Q3 2015 Update

LearnTogetherMN Briefing Series:
Successful Strategies to Boost Kindergarten Readiness

In 2012, the Northside Achievement Zone was awarded a $28 million federal Promise Neighborhood grant and the Child-Parent Center project at the University of Minnesota’s Human Capital Research Collaborative was awarded a $15 million federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. Since that time, both projects have been working to build evidence about what works to improve education outcomes for children in our community. As those projects get closer to the end of their five-year grants, LearnTogetherMN is convening briefings for them to share what they are learning. If you are working to close education opportunity gaps in Minnesota, please join us for one or both of these briefings. The events are free, but we ask that you register for each event separately using the links below. Please feel free to invite others from your networks. Download the Briefings Flyer
Register early – space is limited!

Grade schooler writing at a desk with other kids

Northside Achievement Zone

DATE: Friday, October 23
TIME: 9 a.m. – noon
LOCATION: 2123 West Broadway Avenue, Room 100, Minneapolis
REGISTER: http://bit.ly/1MkVgyT

Join us for an in-depth briefing on the Northside Achievement Zone’s (NAZ) partnership model that is closing the kindergarten readiness gap in Minnesota. This briefing is a great opportunity for organizations and educators to get an inside look at successful strategies such as:

  • A best practice “solution plan” that can be shared and implemented across a network of early childhood partners.
  • Using shared data across partner organizations using the NAZ Connect system.
  • Shaping program decisions in real time through a monthly convening of partners and key staff to determine what’s working, what needs improvement, and action steps needed to reach shared goals.

Several unique approaches will be covered, including the challenges and benefits of shared ownership with the parents and North Minneapolis community organizations; and the successes and challenges that NAZ has faced to date.

NAZ Progress | NAZ Learning & Sharing

Grade schoolers looking at a globe

Child-Parent Center

DATE: Tuesday, November 10
TIME: 9 a.m. – noon
LOCATION: 301 19th Ave S, Room 180, Minneapolis
REGISTER: http://bit.ly/1PgPkp7

Join us for an in-depth briefing on the Child-Parent Center program, currently implemented in several districts in Minnesota and Illinois. The project team at the Human Capital Research Collaborative is working to identify which program elements are essential to closing gaps in educational opportunities for children age three to grade three. Join the CPC team for a morning of presentation and discussion on topics including:

  • What is the Child-Parent Center model?
  • What are they learning about critical program elements, including part day vs. full day programs and the impact of parent involvement?
  • What kinds of challenges have districts and community partners faced in implementing the Child-Parent Center model?
  • How might my community implement the Child-Parent Center, and how does fidelity to the program elements tie to scaling and sustainability over time?

CPC Progress | CPC Learning & Sharing


Early Learning Challenge: Committed to Continuous Improvement

Two kindergarteners getting help with writingAs part of the Race to the Top commitment to continuously improving Minnesota’s quality framework, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has launched a process for revising the quality indicators in Parent Aware. This round of revisions will likely result in some significant changes to the quality indicators used to rate program quality. The Department conducted a series of meetings with content experts on various aspects of quality in early 2015. They began a process for public input on July 30, which will run through September 30. If you are interested in hosting a public input meeting or providing feedback via an online survey, contact Michelle Lenhart.

ELC Progress | ELC Learning & Sharing


Social Innovation Fund: Results Take Time

Preschoolers sitting on the floor listening to teacherAs draft interim evaluation reports start to trickle in for each of the subgrantees’ first year of SIF programming, there is an air of accomplishment and relief, as the subgrantees, along with their evaluators from the Center For Applied Research and Educational Improvement, have worked over a year in executing rigorous implementation and impact evaluations of these programs. At the same time, there is an air of mild disappointment among some of the subgrantees at the lack of clear “wins” or positive impacts detected by the initial reports. However, these interim reports are designed to test the evaluation models established for each SIF intervention, as part of their 4-year evaluation plans, as well as to get early readings on program impact and implementation success and challenges. Thus far, the interim reports, which will be shared starting in the winter of 2015, have been instrumental to subgrantees in informing program improvements as well as evaluation design enhancements.

SIF Progress | SIF Learning & Sharing