USED & White House
U.S. Department of Education Announcing NEW Foster Care Community of Practice

Dear Colleagues,


The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Support Network are excited to announce a new community of practice (CoP) to support State implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s (ESEA’s) educational stability provisions for students in foster care. Foster care points of contact (POCs) from State educational agencies (SEAs) are invited to participate in this virtual learning opportunity. Representatives from the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, housed within the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, will serve as subject matter experts for the CoP. 


The Foster Care CoP will convene a cohort of SEA POCs who have demonstrated emerging expertise in the implementation of the ESEA’s educational stability provisions. CoP participants will share best practices, develop resources to overcome implementation challenges, and identify additional technical assistance needed to effectively implement these ESEA provisions. While CoP participants will identify topics for each CoP session, based on participant needs and priorities, preliminary session topics include collaboration with child welfare agencies, data sharing (between child welfare and educational agencies), transportation procedures, and SEA POC responsibilities.


In short, this CoP will allow participants the opportunity to:

  • Receive specialized technical knowledge from peers and national subject matter experts;
  • Serve as national leaders in this emerging field by identifying best practices and ongoing needs; and
  • Network with similarly situated POCs to share information, tools, and resources.


What are the expectations and time commitments?

  • The CoP will consist of five 90-minute virtual sessions, which will take place between September 2019 and March 2020.
  • The CoP is designed specifically for SEA foster care POCs.  (POCs will be able to invite other team members to participate, depending on the topics of the individual CoP sessions.)
  • To be eligible for membership in the CoP, the SEA foster care POC must be willing to collaborate with peers, be available to participate in all virtual sessions, and have a presence in the online CoP community. 


This CoP will include up to twelve states. The State Support Network will select participants based on each State’s expertise, readiness, and ability to commit to full participation as described above. If you would like to be considered for participation, please complete a brief self-assessment, available at, no later than August 15, 2019.


If you have questions about this opportunity, please reach out to Fanny Lee (, who will facilitate this CoP on behalf of the State Support Network, or Bryan Thurmond (, the Office of School Support and Accountability’s lead for foster care activities.


We look forward to working—and learning—with you!




Patrick Rooney


Evidence-Based Practices for Assessment and

Accountability and School Support and Accountability

About the Author

Patrick Rooney is the Director of two offices--Evidence-Based Practices Assessment and Accountability and School Support and Accountability within ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before this recent appointment, Mr. Rooney was the Deputy Director of the Office of State Support.  Prior to joining the Office of State Support, Mr. Rooney worked in the Implementation and Support Unit, where he helped lead the work of the Reform Support Network, providing technical assistance to states implementing comprehensive Race to the Top reforms, and the Race to the Top Assessment program, which provided grants to groups of states to develop new assessments aligned to state’s college- and career-ready standards. Mr. Rooney also worked in the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education, where he was a senior policy advisor and worked on a wide variety of K-12 issues in the District of Columbia.