August 2014 CEO Update on the Partnership

Posted on August 27, 2014 in CEO Updates

Last week the All Hands Raised Partnership Advisory Council held its summer meeting. The conversation generated meaningful feedback for each of our four Collaboratives, as well as to me and my staff, that will help shape and focus the work in the coming weeks and months.
At the meeting, several Council members reflected on their summer visits to Ninth Grade Counts sites. They also shared the impact of those visits on how they view the work of the Collaborative, which this summer included 17 partner programs.

Portland Community College President and Council member, Dr. Jeremy Brown, visits Ninth Grade Counts participants at Madison High School in Portland.

Gregg Kantor, CEO of NW Natural, commented on how powerful and grounding it was to see the kids behind the data. He noted, and others agreed, that, “it is a powerful experience to get into our schools and engage with the children and youth this work is most focused on impacting–kids of color and kids living in poverty.”
As a part of the Council’s discussion Kamesha Robinson, program specialist with the SUN Service System, presented the attendance work happening within the Communities Supporting Youth (CSY) Collaborative and the data being used to guide best practices at the six demonstration site schools.

The intention is to take what is learned at these six schools in the upcoming school year and expand the practices and re-align the resources more broadly in the districts. Gwen Sullivan, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, asked the Collaborative, “have you considered making sure that a person who the student knows is the one reaching out to them to ensure the student is attending school, since one of the most important reasons kids come to school is the relationships they have with adults in the building?”

It was also noted that as a result of the CSY Collaborative’s efforts, more than $1 million in resources are being re-aligned to impact the number of students who regularly attend school at our six demonstration sites schools This includes six full-time DHS case managers, new attendance outreach workers and AmeriCorps volunteers.

On August 19, 2014 the All Hands Raised Advisory Council held their summer meeting.

The Council also reviewed the Partnership’s role regionally and nationally. Michael Alexander, president of the Urban League, noted the importance of representatives from the Partnership getting outside of the community to garner feedback and gain perspective on our progress. Recently, Alexander attended the national Urban League Conference in Cincinnati where the All Hands Raised Partnership, and our Eliminating Disparities in Child & Youth Success Collaborative, was raised up as the national promising practice for cradle to career communities around equity work. We are grateful to our partner, the Coalition of Communities of Color, and the many elders before who spoke the truth about the kids and communities we have historically failed.

I always leave the quarterly Leadership Advisory Council meetings with a greater sense of purpose, drive and humility. As a valued stakeholder in our work, I encourage you to come sit in on a meeting. Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. at NW Natural (220 NW 2nd Ave, Portland).

Finally, a big thank you to everyone helping students prepare for their first day back at school–teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, principals, bus drivers, school secretaries, aides, community partners and mentors, superintendents and, of course, parents and families. Your preparation and work over the summer is appreciated. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe and successful 2014-15 school year!


Dan Ryan

PS – Please take a moment to read the newly published Stanford Social Innovation Review article on Collective Impact that cites our local work on equity.