Grade schooler writing at a desk with other kids

NAZ Learning & Sharing

As a federal Promise Neighborhood grantee, NAZ is concentrating on developing an effective system for delivering services to families that can be replicated by other agencies locally and nationally. Intentionally creating processes and tools, ultimately, NAZ’s lessons learned will serve as a model for programs serving children, youth and families.

  • Processes

    Replicable Solution Plans

    NAZ is lifting up what works with families. Together with our partners, we are leading the development of best practices to support the success of families and children in low-income urban neighborhoods. The resulting blueprints, called NAZ Solution Plans, are detailed, evidence-based and peer-reviewed plans, which receive ongoing scrutiny. Solution Plans are designed to be replicated with ease by communities throughout the country—thereby multiplying the positive effect exponentially. All Solution Plans can be read here.

    Family Achievement Plan
    Working with NAZ partners with support from NAZ Connector (family coach); families set a series of goals for both the parents and the scholars (NAZ children/youth) which then guide which services they receive from within the NAZ network of partners. Each authorized NAZ partner has access to the plan through NAZ Connect (described below) and contributes information to the plan, to insure coordination across NAZ partners working with the same family.

  • Tools

    Solution Plans
    The end product of the Seal of Effectiveness process (see above) is a Solution Plan for the program area. The Solution Plan includes the “active ingredients” for success in each program area, which will be tested as part of the NAZ evaluation and improved over time. All completed Solution Plans are available in the Download Center.

    Family Academy

    Parents are the first and primary teachers of their children. NAZ Family Academy is one important step in NAZ’s ecosystem of supports that provides parents with the knowledge and resources to help their young scholars succeed. These classes are an important part of our layered and aligned collaborative strategy.

    Family Academy offers a series of classes focused on providing parents with the skills and tools they need to strengthen the stability of their family and support the academic success of their children. Courses include:

    1. Family Academy Foundations, for parents of children of all ages
    2. College Bound Babies, for parents of 0-3 years olds
    3. Ready to Succeed, for parents of 4-5 years olds
    4. College Bound Scholars for parents of elementary age scholars

    Family Academy curriculum combines evidence-based best practices with the real life experiences of NAZ families. The parenting strategies are presented in ways that are relevant to lives of NAZ families and that value parents’ unique strengths. The skills they develop in class are reinforced through one-on-one interactions with their NAZ Connector.


    NAZ Connect
    NAZ Connect is a shared data and achievement planning system used by all NAZ partners. NAZ Connect is the key to sharing, supporting and tracking each family’s individual goals across many NAZ partners. Allowing planning, coordination and tracking of services, NAZ Connect focuses on family well-being and individual students’ academic progress. NAZ Connect enables partners to actively monitor every enrolled child and family, regardless of the NAZ partner programs they participate in or the schools they attend. Download the NAZ Connect Overview

  • Learnings

    The NAZ internal evaluation process was created and launched by the University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development. Currently Wilder Research serves as its internal evaluation partner, working with NAZ to measure the impact of NAZ’s service partners on individual children and families.

    NAZ will produce four annual reports, to be released in the second quarter of each year, beginning in 2013, with the last federally-funded report to be released in 2016. The 2012 report (released in May 2013) includes baseline data only, but starting with 2014, the report will focus on results: families’ and scholars’ achievements; what’s working; and where improvements are needed.

    NAZ evaluation focuses primarily on the effectiveness of the “active ingredients” in each solution area:

    To what extent are NAZ Solution Plan active components being provided to all intended children (scale), families, or others?

    To what extent are NAZ Solution Plan essential active components being provided in the manner specified (fidelity)?

    To what extent are NAZ Solution Plans producing short-term gains (efficacy) for children, families and programs that indicate progress toward long-term outcomes (NAZ Checkpoints – K readiness, reading at grade level in G3, math at grade level in G8, graduation from high school college ready)?

    Observations and interviews will be conducted with NAZ staff and partners to show the strengths and challenges of implementing the NAZ system (e.g., “What are the factors affecting implementation?”).

    Results NAZ is a monthly roundtable discussion with NAZ staff, partner organizations, Board of Directors and Parent Advisory Board which focuses on important data points relevant to one of NAZ’s 11 action areas. Results NAZ discussions are open to the public. Learn more and see the Results NAZ archives.