Facilitation of WDE State ESSA Plan Development

Wyoming is the ninth largest state in terms of geographical area, though it ranks 50th in population. During the winter months, it is common for snow to fly, while the wind reaches 30-40 mph, with gusts of 50-60 mph. So, when the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) decided to bring together a Collaborative Team with representatives from across the state to address the development of great teachers and leaders in their State ESSA Plan between January and April, a creative solution was required.


The NCCC liaison and WDE personnel decided to leverage technology available through the NCCC to conduct this important work. Adena Miller, the Wyoming liaison, facilitated twice-monthly, 90-minute online meetings from January through April. Participants used Google Docs to complete pre-work before each session, working in small break-out and whole group sessions. This process ensured that all team members had the opportunity to actively participate, contributing valuable feedback and insights to the plan.

One participant commented, "I love the meeting format, especially the ability to work in small groups. Recording our work on the Google docs has been good." Other participants reported enjoying the ability to contribute through small group work and share this work with the whole group from the comfort of their own homes, classrooms, or offices. They reported that the plan was representative of their input and feedback, and were proud of the innovative, forward-thinking State ESSA Plan that was drafted. Had this technology not been available, the weather, costs, and time required for travel would have prohibited active participation of so many of Wyoming's most accomplished teachers and leaders. This collaborative method made the final drafted plan much stronger and more representative of all participants.

© 2015 McREL International

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