MSDE began a four-year cycle approach to monitoring and evaluating the quality of service-learning implementation in the local school systems. In year one of the cycle, systems submit their detailed, written service-learning implementation plans to the MSDE. A panel of stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, community based organization representatives, MSDE and other government agency staff, etc.) review the documents and provide feedback to the local superintendents on the strengths of the program and potential areas of challenge. In years 2-4, each system receives a Quality Review on site visit by MSDE staff. The three Quality Review rubrics are used during the visit and a report highlighting strengths, challenges, and suggested next steps is sent to the local superintendent.
Quality Reviews are an opportunity to gain knowledge about service-learning programs and learn from one another about strategies and activities that work well. The Maryland State Department of Education is always delighted to uncover effective approaches to service-learning and share those around the state as models for strengthening programs.
The one day visit will involve:
1) A meeting with central office staff responsible for oversight of the service-learning program and any key staff that plays a role in program implementation (e.g. various content area specialists, etc.). This meeting usually lasts one to two hours.
2) Visits to preferably two schools that are representative of your service-learning program’s scope (e.g. one middle school and one high school, or an elementary school and middle school, etc.). The school visit involves a meeting with school leadership for service-learning and then an opportunity to meet with teachers and students who have engaged in service-learning projects. Each visit usually lasts one to two hours. Please choose schools that we have not visited on previous Quality Review visits, if your system is large enough to accommodate that request.
NEW -- This cycle of reviews, we are asking local school systems to conduct a self assessment using the three Quality Review rubrics before the actual visit. Those completed rubrics should be presented to reviewers when they arrive on the visit day. Below are the three Quality Review rubrics.
In addition, if your school system is receiving Learn and Serve America funding, the Quality Review visit will act as an on-site visit for that program. We ask that you have relevant documentation of grant status, particular regarding the budget, available when we meet.