teachers and helps improves their practice?

Learning Forward served as the intermediary hub for the RPDC, supporting its members, collaborating with expert external support organizations, and tapping member expertise to drive scale and dissemination efforts.

RFL provided an ongoing collaborative evaluation, using multiple forms of data, including artifacts that emerged from the continuous improvement process and participant surveys. RFL designed a multi-level evaluation framework to measure the effectiveness of the community at three levels: the community itself, the individual/system-team level, and the school system level.

Creative Services

An experienced group of award-winning artists and designers is ready to help you stand out and communicate your successes. Our creative services team focuses exclusively on the communications needs of educators, and we will ensure the program or project communications convey accurate, effective, consistent, and compelling messages aligned with your goals.

RFL provides communication strategy, branding strategy, identity design, community websites, custom web applications, designs for print, multimedia presentations, and videos.

Featured Project: CEDFA

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Since 2000, the Center for Educator Development for Fine Arts (CEDFA) has brought together expert educators in all four fine arts content areas for a statewide conference called the Fine Arts Summit. The Summit theme ties into the focus for professional learning for that year and explores teaching strategies aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Since CEDFA’s inception in 1999, RFL has assisted the Center in achieving its four strategic goals. RFL has created and conducted professional development, designed marketing collateral, and developed online resources. Perhaps most importantly, RFL is responsible for developing the conceptual theme and visual identity of the annual Summit.

The visual identity guides the creation of marketing materials for the event. RFL contributes to the following kinds of design work:

  • Logo, typography, and color scheme
  • Website banners and advertisements
  • Print advertisements
  • PowerPoint graphics
  • Graphics for registration, signage, name tags, and certificates
  • Graphics for T-shirts and totebags
  • Art for the printed program cover

Consulting

No two schools, districts, programs, or organizations are the same. We understand the constraints educational organizations face, and we are ready to contribute our years of experience to help you answer your critical questions. At times, external facilitation can help groups move more quickly.

Whether your needs are strategic planning, proposal development, or project management, we provide actionable, practical guidance for transparent, streamlined implementation.

Featured Project: OCATL

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Over a number of years, the Oklahoma Commission on Accomplished Teaching and Learning (OCATL) served as a hub of Oklahoma stakeholders focused on developing and implementing coherent professional learning for teachers statewide. RFL assisted OCATL with strategic planning, stakeholder group facilitation, and design and implementation of a number of initiatives. Through this partnership with state agencies, universities, and professional organizations, RFL assisted OCATL in achieving the following goals:

  • Buy-in for state-led professional learning initiatives
  • Development of a state mentoring program for new teachers
  • Development of a statewide teacher evaluation system based on professional learning
  • A statewide conference on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • A statewide marketing campaign on the value of professional learning for Oklahoma teachers

With many diverse initiatives competing for limited resources, OCATL was able to bring coherence and focus to professional learning so that limited state funding was able to achieve maximum benefit.

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