Implementation Sites and Demonstration Sites
The Implementation Sites and Demonstration Sites are one of four essential support structures:
- State Leadership Team
- Professional Development Network of Program Implementation Coaches
- Implementation Sites and Demonstration Sites
- Data and Evaluation Systems
- Implementation Sites
- Implementation sites are local sites or programs selected for the initiative by the State Leadership Team (SLT). Sites receive training on the implementation of the selected evidence-based practices, implementing these with high fidelity, and collecting and reporting data on outcomes.
- Demonstration Sites
- Demonstration sites are implementation sites that are selected to serve as a showplace for high-fidelity implementation.
The purpose of the implementation sites is to provide a “laboratory” to identify and solve problems that may arise during program implementation. The purpose of demonstration sites is to showcase the practices in use, host tours, promote the initiative, and share their data on implementation and outcomes.
Implementation sites' responsibilities:
- oversee program-wide implementation of the practices, led by the Program Leadership Team (PLT)
- guide the initiative, assess progress, and plan future actions using the classroom or home-visiting Benchmarks of Quality, led by the PLT
- provide training and coaching to support practice change, led by the practitioner coaches
- collect data on the fidelity of program and practice implementation and on child outcomes, led by the data coordinators
Demonstration sites' additional responsibilities:
- sharing data annually with the SLT on the outcomes of the selected practices and implementation process
- sharing challenges and solutions to implementation and sustainability with the SLT
- hosting visits from policy makers and personnel from other programs interested in implementing the practices
- partnering with the SLT to raise awareness of the initiative
Two years is the average time required for a site to achieve a high level of fidelity in implementing the selected practices. Large programs may take additional time.
Details on the process towards reaching demonstration site status and the rationale for demonstration sites are found in the following resources:
- Implementation Site Development from Selection, through Practice Fidelity, to Scale-up and Demonstration
- Demonstration Sites: Your Best Advocate for Practice and System Change
When the SLT chooses sites, they should focus on programs that have the capacity to implement practices with fidelity and sustain the effort. The SLT may solicit nominations of high-quality programs from knowledgeable sources.
Examples of implementation sites:
- a building-level program
- a cluster of pre-K or Head Start or child care classrooms located within a school or district
- an early childhood program comprised of multiple centers guided by an organizational unit
- a unit of Part C/early intervention services
- Part C/early intervention home-visiting programs might be a site when a group of home-visiting professionals works within an organizational structure providing:
- collaborative teaming
- professional development
Implementation sites need:
- a strong, stable administrative team
- limited turnover in program staff
- to not be participating in competing initiatives
- a willingness to change policies and procedures, collect data, and provide coaching support to staff
The SLT should develop site selection procedures, including a site application packet consisting of:
- a list of what the site is committing to
- the minimum criteria for implementation sites (e.g., serving children with disabilities, QRIS minimum rating, etc.)
- questions about the demographics of the program
- questions about the program's structure
The SLT sends the application to nominated sites. Implementation sites are required to list proposed Program Leadership Team (PLT) members in their applications. In the application, proposed PLT members sign that they understand the commitment required.
After the SLT scores applications, it should:
- visit application sites
- interview the program administrator(s)
- discuss the opportunity in more detail with proposed PLT members
Once an implementation site is selected, the program administrator signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is then signed by the State Coordinator. The MOU will make clear the expectations of both parties in this process.
Once all the implementation sites are selected, the SLT should promote the initiative through a news release or announcement to gain public attention and spread the word about the initiative.
Demonstration sites are selected by the SLT from existing implementation sites using a predetermined criterion, for example, when 75% of staff participating in the initiative have reached fidelity or when 75% of a program's sites have reached implementation with practice fidelity.
Community-wide implementation can be a unit of focus for the SLT. In this approach, Community Leadership Teams (CLTs) are selected, have access the PDN of Program Implementation Coaches, select and support Implementation Sites, and receive and analyze data. They communicate with the SLT about needed supports and policies. The CLT is a group of early childhood program personnel, family members and others in a community that are committed to providing every child with a high-quality, inclusive education. They are devoted to making sure children with disabilities are included and participate as full members in those high-quality early childhood settings. The CLT members represent their community and have knowledge of resources, so that as a community they can support all children and families.
Community Leadership Teams and Program Leadership Teams are different in the focus and level of implementation of evidence-based practices. The key difference is the Program Leadership Team facilitates and monitors the implementation of the practices within their own program. The Community Leadership Team (CLT) guides and provides information to support programs throughout the community. The members of the CLT identify community-wide resources, specialized services, and facilitates partnerships and agreements between programs. The CLT collects, summarizes and uses data from sites, trainers and coaches as well as shares data with the State Leadership Team.
Each community determines the appropriate membership of their CLT. Examples of potential CLT members include personnel from school districts, child care, Head Start, early intervention, mental health providers, pre-k, early childhood special education, as well as family members. Although representation of key service providers is important, it's also critical to keep the membership to no more than about 15 so that close relationships and efficient decisions can be made. Team members meet regularly and over several years. Having the support of each person's administration to attend and make decisions is imperative. CLTs should have a written guide for their work that also provides direction for action planning. Examples of such tools are:
- The Pyramid Model Community Benchmarks of Quality
- The Community Indicators and Elements of High-Quality Inclusion