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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Evaluation Projects

Equity and Inclusivity Study (August 2021-TBD)
After a competitive proposal process, LMSD selected a team led by Dr. Tanisha Tate-Woodson of Education Northwest (EdNW) to examine diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) within three areas of focus: 1) curriculum and instruction, 2) professional development and 3) staff diversity and hiring. Dr. Woodson and her team designed the study around a culturally-responsive evaluation framework (Hood, Hopson and Kirkhart, 2015). The mixed-methods study systematically draws evidence from multiple sources and perspectives on the three areas of focus using rigorous, well-established strategies. The study design features a 12-person advisory committee that includes LMSD parents/guardians, Board members, administrators and educators. The advisory group informs the work by providing input on approaches and collaborative interpretation of the data. For more information and a link to the Education Northwest digital suggestion box, about the study, click here.

Evaluation of Special Education (Fall 2019-August 2021)
LMSD partnered with The Improve Group and WestEd to evaluate and provide recommendations in four key areas of special education: 1) administrative structure, 2) special education referrals, 3) specially-designed instruction and 4) inclusive practices. The mixed-methods study was initiated in fall 2019, data were collected and analyzed in spring 2020 and a series of meetings for reflecting on the findings and recommendations were held through summer 2021. The project timeline was extended beyond the original plan due to pandemic-related scheduling and workload challenges.

Findings, recommendations and next steps were shared at the September 13, 2021, Education Committee and Supplementary Board Meeting.

Academic Support Programs Analysis (Fall 2017 - present)
The LMSD Office of Research and Program Evaluation launched an analysis of academic support programs in fall 2017 at the request of then Superintendent Robert Copeland. The project began with a desk review of existing programs and support services, which surfaced organizational barriers to the systematic evaluation of these programs. Recommendations for addressing these challenges have been periodically shared with LMSD Administrators and School Directors. The District has responded by adjusting practices and making system-wide changes. Updates were presented to the Board of School Directors on the following dates:

Evaluation of Gifted Education Services (Fall 2016-Winter 2017)
After a comprehensive review of the gifted education program and services provided within the District, evaluation findings and recommendations were presented to District leaders, the Board of School Directors, and the public at a special meeting of the Board of School Directors on January 16, 2018.

In response to these findings and recommendations, an Evaluation Use Committee was formed to consider the recommendations and develop an action plan in response to the evaluation. Representatives from key stakeholder groups are included on the committee, including teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians with a vested interest in gifted education programming.