Together, we are building a better system
November 21, 2017
Dear Friends –
Happy Thanksgiving week to you and your families. Working with our partners to build this system is something for which many of us can share gratitude. After seven years of working together in new ways, the work has taken root and momentum continues to build.
All Hands Raised currently delivers $1.5 million of in-kind support to our six school districts and community partners to help school community teams identify tangible practices that create measurable improvements–then we move those practices into the larger community to create lasting change. Currently we are working with 17 school community sites in six work areas to improve educational outcomes.
Over the past few weeks, we brought together teams from across our work areas to share impacts, insights and inspiration–and also to create an intentional pause point in the work to ensure we are all on the same page. On October 26th, 30 partners focused on the critical transition from eighth to ninth grade gathered to reflect on how to strengthen the reach and impact of their programs. On November 7th, we hosted 38 high school staff members and community partners from across the county to reflect on the strategies that are leading to improved college access. On November 13th, nine school community site teams assembled to focus on improving social and emotional indicators for attendance and discipline. And on November 16th, two school community site teams shared the challenges and successes in their work to increase the number of students accessing the many careers available in construction and manufacturing. You can experience these meetings through photos, including how site teams engage with each other’s data.
While the data, impact and needs reflected upon at these recent gatherings is impressive, what we feel compelled to share is the sense of ownership building around making change actually happen from the ground up. Here are some of the sentiments shared at these recent gatherings:
From a counselor engaged in the Post-Secondary work:
“Seeing how engaged other schools’ principals are has made it clear to me that our principal needs to be more aligned with this work–counselors alone cannot increase the number of students who have a plan for success following graduation. It will take the whole school community.”
From a teacher engaged in the Disproportionate Discipline work:
“Being a part of the All Hands Raised Partnership and these meetings has given us the reflection time to focus on and understand the real and significant barriers impacting our students. Teachers want to be a part of building new practices on the front end – thank you!”
From a community partner engaged in the Ninth Grade Transition work:
“I always walk away from these meetings inspired and motivated to make data-driven improvements for our programs. You have helped us clarify the ‘why’ behind what we do and the ‘how’ to make it more effective.”
From a principal engaged in our K-12 Attendance work:
“When our district considers major programmatic re-designs, it needs to start by listening to the work happening here in this room–the innovation happening across districts and schools is inspiring.”
To all of you who are working tirelessly to ensure our children, youth and young adults have access to the futures they deserve and our community needs–thank you.
In deep gratitude and with warm wishes for a safe and joyful holiday weekend,