In 2014, we built a Framework tool for expanded learning systems to measure their progress, hosted an Institute for system-builders from around the country, and even fit in a trip to Brazil to talk shop with expanded learning school and community leaders there. As we jump into 2015, we’re taking a look back at our top highlights from 2014:
- Unveiled a Blueprint for System-Builders to Track Progress. Our Measurement Framework is a brand new tool for expanded learning systems to measure success and make improvements at the system, program and youth level. The Framework offers expanded learning systems a small set of targeted outcomes to focus their evaluation efforts and make data driven-improvements to improve outcomes for students in their communities. It also identifies a set of six social and emotional “power skills” that are likely to drive student success.
- United System-Builders from Around the Country. In May, we hosted our first ever System-Building Institute. More than 100 people from 25 cities across the country joined us in Baltimore to share challenges, offer lessons learned, and begin planning next steps to implement in their communities. Read a summary here.
- Strengthened School-Community Partnerships with a New Bill. We worked with Congressman David Cicilline (RI) and the Providence After School Alliance to unveil the Community Partnerships in Education Act, exciting federal legislation that would incentivize and require partnerships between schools and communities. We’re thrilled that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) just recently introduced a complementary bill in the Senate. Would you like to join our list of supporters? Sign on here.
- Took STEM Learning to the Next Level. Informed by several years of practice infusing informal science education into expanded learning systems, we released the FUSE Resource Guide. This guide offers promising practices in informal STEM learning, up-to-date research, curriculum resources, evaluation tools, funding opportunities, and professional development resources.
- Took our Lessons to a Global Stage. In November, Jessica Donner traveled to Brazil to present at an international education conference hosted by the Itaú Social Foundation (with real-time translation into Portuguese). Jessica presented to 600 school and community leaders from around Brazil about integrating school and informal education through community partnerships. #everyhoracounts
And coming up in 2015, we’ll:
- Bring our Institute to the West Coast. We’ll be hosting our 2nd Annual System-Building Institute, this time in Oakland, California, from March 26-27, 2015. The Institute will offer a rare opportunity to network with other expanded learning system-builders. For more information, check out our save the date and let us know if your community would like to join asap!
- Launch a Peer Learning Community. This spring, we’ll announce plans for a national learning community for system-builders from around the country to share challenges, hear from experts, and share tools and best practices.
- Pilot our Measurement Framework. A few Every Hour Counts cities will begin to pilot test our new and improved Measurement Framework to further refine the tool.
- Sharpen Messages for Maximum Impact. We’ll be refining our messaging materials so you can better articulate the value of your expanded learning systems to families, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
- Fight for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. As the conversation around ESEA reauthorization kicks into gear, we’ll fight hard to protect the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and ensure that school and community partnerships are prioritized in legislation.
Check back later this week for a list of 2014 highlights from our partners!