Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) Technical Support

NCELA supports state education agencies (SEA), local education agencies (LEA), and local schools to build their capacity for serving English learners. The clearinghouse provides innovative, diverse, and interactive modes of communicating with key stakeholders to build their capacity for serving learners (ELs).

The U.S. Department of Education selected LMCi to provide comprehensive logistical, administrative, and technical support for NCELA. LMCi will bring innovative thinking about managing NCELA, maximizing services through technology, and improving Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title III outcomes in a cost-effective manner. LMCi will maintain and enhance the existing website to reflect 21st century technology and provide an effective technical assistance (TA) tool that goes beyond a repository of resources. Project support also includes information collection, analysis, and dissemination. For this part of the project, LMCi’s tasks involve research, accountability systems, academic progress, and academic content and assessments from nonprofit organizations and other federally funded sources and systems. Other support tasks include providing logistical support for a variety of professional events—such as webcasts, national conferences, directors’ meetings, focused dialogues, and forums designed to convene numerous stakeholders. LMCi will prepare SEA and LEA data reports, Annual Performance Reports, summaries, reports to Congress, topical practice and resource briefs, and discretionary grants reports. LMCi will also provide electronic and print products and services, including webinars, to enhance the academic achievement of ELs from cradle to postsecondary environments.

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Comprehensive Centers Program Grant Review  

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) Comprehensive Centers Program includes 16 regional centers and 5 content centers. Grantees are required to develop 5-year plans for carrying out authorized activities that address State and regional needs. The regional centers provide services primarily to State educational agencies to enable them to assist school districts, regional education agencies, and schools, especially low-performing schools, 

ED selected LMCi to support a wide range of tasks related to peer review for discretionary grant applications submitted through the Comprehensive Centers Competition. LMCi supports all elements of a grant review that involves about 70–75 reviewers reading approximately 75 applications across 14 panels consisting of 6-7 content centers and 8 regional centers.  

This short turnaround review involves pre-, onsite, and post-conference logistical support. Support services being provided by LMCi range from identification and confirmation of expert reviewers to post-review closeout services. LMCi prepares and produces technical review forms and other review related documents, provides G5 support to peer reviewers, and selects and negotiates rates for hotels. Additionally, LMCi conducts an initial administrative screening of all submitted applications. LMCi provides onsite logistical support such as coordination of travel arrangements, collection/verification of scores of technical review documents and OESE required documentation.  

21st CCLC Lessons from the Field: Serving Students with Disabilities

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) provide safe and engaging learning environments during out-of-school hours in nearly 9,000 centers and over 1.5 million in 53 states and territories, partnering with community groups and schools to support students who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools.

As part of a new U.S. Department of Education initiative, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (OESE) 21st CCLC program office selected Leed Management Consulting, Inc. as the prime contractor to provide research and evaluation services. Over the next three years of this project, LMCi will identify high-quality practices that support all students in 21st CCLC programs, particularly students with significant disabilities. Through on-site observations and interviews with program staff, examination of current research on disabilities and inclusion in afterschool environments, and consultation with experts and practitioners in the field, the project is developing several opportunities for 21st CCLC professionals and administrators to strengthen their programs’ ability to include and support students with disabilities. Among these are webinars and tools designed to target important and relevant topics for practitioners and administrators alike and a comprehensive “Lessons from the Field” guide. The goals of this project are to (1) provide new, accessible knowledge and skills to help practitioners plan and implement inclusive programs and address operational challenges; (2) spur the use of best practices within the network of 21st CCLC grantees; and (3) ultimately, build the capacity of states and their grantees to implement powerful strategies that achieve the 21st CCLC program’s core results.

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Logistics, Assistance and Planning Support

Through CSAP, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supports a wide range of organizations as they develop comprehensive substance abuse prevention programs.

