DISTRICT AND SCHOOL ASSISTANCE CENTER
DSACs are a branch of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and they serve all districts except Commissioner’s Districts, but give first priority for assistance to Level 3 and 4 districts. Level 1 and 2 districts may participate in regional networks and, to the extent permitted by DSAC resources, other regional DSAC activities. DSAC teams are made up of former superintendents, principals, literacy, math, career tech, and data specialists to best support all areas of school improvement efforts. LPVEC employs two members of the Pioneer Valley DSAC team, Christine Shea and Zach Smith, and provides space for the team’s strategic planning and district meetings. LPVEC also manages the contract for DSAC Data Specialists across the state.
Please visit the ESE website for more information about state initiatives and DSAC teams.
The following are some of the services that DSACs provide:
- Build district capacity to prioritize the collection and use of local data to develop SMART benchmarks and outcomes to monitor school improvement activities
- Facilitate the implementation of the turnaround practices and make connections to the Conditions for School Effectiveness and Characteristics of Standards-based Teaching
- Translate and communicate state level assessment data and measures with districts to help leaders make evidence-based decisions to improve achievement and performance
- Build district capacity to perform data analysis to include student, class, school, district, and state level analysis, including use of ESE tools, such as Edwin
- Gather evidence of effective instructional practices and student engagement in schools through classroom visits, focus groups, and document review
- Conduct applied research and program evaluation through observation, focus groups, and student performance levels
- Conduct learning walkthroughs and school site visits to identify strengths and weaknesses in instruction, and calibrate observations for teachers and administrators
- Meet with administrators to identify DDMs for various levels and content areas
- Facilitate meetings using PLC protocols and procedures with administration, teachers, and students
- Develop, manage, facilitate, and evaluate conferences, institutes, courses, webinars, networks, and job-alike groups