int(15) int(8) ESEA Video On Demand National ESEA Association
This video is available as a NAESPA membership benefit or for a limited time as a conference attendee.
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Ensuring School Policies, Practices, and Strategies Lead to Positive 3rd Grade Outcomes

The experiences students, families, and educators have endured due to COVID-19 are unprecedented and should guide how we move forward to support re-entry into, and subsequent success in school. This session will share recommendations that are interconnected and intended for administrators and teachers who work with students in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Policies, practices, and innovative strategies that support the unique needs of young children, particularly those who need it most, using research-based predictors of positive 3rd grade outcomes will be discussed. Feature presentations include the “what, why, and how” implemented by a teacher and principal to improve equitable experiences for young children and mitigate achievement and opportunity gaps in Title I schools.

This talk was presented at:
2022 National ESEA Conference
February 2022 in New Orleans, LA
For more information:
Tracy Cole

Tracy L. Cole, EdS, is the principal of East Carolina University’s Community School, a Title I School, and one of six lab schools selected to open as a training site for future teachers and administrators in the University of North Carolina system. The Community School at ECU is a collaboration between East Carolina University and Pitt County Public Schools, operating within South Greenville Elementary. The student population is 96% African American, 2% Caucasian, 1% Hispanic, and 1% two or more races along with 88% of students living at or below the poverty line. Through Tracy’s leadership, the school’s mission to educate the whole child through a web of supports is a daily focus resulting in tremendous academic, physical, and social/emotional growth among its scholars as it is entering the 5th year of operation. Prior to Tracy’s selection as the Community School Principal, she taught 3rd grade with the Edenton-Chowan school system and served as a middle school assistant principal, middle school principal, Director of Middle Grades Education and Director of Human Resources.

Carla Garrett

Carla Garrett, MEd, is the Early Childhood Program Specialist at UNC Greensboro’s SERVE Center where she provides support, technical assistance, and policy guidance across projects. Prior to joining the SERVE team, she served as the Title I Preschool Consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She is most proud of her leadership efforts involving a collaborative effort supporting local coordination of services among early learning partners using the Every Student Succeeds Act as a lever and NC’s Pre-K/Kindergarten Demonstration professional development initiative where she continued to grow with expert preschool and kindergarten teacher leaders as they improved their practices, resulting in better outcomes for children. Prior to becoming a state consultant at the NC Department of Public Instruction, Carla worked as a director and school administrator with Person County Schools. She provided overall leadership of state and federally funded preschool programs serving children in high-quality, comprehensive classrooms. Her focus on relationships and passion for appropriate practice contribute to her mission of providing the best possible experiences for young children and their families.

Amy Blessing

Amy D. Blessing, MEd, NBCT is a Kindergarten Teacher at Malpass Corner Elementary, a Title I school, with Pender County Schools in Burgaw, North Carolina. Amy has taught kindergarten for over 21 years and has worked with statewide professional development initiatives designed to “learn, model, lead, and empower to effect change for children.” Amy was selected by the NC Department of Public Instruction to participate as a NC Power of Kindergarten teacher leader and as a NC Kindergarten Demonstration Program teacher leader. She has served on several local, state, and national committees such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice/Diversity and Equity workgroup. Amy spends her summers teaching, learning, and growing with the migrant education program in Pender County.