The Yadkin County School system has been deemed one of seven Best Practice Sites in the state for the NC State Improvement Project (NCSIP). The school was previously one of 20 demonstration sites. The new designation means $40,000 in grant money to provide special training for teachers at some of the Yadkin County schools.
“It’s a federal grant that the state wrote to close in the implementation gap between what we know works for learning and instructing students and how to get it out to the classroom teachers and actually happen in the classroom,” said Kristi Gaddis, director of Student Services for Yadkin County.
“Yadkin County Schools has been a part of the North Carolina State Improvement Project since 2005. In the past couple of years the program at the state level has undergone some dramatic changes to include three levels of participation: Network, Demonstration Site, and Best Practice Site,” said Le’Don Bedsaul, NCSIP coordinator and exceptional children’s instructional coach with Yadkin County Schools.
“A network site is the least amount of participation, a demonstration site is the mid-level and best practice is the top level. We were a demonstration site last school year and upon examining what the Exceptional Children’s Program has been providing for its students and teachers as far as evidence based instruction, we determined we already met the criteria to be a Best Practice Site and completed the application process in October. NCDPI EC Division notified us recently that Yadkin County Schools has been selected as the only Best Practice Site in the Piedmont Triad Region,” Bedsaul continued.
As part of NCSIP, teachers at Jonesville Elementary and Starmount Middle schools took part in special trainings involving co-teaching, reading comprehension and math skills.
“Becoming a Best Practice site means that we can continue to provide research based training to our EC and regular education teachers and provide continued and new evidence based instruction within our special education classrooms,” said Bedsaul.
Gaddis said they were able to complete their goals from the previous year and make an impact and that is why they were given the new designation of Best Practice Site.
She said that while data was showing impact, the actual student impact is harder to track but will be evident as time goes by.
As part of their grant application to become a Best Practice Site, West Yadkin Elementary School will now be included in the special training programs for reading and math.
Gaddis said they were “humbled and honored” to be one of only seven Best Practice Sites selected for the entire state.
Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin said he, too, was pleased with the new grant and Best Practice Site designation.
“I believe this grant will allow us to, first of all, provide greater professional development opportunities for our teachers. Secondly, we will be an exemplar location for other districts so that they can send people to Yadkin County to see best practices in action, including strong, committed cross-curricular teams,” he said.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.