Florida has prioritized the need for all students to graduate from high school as college, career, and life ready in order to compete in today`s global and high-tech workforce. To address this priority, the Florida State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) provides technical assistance and high-quality professional development to school districts across Florida. The SPDG focuses professional development activities (including coaching in the use of evidence-based strategies) to strengthen educators and improve the knowledge of district staff concerning effective instructional practices, student engagement, and supporting successful transition. Working within a multi-tier system of supports for districts demonstrating a need for assistance, the SPDG targets middle and high schools to implement, with fidelity, two evidence-based practices that promote academic achievement, engagement in school, and graduation.
1. Check & Connect is an intervention used with middle and high school students who show warning signs of disengagement with school and who are at risk of dropping out. At the core of Check & Connect is a trusting relationship between the student and a caring, trained mentor who both advocates for and challenges the student to keep education salient. Of the dropout prevention interventions reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse, Check & Connect is the only program found to have strong evidence of positive effects on staying in school.
2. Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) is a comprehensive model for adolescent literacy that addresses the need of students to be able to read and understand large volumes of complex materials as well as their need to be able to express themselves effectively in writing. SIM promotes effective teaching and learning of critical content using methods proven effective through more than 30 years of research and classroom experience. Participating schools implement Content Enhancement Routines and Learning Strategies based on the identified needs of their students.
This website provides teachers, mentors, coaches, school and district leadership teams, and professional development providers with data collection and display features that support data-driven decision making. Through the portal, evaluation instruments can be launched, and aggregated results can be viewed in real-time. While this website was designed specifically for districts participating in the SPDG professional development, it is free and available to all districts across Florida.
Project leadership from Check and Connect and the Strategic Instruction Model, as well as the Florida Department of Education use the information to better support schools and districts. Annually, summarized data across all participating districts is reported to the U.S. Department of Education illustrating progress as a whole in implementing evidence-based practices. This is vital for maintaining the funding that supports you.