Region 9 Comprehensive Center: Illinois and Iowa
The Region 9 Comprehensive Center, operated by AIR through a U.S. Department of Education grant since October 2019, provides intensive capacity-building services to state education agencies and other education stakeholders in Illinois and Iowa.
The Region 9 Comprehensive Center provides intensive capacity-building services to state education agencies and other education stakeholders in Illinois and Iowa. Our goal is to help regional leaders identify, implement, and sustain evidence-based programs and practices to address high-leverage problems and improve outcomes for students and educators.
R9CC has a three-pronged approach to supporting our region: support key priorities, connect our partners with expertise, and elevate success stories.
The Region 9 Comprehensive Center’s (R9CC’s) projects address challenges identified by education leaders in our region. We leverage our team’s expertise, R9CC’s Advisory Board Members, and partner organizations to address these needs. Our projects fall under four main topics:
R9CC is facilitating a community of practice (CoP) with state and district leaders in Iowa focused on effective and sustainable use of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. The R9CC team worked with Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to facilitate a virtual peer-to-peer series to discuss how to strategically engage ESSER and Title I funds to support long-term resource allocation.
R9CC is working with the Iowa Department of Education to gather insights from school and district leaders to identify what practices, interventions, or supports are needed to make improvements for Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools. R9CC has worked with ISBE to support and develop their state’s School Improvement Process that aligns to their 2020–2024 Strategic Plan and Every Student Succeeds Act plan.
Social and Emotional Learning/Student and Teacher Wellness
R9CC is supporting ISBE in a variety of wellness-related work, including facilitating convenings, gathering and analyzing wellness initiative data, and structuring ISBE’s social-emotional learning (SEL) standards revision process. Our team worked with districts in Illinois and Iowa to facilitate a CoP for instructional specialists related to implementation of SEL practices.
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
R9CC worked with ISBE to conduct stakeholder interviews and focus groups to identify common challenges related to educator recruitment and retention in Illinois. R9CC has also developed resource briefs that outline common challenges related to recruitment and retention of educators from underrepresented backgrounds.