SUCCESS STORIES

Reaching the Optimal Future

The Opportunity
The governing school board of a recently approved public charter school wanted to access Title I funding by submitting a 4-year Standards Implementation Design (SID) plan to the Department of Education. This comprehensive plan required broad stakeholder input on several areas of institutional effectiveness, academic programs, and family participation, and had to include performance measures and targets with 4-year priorities and action plans.

What We Did
We designed a participatory process that included multiple stakeholder groups engaged in locating areas of strengths and improvements, identifying and prioritizing standards foci, and agreeing on action steps and responsibilities for the first four-year term. We compiled a document that included multiple reviews by the school board and lead teachers, and made the final submission to the Department of Education.

The Results
The SID plan was approved by the Department of Education with minimal changes, thus initiating Title I allocations to the school. On last report, the charter school was following the action plan towards success in reaching the performance targets.

Sustaining Innovative Responses

The Opportunity
A well-respected cultural organization wanted to implement several new initiatives that were suited for grant funding, including the hosting of an international conference, the development of field sites for teacher training and curriculum development, and the planning of an educational continuum.

What We Did
Using a monthly retainer arrangement, we planned and carried out a process that entailed frequent communication of grant opportunities, partnership opportunities, and appropriate responses to those with the right fit.

The Results
Our grant development strategy resulted in over $2 million of multi-year funding to host the conference, develop several demonstration sites for educational activities, develop and disseminate curriculum, and implement the early childhood component of their educational continuum. On last report, the organization tailored our initial strategy to sustain its own in-house grants development process.

Strengthening the Team

The Opportunity
A state-wide educational organization wanted to engage students, families, stakeholders, partners and staff from nearly two decades of program delivery, to discover where and how the programs have been most effective. We also wanted to provide current staff with tools for future research processes that would better inform their program design.

What We Did
We designed and facilitated a state-wide process that included multiple stakeholder summits, multiple stakeholder interviews, and a 3-day organizational summit. The process was designed as an "appreciative inquiry," and included extensive staff training in the appreciative approach.

The Results
Over 120 individuals participated in a process that discovered the four key elements of the organization's positive core and provided documentation of how this positive core may be used to heighten the achievements and aspirations of program participants. On last report, the positive core was providing a programmatic compass for staff in their daily work.


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