Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center

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NWCC assists the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) in implementing and supporting initiatives that improve educational outcomes for Alaska’s approximately 131,000 K–12 students across more than 520 schools.

Current areas in which we are providing capacity building support to DEED include:

Transitioning to the Every Student Succeeds Act

As Alaska plans for the significant shifts in policy and practice that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires, NWCC has been providing support to DEED in the form of facilitated stakeholder meetings, research, opportunities to convene with and learn from peers in other states, and development of various resources. These supports have led to further NWCC assistance as DEED staff use what they learned to make decisions on key ESSA requirements, write a consolidated state plan, and prepare for implementation.

Continuously Improving Systems of Support

Alaska’s State System of Support (SSoS) coaching program deploys experienced educators to work with schools in need of improvement. NWCC is building DEED’s capacity to effectively use data to implement, monitor, and adjust the program. These efforts have led to an improved vision for continuous improvement and tools that help state leaders measure progress toward their goals.

Meeting the Needs of American Indian/Alaska Native Students

Working with DEED and the Northwest’s four other state education agencies (SEAs), we provide capacity-building support to meet the educational needs of American Indian/Alaska Native students. We do this by helping the SEAs’ Indian education coordinators share resources and lessons learned with each other, as well as by providing technical assistance to individual SEAs through state-level projects with regional implications.

Rural Innovation and Student Engagement

In 2013, NWCC and its partners at Boston College created a network designed to connect isolated rural educators as they work to implement rigorous new standards and improve outcomes and opportunities for students. The Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network currently includes schools from Denali Borough and Lower Kuskokwim, along with districts in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Alaska State Coordinator

Bernie Sorenson
Bernie Sorenson

Bernie Sorenson serves as the NWCC’s Alaska State Coordinator. She and her team work closely with DEED staff, providing highly customized and timely support that enhances the ability of DEED to support Alaska districts and schools. At Education Northwest, NWCC’s parent organization, Sorenson works on projects related to leadership and system improvement. She values opportunities to coach educators in learning new and innovative practices to address the challenges they face.