SAMHSA/CSAP selected LMCi to plan meetings of various sizes for its partners. In addition to logistical and planning assistance for in-person and virtual meetings, this work includes materials development, publications, technical writing, facilitation, technical assistance, expert consultants, and Information Technology (IT) support. In this project, LMCi is developing a web-based project management system that enables CSAP staff to initiate, track, and monitor task orders from inception to completion. LMCi will also develop user guides for this system and provide ongoing training to federal users. Other project work includes technical writing, graphics, and full meeting support for the National Advisory Council (NAC), the CSAP’s official advisory board, and selected grantee and other meetings. LMCi also provides technical writing support by developing articles for a quarterly newsletter for the American Indian/Native Alaskan community.

Magnet Schools Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center

The Magnet Schools Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (MSAP Center) supports the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) and provides its grantees with assistance, strategies, and guidance in program implementation and management. The MSAP Center provides support in magnet-related topic areas—for example, student recruitment, magnet theme integration, curriculum development, and annual performance reporting.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) selected LMCi to support the 2013 MSAP cohort (27 grantees with 113 schools across 12 states) in desegregating public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction, and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority students. LMCi’s MSAP Center assesses grantees’ needs in program implementation and management by using mixed data collection methods to capture information from grantee district and school staff. Designed by LMCi’s MSAP Center staff, needs assessment protocols and instruments will go through the Office of Management and Budget clearance process for data collection. An analysis and synthesis of the needs assessment data will identify and prioritize grantees’ needs and guide development of the technical assistance (TA) activities and resources offered to grantees.

LMCi’s MSAP Center staff manages an interactive Web portal that serves as a TA dissemination center. The public website provides grantees access to resources, including multimedia materials, toolkits, guides, and a single-topic, 8-page newsletter. In addition, the private workspace of the site has content-based courses, archived webinars, toolkits, and an online community of practice. LMCi’s MSAP Center staff members ensure that all TA materials and resources on the website are fully Section 508 compliant. The MSAP Center also plans activities for cross-grantee collaboration, such as magnet content-based webinars and the annual Project Directors’ Meeting.

LMCi’s MSAP Center manages a Web tool that collects annual performance data for ED. This tool makes the data entry and reporting process less burdensome for grantees, enabling them to complete the required ED 524 B forms online. The web-based data collection tool saves all data entries, resulting in a more efficient and user-friendly reporting process. The system enables ED staff to access Annual Performance Report information, which ED staff use to assess grantees’ progress in meeting their desegregation and student achievement goals and to determine grant continuation awards.

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), Grants Program: Evaluation Technical Assistance Center (ETAC)

The DoDEA Educational Partnership Branch is dedicated to every military child’s right to a quality education regardless of his or her location or how often the family moves. DoDEA has more than 60 years of experience supporting military students around the world. Through the Educational Partnership, DoDEA is committed to ensuring that the thousands of students being relocated throughout the nation because of these actions receive the best possible educational opportunities. DoDEA supports research-based programs that aim to increase student achievement in military-connected LEAs and ease the challenges and transitions that students face due to their parents’ military service. Since 2009, DoDEA has awarded 186 grants, totaling over $220 million. These grants serve more than 750,000 students, including 260,000 military-connected students in more than 1,150 schools.

DoDEA has contracted LMCi to provide the DoDEA Partnership Grant Program with TA in grant monitoring and program research and evaluation. LMCi also manages DoDEA’s peer review for this program and develops educational/promotional materials for dissemination. Based on this contract, LMCi runs the ETAC, a TA resource center dedicated to building DoDEA grantees’ evaluation capacity. The ETAC Web portal hosts grantee information representing 412 schools in 67 districts across 25 states. ETAC allows grantees and their evaluators to design, implement, and report evaluations that demonstrate outcomes and impact, improve educational programs, and increase the likelihood of positive student outcomes. Grantees submit quarterly and annual data regarding key performance indicators and specially designed Web data collection instruments allow both LMCi and DoDEA staff to retrieve and print reports on grantees’ progress and budget status. LMCi reviews the collected data and provides virtual and telephone assistance to grantees. LMCi captures demographic and program-related information about grantee activities, budgets, and evaluation plans to assist in providing TA.